Sweet Briar again smashes March giving goals

March 16, 2017 | Staff Writer
Mark Magruder

Professor Mark Magruder inspired the crowd during 2016’s Day of Giving. Then, as this year, donors responded, surpassing the $500,000 one-day giving goal.

For the second year, the Sweet Briar College community mobilized to celebrate the new tradition of recognizing March as Sweet Briar Forever Month. The month started with the enthusiasm of a $500,000 fundraising goal to be met before midnight on March 1. The Day of Giving surpassed last year’s in total giving and number of gifts. Sweet Briar supporters gave online and over the phone late into the evening, until their 642 gifts totaled $594,921.

On March 2, the Sweet Briar community celebrated its record fundraising and promptly turned to its next challenge, honoring the 189th birthday of the College’s founder, Indiana Fletcher Williams, with a goal to raise an additional $500,000 by her birthday on March 10.

An anonymous visionary donor, inspired by the Day of Giving, agreed to match all gifts up to a total of $500,000 that were given during March 2-10. By March 9, Sweet Briar had comfortably exceeded the $500,000 goal. By the end of Indiana Fletcher Williams’ birthday, 994 donors had given $789,806. With the visionary matching gift, Sweet Briar supporters amassed a 10-day fundraising total of $1,884,727 from 1,636 gifts.

“These totals break all records at Sweet Briar and most liberal arts colleges,” said Mary Pope Hutson ’83, vice president for alumnae relations and development. “These gifts are emblematic of the strong support that our alumnae and friends have shown us as we work toward our annual fund goal for this year.”

The College’s goal for unrestricted funds in the fiscal year ending June 30 is $20 million. This significant level of giving supports the five-year rebuilding plan, which was made necessary by the attempted closure. Sweet Briar’s supporters, recognizing the challenges of and commitment to the rebuilding process, have donated $8.5 million toward the fiscal year goal.

Reacting to the latest milestones met and surpassed by the Sweet Briar community, President Phil Stone again noted his admiration and gratitude for such significant support: “What extraordinary generosity you have shown,” Stone said. “You saved your college. You produced that miracle. We come to you again this year. The miracles come from you. Thank you.”

For more information, please contact the Office of Alumnae Relations and Development at alumnae@sbc.edu.

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