Because of You

The following articles were authored by whiteman15

Phonathon 2012 Comes to a Close

Last Thursday, President Parker treated the Phonathon callers to a celebratory tea party at Sweet Briar House for not only reaching, but exceeding their goal of $275,00 in gifts and pledges from alumnae, parents, and friends of the College. Not only was the food delicious, but President Parker was kind enough to give us a tour of Sweet Briar House, as well as the guest bedroom where some of Daisy’s furniture is kept. (We even had a wonderful discussion about Sweet Briar’s architecture!) But Phonathon isn’t all about talking on the phone or celebrating with parties.  It is actually one of the most prestigious leadership positions and jobs on campus.Phonathon provides its student employees with so many wonderful lessons and opportunities.  Not only does it give the callers a chance to improve their communication skills and learn how to interact with all kinds of people, but it gives them so many incredible networking opportunities.  “Phonathon is fun, and it is very important work, but there is a side of it that repeatedly put me in situations in which I needed to be able to respond to unexpected remarks with grace.  My interpersonal skills, especially through the challenging forum of over-the-phone, have increased exponentially, and while doing so, have allowed me to have wonderful conversations with so many amazing women,” said Caroline Ladson, ‘15, a second semester caller.

While current callers love their jobs now, those who worked for Phonathon in the past still reminisce about their time spent helping to raise money for the Annual Fund.  Jenny Young, ‘11, a Phonathon caller for four years at Sweet Briar, now receives calls from a new group of students.  “Hearing from students through Phonathon not only gives me the opportunity to speak with them about their experiences, but it is also a reminder of why I give my financial gifts and gifts of time and talent to Sweet Briar.  As givers and volunteers, everything we do for Sweet Briar is for the students.  Hearing that students are having the same experiences I had is a reminder that everything I am doing is important and that Sweet Briar is continuing to make an incredible impact on young women’s lives.”

Aside from all of this, 2012 has been one of Phonathon’s best years yet!  Our 1,517 donors have supported the Annual Fund with well over $300,000.  This money will go to every aspect of the Sweet Briar lifestyle, from financial aid to athletics.  Thank you for not only picking up your phones and speaking to us, but willingly giving to the Annual Fund. Because of You, Phonathon, and the money which it receives, will help Sweet Briar for years to come.


The Wyllie Engineering Program

Sweet Briar enrolled its first engineering degree candidates in 2005, making us the second women’s college in the country to have an engineering department.  Just four years later, Margaret Jones Wyllie, ’45, helped the College expand the program.  When Peggy, as she is known to her friends and family, was a student at Sweet Briar, she wanted to be an engineer like her father.  Though she had the potential, the classes were not offered.  “Women were not trusted to be engineers,” she told Virginia Business in a 2010 interview.  “Those who did get degrees couldn’t get jobs.”  Hoping to give a new generation of women the opportunities unavailable to her, Mrs. Wyllie generously gifted the fledgling program three million dollars.

Times have changed in just seven years!  Sweet Briar now offers a B.S. in Engineering Science and a B.A. in Engineering Management.  The College’s Wyllie Engineering Program provides each student with the tools and knowledge necessary to succeed, whether that be in a premiere graduate program or straight into a successful engineering firm.  These young women leave Sweet Briar with a commitment to innovation through technology.  With 80 credit hours required to graduate, it’s easy to see that students would have to be committed to this very technical field.  Additionally, Mrs. Wyllie’s gift provided the funds for a scholarship.  The Wyllie Scholarship provides $5,000 a year to a young woman with a strong academic record and interest in engineering.

“I love the fact that our professors are so hands-on in our classrooms.  Having a professor who is willing to sit there and help you get through a difficult problem really is one of the beauties of going to Sweet Briar,” explained Caroline Baker, ’15.

Mrs. Wyllie’s gift is greatly appreciated not only by the entire engineering department but by the entire Sweet Briar community.  All of our academic programs are possible Because of You!  Go to sbc.edu/gift today and help make our already wonderful academics even better!