Hundreds of alumnae representing 39 classes celebrate Reunion 2019

Reunion 1999
The Class of 1999 won the Nancy Godwin Baldwin Award for highest participation rate.

More than 350 guests visited campus for Reunion over the weekend, including nearly 300 alumnae representing 39 graduating classes and more than eight decades of Sweet Briar women. They traveled from 34 states and three countries to visit the place they all call home.

The most senior alumna represented was Virginia Watts Fournier ’44, who graduated with a degree in mathematics and went on to work at NASA.

The Class of 1999 earned the Nancy Godwin Baldwin Award for having the highest percentage of members attending (17%).

At the convocation ceremony, Mary Pope Hutson ’83 recognized alumnae who hold leadership positions on the College’s Board of Directors and in the Alumnae Alliance, and who volunteer for admissions, communications, career services, development, Sweet Work Weeks, regional clubs and class offices. Since July 1, 2018, alumnae have collectively volunteered more than 100,000 hours with an equivalent monetary value of more than $13 million.

Reunion stage
Outstanding Alumna Award recipient Cheri Burritt Yates ’84 (second from right) with her mother and surprise guest, Meri Burritt (center), and Mary Pope M. Hutson ’83 (left), President Woo (second from left) and Claire Griffith ’80

Cheri Burritt Yates ’84 received the 2019 Outstanding Alumna Award. With more than 20 years of hospitality experience, Yates has had an exceptional career as regional director of operations for Residence Inn® by Marriott. In addition to her volunteer work for the College during its recent renovations of The Florence Elston Inn, she has served on numerous boards including Healing Farms, Saint John’s Catholic School and Crown Leadership Academy. [photo]

Mimi Garrard ’58 was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Alumna Award. Garrard is an award-winning and internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer and filmmaker. She has created more than 90 works for the stage that have been performed throughout North and South America. The Mimi Garrard Dance Company leaves an indelible mark on the entire Sweet Briar community but especially Ella Hansen Magruder ’75 and Mark Magruder, members of the Mimi Garrard Dance Company in New York City, who now lead the dance program at the College.