COVID-19 has given us all a new reality. Over the past months our lives have changed dramatically as we’ve learned how to live with, and adapt to, the ebb and flow of this pandemic. But we have much to be thankful for. Our students completed a hybrid year on campus with no serious outbreaks of COVID-19. We were able to have 3 athletic seasons and we hosted socially distant, outdoor commencement exercises. Campus business has returned to being conducted in person at the office, school is back in session, and we are pleased to welcome students in person once again.
These are very uncertain times for all of us, especially our students. Many have experienced economic disruption as well as social. And they certainly have not had access to all that makes up campus life. As a Russell Sage family, we know that supporting our students is a proud Russell Sage tradition. We stand together to ensure that all of students have the funding they need for their Sage education. I am so pleased to share with you some of the ways that as a community we stayed connected and gave back.
You partnered with us and embraced our priorities. With “Student Success” our priority we spent the year focused on:
1. Keeping Sage affordable for all of our students;
2. The retention of our current students;
3. The launch of The Women’s Institute and its first-year programming; and:
4. COVID related expenses.
I am proud to say that as a community we stood together and accomplished what we set out to do. Your support helped us to reach an incredible Annual Fund total of $2,381,966.23, our 12th consecutive year over $1 million, with a grand total of $5,685,424.87 raised for Sage. We were able to provide the financial assistance to keep Sage affordable for all students as well as provide what was needed to help struggling students be able to continue with their education at Sage.
We were able to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by advocating for support from the government. Our congressional delegates were activated by Sage leadership to fight for critical federal and state funding necessary to relieve our budget from the economic impact. Because of the federal response via multiple rounds of the CARES act, Russell Sage was able to focus on student needs.
We received our first endowment for The Women’s Institute from Trustee Julia Greenstein Bleicher ’78, to support the Student Ambassadors Program.
Alumnae from the classes of 1’s and 6’s celebrated their reunion virtually the weekend of June 4th-5 th . “Virtually the Best Reunion Ever” featured the Reunion Book Club, President Ames’ State of the College, the RSCAA Annual Meeting, awards presentation, cooking demonstrations and more. Alums even had the opportunity to visit virtually in their lounges, traditionally one of the highlights of any Reunion! We are moving forward with plans for an in-person Reunion the weekend of June 3-5, 2022 and hope to see you there.
Two classes celebrated their 50th Reunions in June. We’re grateful to the Class of 1970 for highlighting The Women’s Institute as one of their class gifts. The Class of 1971 incorporated an endowed class legacy scholarship fund in their goal – a permanent legacy for Sage students. Our utmost appreciation to the Class of ’71 for this initiative and recognition as the Reunion Class with the largest class gift: $1,168,213.89
We will get through this together. We don’t know precisely how COVID-19 has affected you or your loved ones. Know that we are thinking of you and wishing you well. Staying connected helps us get through these difficult days. We feel helpless to be able to do something that will make a difference. And yet, with all that we were up against this year, the generosity of our Sage family was inspiring. We are so grateful. If you are able, a gift to support our students’ needs, is a wonderful way to tangibly help in a time when we all feel a bit helpless.
Thank you for all that you do. Stay well and safe. Together we are #sagestrong.
Vice President for Advancement