Building Bridges: Gift Connects Students with Alumnae/i
Upon discovering that she wouldn't be able to attend the Curtain Up Gala—a fete honoring President Emerita Michele Tolela Myers—Cate Muther '69 had a light bulb moment. She and her husband, Dennis Aftergut '69, made a gift to the College, designating that the funds cover the cost for the entire senior class to attend the celebration.
By underwriting tickets and transportation, Muther hoped to introduce graduating students to alumnae/i and show them some of the myriad ways they can stay involved and connected, long after commencement.
"Seniors are the ones who are leaving the College," notes Muther, a former trustee who has remained actively engaged with Sarah Lawrence. "We want them to feel welcome and engaged in the SLC alumnae/i community."
Coming from a community-minded family, Muther's philanthropic spirit has deep roots. She cites her basic reason for giving so generously as the desire "to be part of a value system of change and to support the institutions central in one's life."
Indeed, giving back is a central theme in Muther's life. As founder and president of the Three Guineas Fund, Muther leads the grant-making foundation in its effort to provide girls and women access to opportunities of economic empowerment. She also serves and supports other organizations that encourage social entrepreneurship and innovation.
"It was a way to make something happen that would not otherwise have happened."
Muther's recent gift to Sarah Lawrence was not simply a gift to the outgoing senior class—it was a gift to the entire College. Yet she emphasizes that she simply took advantage of an ideal chance to make a lasting contribution. "It was a way to make something happen that would not otherwise have happened."
After the gala, Muther was pleased to hear that the seniors she sponsored were warmly received by everyone in the room. When the soon-to-be graduates entered, the crowd stood and applauded their arrival—to the celebration, and to the community of Sarah Lawrence alumnae/i as well.