Invitation from The Sunflower Initiative

You may have noticed articles and updates we occasionally share from The Sunflower Initiative. But did you know that group formed in response to Randolph-Macon Women’s College going coed? As we explore ways that our two groups of former women’s college alumnae may work together, TSI would like to personally invite all Chatham College Alumnae to learn more about their mission and join their mailing list.

If you are interesting in participating in the ongoing discussion, please send Sarah Stulga a message!

September 30, 2014

Dear Chatham College Alumnae,

Seven years ago we experienced all the anguish, outrage and frustration that you are suffering now as you try to process the fact that Chatham College, the women’s college that you revere, has disappeared despite your vigorous protests. In 2007 Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, the women’s college that we revered, also disappeared despite our vigorous protests. Our college was renowned for its spectacular collection of American art and to our horror, the trustees who oversaw termination of RMWC also undertook the sale of masterpieces from the College’s art collection to finance their initiative to found the coed Randolph College in its place. We fought back hard against both decisions, raising money to initiate two lawsuits and taking them to the Virginia Supreme Court. Unfortunately, we lost.

After a period of mourning and exhaustion, some RMWC alumnae decided to regroup. This group of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College alumnae, having experienced the profound influence of a woman’s college education in their own lives, established The Sunflower Initiative. The mission of TSI is to offer scholarships to young women to attend women’s colleges. To date TSI has underwritten three first-year students with a $10,000 renewable award—the Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship—in honor of Harriet Fitzgerald, a 1928 graduate of Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a distinguished artist and intellectual. For those of us volunteering for The Sunflower Initiative and for those who support it financially, we have an outlet for expressing our profound gratitude for our women’s college educations, and for taking steps to ensure that the choice of a women’s college education remains for young women today.

Go to www.thesunflowerinitiative.com to find out more about us. After you do, we hope you many want to join The Sunflower Initiative.

We thank Sandy Kuritzky c/o ’73 and Sarah Stulga c/o ‘08 for our recent conversation about ways our two groups might collaborate.  We will be speaking with them in another month or so. If you would like to explore joining The Sunflower Initiative, let them know of your interest.

All the best,

Elizabeth Gordon McCrodden, RMWC ’66

Helen Brooks Regan, RMWC ‘66

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