Sweet Briar raises $18 million, exceeding fundraising goal for the third year in a row

Sweet Briar's Bell Tower During fiscal year 2018, Sweet Briar College received gifts and pledges totaling $18.4 million. This includes donations from individuals, corporate and foundation gifts, grants and future commitments. Of that total, $13,077,000 is for fiscal year 2018 and $4.5 million will come as future support. Additional contributions were made to the College’s endowed funds, which are critical for scholarships, faculty and academic programs. This marks the third year in a row that the College has exceeded its fundraising goal.  Since 2015, the College has raised $53.7 million.

“I’m in awe of the generosity of our alumnae and friends,” said Mary Pope M. Hutson ’83, vice president for alumnae relations and development. “Their generosity not only ensures that we’ll be able to continue to educate fierce women, but also that we’ll be able to be a leader in the future of higher education.”

In addition to financial commitments, the College benefited from more than 100,000 hours of volunteer time from its alumnae and friends. These hours came in the form of work during Sweet Work Weeks, admissions recruiting, assisting students with internships and jobs, planning events like Reunion and assisting with fundraising. Altogether, the in-kind value of those hours and other services totals $13 million.

Corporate and foundation giving increased by 15 percent over last year. Highlights in notable foundation giving include a grant provided by the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and renewed commitments by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund and the Roller-Bottimore Foundation. In addition, the College continues to build streams of auxiliary revenue. This year saw a major refresh of the Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center. The funding for the refresh was made possible by an endowed fund.

The impact of giving on the College is broad. This year, donations allowed Sweet Briar to renovate several residence halls and volunteer hours provided by alumnae as part of Sweet Work Weeks extended the impact of those dollars. Gifts this year made the Living With Art Initiative possible, enabling students to select pieces from the College’s art collection to be hung in their residence hall rooms. A grant by the Judith Haskell Brewer Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia supports the College’s environmental programs, providing support for a student internship and its community garden. More than 250 scholarship funds bolster the College’s recruiting efforts.

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