Alumna’s story on saving Sweet Briar wins gold for CASE Currents

Last fall, Stacey Sickels Locke ’88 wrote a first-person story about saving Sweet Briar for Currents, the magazine of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, or CASE.

The story, “Saving Sweet Briar,” has earned CASE Currents a 2016 Gold Excel Award from Association Media & Publishing in the feature article category for magazines with a circulation of 10,001-20,000.

Stacey Sickels Locke ’88, seen here at Reunion in 2015 when Saving Sweet Briar was in full swing, bleeds pink and green.
Stacey Sickels Locke ’88, seen here at Reunion in 2015 when Saving Sweet Briar was in full swing, bleeds pink and green.

Locke has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management, many of them in higher education. The story chronicles the Saving Sweet Briar movement from her point of view and outlines the advancement lessons she took away from her involvement in it.

Locke writes that she watched as a groundswell of opposition built in the early days after the closing announcement on March 3, 2015.

“But what stood out were the emails and social media messages — personal and professional — filled with passion, determination, and indignation,” she wrote. “The movement to save the 114-year-old institution was born.

“I joined the effort — and it’s made me a better fundraiser.”

Association Media & Publishing is a membership organization for publishers, business operation executives, communications professionals and designers of everything from magazines to mobile platforms.

According to the association, the Excel Awards is the largest and most prestigious award program that exclusively recognizes excellence and leadership in nonprofit association media, publishing, marketing and communications. The competition is open to all 501(c) nonprofit organizations.

Gold, silver and bronze Excel Award winners in each category were revealed at the 36th Annual Excel Awards Gala on June 27 in Washington and featured in the July/August issue of Signature magazine.

Locke was not able to attend the gala, but her good friend and fellow fundraiser Lea Harvey ’90 was there to accept the award.

You can read the article in the December 2015 issue of Currents.