Close to 1,100 alumnae raised almost $1.1 million toward the Jill Ker Conway Challenge, surpassing the goal of $1 million and securing a $2 million gift from Joan Fletcher Lane ’49.
Alumnae in the classes of 1976 through 1988 and the Ada Comstock Scholars class rallied to meet the challenge, with Ada alumnae stepping forward in higher numbers than any other class.
“I’m so proud to see so many Smith women come out in support of one of the college’s greatest leaders,” said President Carol Christ. “Jill’s remarkable influence and impact on life at Smith, both in and out of the classroom, is still being felt, and thanks to the success of this challenge, a new generation of women from around the world will benefit from all that Smith has to offer.”
Funds raised, coupled with Joan Lane’s gift, will support international student scholarships. Today, about 12 percent of Smith students come from communities outside the United States. “Joan Lane’s incredible generosity, and the generosity of so many other alumnae, will help make Smith a more global college, which is so crucial for the success of our students today,” said President Christ.
During her tenure (1975–85), President Conway helped launch the Ada Comstock Scholars Program; encouraged the creation of academic opportunities in women's studies, engineering, and the Project on Women and Social Change; championed a new executive education program for women; and inspired thousands of young women to use their education for the good of the world.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Jill Ker Conway Challenge. Your support is greatly appreciated and reflects the deep connection so many alumnae have to President Conway, her legacy, and Smith today.