$5 Million Gift to Sweet Briar College Will Expand Its Presidential Scholars Program

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 12:31 pm

SWEET BRIAR, Va. (November 18, 2019)—A $5 million gift from an anonymous donor will enable Sweet Briar College to significantly expand its prestigious Presidential Scholars Program, the college’s highest scholarship award.

This award, one of a number of significant recent investments in Sweet Briar, demonstrates the commitment of Sweet Briar’s alumnae and friends to President Meredith Woo’s vision for the college, which focuses on presidential scholarships, academic innovation, and the stewardship of the college’s built and natural environment.

Presidential scholarships offer full and partial tuition scholarships to Sweet Briar’s top student candidates based on quantifiable academic achievements and a rigorous on-campus, invitation-only interview process. Currently, the college offers scholarships to 30 students; the gift allows the college to expand the number of participants by 40%.

“These scholarships will help make Sweet Briar the college of choice for some of the nation’s brightest young women,” said Sweet Briar President Meredith Woo. “I am deeply grateful to our donor, and I look forward to meeting the amazing students who will, thanks to her help, become Sweet Briar women.”

Woo anticipates that within 15 years, Presidential Scholars will make up 10%-12% of the student body.

In addition to increasing the number of students awarded the scholarships, the program’s expansion will allow for the enhancement of the scholars’ experiences through the addition of on- and off-campus academic and professional enrichment activities.

Sweet Briar, known for having one of the country’s most beautiful campuses, with its historic Georgian Revival architecture by Ralph Adams Cram and its 3,250 acres of rolling hills, forests and fields, was named as one of the nation’s most innovative colleges by U.S. News & World Report for 2019 and is increasingly recognized for its curricular emphasis on women’s leadership.

“We are so grateful to the generous alumnae of this college,” Woo says. “Sweet Briar is a place where every gift can make a huge difference in the lives of future women leaders.”


Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Lynchburg, Virginia, Sweet Briar is a liberal arts and sciences college for women of consequence. Our nationally recognized academic, study-abroad and equestrian programs prepare the next generation of women leaders. Three centers of excellence represent the college’s academic distinction in engineering, science and technology; sustainability; and creativity, design and the arts. For information, please visit sbc.edu.