March 11, 2016 • Craftsbury Common, VT • In September of 2014, Sterling College received an unprecedented donation; an anonymous donor gave Sterling a $1 million gift, the largest in the College’s history. The gift was to be matched by donations from alumni and friends of the College over fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Today, Sterling College announced that this gift has been matched dollar for dollar—four months ahead of schedule.

“This generous challenge transformed what we believed was possible in philanthropic support for Sterling College,” said Topher Bordeau, Director of Advancement & Alumni Relations. “These gifts enhance our ability to provide scholarship opportunities and to educate the next generation of environmental stewards.”

The $2 million challenge was met with the support of 636 donors, 141 of whom had never donated to the College before. The median donation was $50. Both challenges are in support of the Fund for Sterling (formerly the Annual Fund). The Fund was matched dollar over the past two fiscal years and represented about 10% of the College’s annual operating budget and provided financial access for students’ education, as well as supporting faculty and all campus programs.

“Sterling College alumni are committed to their alma mater and all those who participated in the challenge care deeply about our relationship with the natural world and the health of the working landscape. It is easy to see why, for them, supporting Sterling is a way to address the effects of climate change and to protect the environment ,” said President Matthew Derr. “Timidity has never been in the College’s nature. We are grateful for these generous gifts that created the momentum necessary as we move into the second half of the Nourish the Roots Campaign.”

Sterling College is currently halfway through its Nourish the Roots comprehensive campaign, the single largest fundraising initiative in its history. In March 2015, the College’s Board of Trustees publicly announced both the campaign and that the College had already raised $4.5 million in gifts and commitments toward its $9 million goal. With the successful $2 million challenge met, the campaign total is now at $5,446,367.

The announcement of these transformational donations comes during a remarkable time of innovation and growth at Sterling College. Under the leadership of President Matthew Derr, the College has launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems; inaugurated the School of the New American Farmstead; made substantial progress on renewable energy; transformed its agricultural facilities; and set records for enrollment and fundraising.

To make a donation, or to learn about the Nourish the Roots campaign, visit Sterling College’s website at

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