Planting the seeds of our Sunflower Initiative

Dear Women’s College Alumnae and Women’s College Supporters,

When a group of Randolph-Macon women got together some ten years ago and talked about our experiences at R-MWC, we quickly entered into a discussion about “what if.”  What if we set out to help young women find the same academic environment we had found so rewarding?  What if we raised money to make an increasingly expensive liberal arts education attainable for young women?

From “what if” we moved to “how can we do this?”  And so we started organizing, incorporating, obtaining 501(c)(3) status, reaching out to alumnae from women’s colleges.  It took very little time for us to conclude, “We can do this!”

And we have.   Thanks to the generous support of many people, not just women, we have awarded scholarships to eight very bright and promising young women, women headed to Wesleyan (GA), Spelman, Wellesley, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Barnard, and Bryn Mawr.   Each scholarship is $10,000 for freshman year, renewable with a showing of satisfactory academic progress.  By the end of academic year 2019-20, we will have awarded a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships!

Three years ago, we began to ask ourselves how we could sustain our growing record of achievement, and again we came up with an answer.  We then initiated an Endowment Campaign to raise $1M to endow scholarships well into the future.  That campaign, while ongoing, is pushing us closer to our goal.  We are close to $900,000 in pledges and gifts, well within striking distance.

Each year, we turn to those whose lives were enriched by women’s colleges to help us continue to plant the seeds of our Sunflower Initiative, and each year we are heartened by the response we receive.  Please give thought to how you might assist in this effort.  We are always appreciative of gifts, no matter the size and no matter whether you earmark it for our annual fund or for the Endowment Campaign Fund.

Thank you for considering what you can do for young women seeking the academic experience women’s colleges are continuing to provide.  Go to our website to read about the amazing young women TSI is supporting.  Please join us.

You may contribute on the website or send a check to The Sunflower Initiative, P.O. Box 378, Bedford, VA 24523.


Elizabeth (Betsy) McCrodden, R-MWC ’66
President, Board of Directors