Sunnie Yi Ning ’18
Smith College significantly surpassed its goals to raise $450 million for the Women for the World Campaign, the most ambitious fundraising effort the college has ever launched in its history.
The Women for the World Campaign commenced in Oct. 2012. The vision and goals of the campaign were to make Smith more accessible to the brightest and most talented young women in the world. Truly global in scope and ambition, Smith sought to connect to the world in all its possibilities and challenges and become a leader in teaching and scholarship. The campaign was headed by Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs, Jill Ker Conway, president emerita, and Rochelle “Shelly” Braff Lazarus ’68, as well as the Campaign Steering Committee, Board of Trustees and Faculty Campaign Ambassadors.
The priorities for this campaign were three-fold, according to the campaign website. The first was increasing access to a Smith education through financial aid. The fundraising campaign aimed to an increase to the endowed scholarship funds by $200 million—an increase of $10 million annually in direct assistance to students every year.
“With a larger financial aid endowment, we can lower the economic barriers to higher education for middle-and low-income families from around the world,” said Elizabeth Mugar Eveillard ’69, chair of the college’s Board of Trustees, at the announcement of the launch of the campaign. “That’s a critical step toward making Smith an even more global and diverse campus — and community—than it is today.”
The second priority was a range of investments under the broad theme of reimagining the liberal arts. The funds will support faculty positions, curricular and research funds, internships, language study, environmental education, leadership programs and development of the college’s educational resources.
The third priority went to immediate support. Through the Smith Fund, unrestricted gifts from alumnae, parents and friends help to dedicate resources to new initiatives and core priorities for current use. Immediate supports enable current students to take full advantage of Smith and allow the college to meet its commitments.
On Dec. 31, President Kathleen McCartney sent out an email to students, faculty, staff and alumnae to congratulate the community on the success. Describing the culmination as “a milestone in Smith College history,” President McCartney explained that the funds raised will fuel many new projects, including design-thinking initiatives, academic centers and a new student leadership program.
She also noted the campaign’s great contribution to financial aid, “Perhaps most consequentially, we raised close to $130 million for financial aid, funding that will benefit women of promise for generations to come.”
The fundraising totals will be announced later in the spring.
To celebrate with the Smith community, on Mar. 4 Smith will present an on-campus community event featuring actress, playwright and social commentator Anna Deavere Smith. The event will take place at 4 p.m. in Sweeney Concert Hall. Smith students, faculty and staff are invited to join.