Generous Leadership Gifts Support Service Learning
For Anita Stafford CCE '78, volunteering has been a lifelong passion—originating in her high school days, when she volunteered once a week at Lenox Hill Hospital, and continuing today with her work for the Indian River Symphonic Association in Vero Beach, Florida. A former Sarah Lawrence trustee, Stafford is also dedicated to Sarah Lawrence and its unique educational system.
"I know the value of a Sarah Lawrence education, especially how well it worked to improve my life—and so many others," says Stafford, who considers her decision to enroll at SLC one of the best she's ever made.
Stafford's passion was formally recognized in September when Sarah Lawrence celebrated the official naming of The Anita L. Stafford Community Partnerships and Service Learning Program, as well as the announcement of a faculty chair that will bear her name.
To mark the occasion, President Karen Lawrence hosted a luncheon in Stafford's honor. During the luncheon, current students shared their experiences with the program. Stafford says she was impressed by their passion and sense of purpose. "They are so excited about what they are doing—and the confidence with which they share their experiences is inspiring."
"When I graduated from Sarah Lawrence, I felt I was prepared for whatever was in store for me. "
She says her education at Sarah Lawrence instilled that same self-confidence. Returning to school as a continuing education student—married with three young children—she immersed herself in philosophy, music, writing, and sociology courses. While at the College, Stafford also volunteered at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. In her own words, she emerged transformed. "When I graduated from Sarah Lawrence, I felt I was prepared for whatever was in store for me."
The leadership gifts Stafford initiated in 2002 will help to ensure the service learning program's future. The resulting funds will provide students with continued opportunities to learn about and engage in social change through course study, community-based learning placements, immersion trips, and service projects.