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Aerial view of Salem College campus with Winston Salem in the background

Salem College Receives Transformative $5 Million Gift Equaling Largest Gift in School’s History

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AUGUST 22, 2023)—Salem College has received a $5 million gift to support its groundbreaking Health Leadership transformation. This gift was made by a highly philanthropic and dedicated Salem College alumna who has asked to remain anonymous. The $5 million gift equals the largest in Salem’s history.

“The generous gift will enable Salem to continue to invest in our continued transformation as America’s only liberal arts college focused on health leadership,” Salem Academy and College President Summer Johnson McGee, Ph.D., CPH, said. “This new gift will make it possible for us to invest in a number of bold new academic programs, scholarships, and personnel initiatives that will continue to make Salem distinctive.”

“We are deeply grateful to our anonymous donor for this generous investment in Salem’s innovative programs,” Salem Academy and College Vice President of Institutional Advancement Kathy Barnes (C’81) said. “At Salem, every gift impacts the students’ experience and is integral to their success on our campus and after graduation. Major gifts like these have the power to truly transform what Salem does.”

Salem College provides women a liberal arts education with a distinctive focus on health, which ensures that its graduates understand the power, importance, and complexity of health in society. Salem prepares students for a range of career paths and graduate programs through its commitment to women’s leadership development, teaching excellence across the curriculum and co-curriculum, and building healthy communities on and off campus. Salem’s students, staff, faculty, alumnae, and supporters lead in making the world a better, healthier, and more equitable place.

A previous $5 million gift, made in March 2021 by another anonymous donor, was also to provide support for Salem’s Health Leadership initiative. Salem College announced in February 2021 its plans to become the only liberal arts institution in the nation with a distinctive focus on elevating and expanding the role of women in Health Leadership supported by that gift.

The school recently announced—for the second record-breaking year in a row—that the number of new students on campus will increase by more than 50% with this fall’s class.

“Our alumnae are the lifeblood of Salem College,” says President Summer McGee. “Their confidence in our bright future and willingness to invest in Salem has sustained this institution for now more than 250 years.”

About Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College is the nation’s oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. Salem Academy is intentionally focused on STEAM to transform students’ education through the holistic integration of rigorous academic and co-curricular experiences that build character and leadership. Salem College provides a liberal arts education with a distinctive focus on health across the curriculum and co-curriculum, preparing students to make the world a better, healthier and more equitable place. Salem College is the only national liberal arts college exclusively focused on developing the health leaders of tomorrow.

For more than 250 years, Salem Academy and College has empowered and prepared girls and women from all around the world to effect change, shatter expectations and lead. Salem Academy and College is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a vibrant educational community known for arts and innovation. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit For more information about Salem College, please visit

News media contact

Steve Bumgarner, Capture Public Relations and Marketing

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