Salem Academy and College Launches Women of Purpose Campaign

March 25, 2015

Salem Academy and College, the oldest continuously operating women’s educational institution in the nation, has launched the Women of Purpose campaign to support Salem students in their journey to become confident, capable, and principled women of purpose.

The $60 million campaign focuses on four major priorities: capital and technological infrastructure, support for faculty and for academic programs, scholarships for highly qualified students, and annual financial growth. 

“I am honored to build upon the work of my predecessors at Salem, who, throughout the last 243 years, committed themselves to providing a rigorous education in a supportive community to girls and women, prepared those girls and women to succeed in their chosen professions, and established a legacy of careful and deliberate financial management in order to ensure the viability of this remarkable institution,” said Dr. D. E. Lorraine Sterritt, president of Salem Academy and College, during the campaign kickoff.

Sterritt added that the campaign has already passed the halfway point and has raised $30.3 million.

Construction is well underway on a new College residence hall, which will open in the fall of 2015 and will provide housing for around 90 students. An anonymous gift has named the McHugh Sisters Flats in honor of a third party—sisters who exemplified the spirit of Salem students and the professional accomplishment achieved by so many Salem graduates. Rebecca Hewit Rauenhorst, campaign co-chair and a member of the College class of 1974, has generously given $150,000, a portion of which will name the great room in the McHugh Sisters Flats.

Salem is also making the study of the sciences and mathematics a priority and will construct a state-of-the-art facility that will be suitable for educating the next generation of scientific researchers and health care professionals. Sterritt recently announced that an anonymous donor has given $1 million to support the future sciences and mathematics building and wishes to name the biology and environmental studies wing for Salem College alumna and trustee Lucy Rose, class of 1976. 

Sterritt also announced more than $1.3 million in recently received gifts for other campaign initiatives.

The John and Anna Hanes Foundation has given a $500,000 gift for Academy dormitory renovations, and the McMichael Family Foundation has given a $200,000 gift for Academy technology upgrades. 

A $200,000 gift from Wells Fargo will provide scholarships for eligible College students over the next two years, $100,000 from the Ella Ann Lee Holding Foundation will fund capital improvements, and a gift of $200,000 from the James G. Hanes Foundation will fund organ restoration.

“The world needs broadly educated women asking the right questions and seeking innovative solutions to problems. Women of Purpose, the breakthrough campaign for Salem Academy and College, celebrates traditions, Salem’s perseverance, and its visionary leaders who have paved the way for this defining moment. The same strengths from the past will carry Salem forward into the future,” said Sterritt.