Sarah Lawrence announces $20 million gift

Cristle Collins Judd, president of Sarah Lawrence College,  has announced the largest donation in the history of the Yonkers-based college.

Cristle Collins Judd, president of Sarah Lawrence College,  has announced the largest donation in the history of the Yonkers-based college – $20 million from an anonymous alumna aimed at supporting and accelerating the college’s strategic vision for the future.  

“This extraordinarily generous gift is an incredible investment in Sarah Lawrence,” Judd said in a statement. “This catalyst for putting our plans into action will usher the college successfully into its next 100 years. It is a remarkable vote of confidence in the future of this college.”  

Added the donor:  “This is no doubt the right time to support the college, its president, its values and its future. I have been tremendously impressed by Cristle’s work since she arrived at Sarah Lawrence. I am truly excited to support her leadership and to see the college actualize its plans for the future – starting now.” 

Judd has led the development of a strategic vision for the future of the college through an extensive process involving faculty, staff and the board of trustees – a process sustained despite the disruption of the pandemic. This gift follows the recent announcement by Chair of the Board Mark Goodman (Class of 1983) of Judd’s early reappointment to a second term. In announcing the board’s unanimous decision, Goodman called the reappointment “a reflection of our belief in the critical role Cristle will play in defining the college’s future and a reflection of how impressed we have been by her vision, strategic sense and leadership.” 

Truly transformational for Sarah Lawrence, this $20 million gift will invest in the people and the technology necessary to support the college’s plans to leverage its historic strengths through new offerings in areas of excellence that complement its undergraduate education. It will also enable the college to recruit program leaders and faculty to expand its effect on professional and lifelong learning in fields that include media, genomics and health advocacy. 

Long known for its intimate model of undergraduate liberal arts education, Sarah Lawrence has also been a leader in its commitment to lifelong learning, as evidenced by its full spectrum of academic offerings and partnerships, including the Early Childhood Center; graduate and professional programs; recently announced partnerships with Westchester Community College and Bronx Community College; and a partnership with EXPLO summer programs for kindergartners through 12th graders. 

“Sarah Lawrence has a distinguished tradition of ingenuity, particularly in the role it has played in identifying societal needs and meeting them with new educational programs,” Judd says. “This is particularly evident in our history of realizing new programs in professional and continuing education at opportune moments, such as the creation of the first, and still largest, program in human genetics. This tradition for innovation – for seeing and seizing opportunities to build on and extend core strengths in new ways – must be a vigorous feature of Sarah Lawrence’s future. This gift is a launchpad toward that future.” 

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