By Todd Cohen
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Salem Academy and College have launched the public phase of a comprehensive campaign and increased its goal by half, to $75 million, after raising $45 million in a quiet phase that began in 2000.
The campaign is the largest ever for the 233-year-old school and has the main goal of strengthening efforts to recruit and retain students by improving facilities and academic programs, and adding faculty positions, scholarships and visiting artists.
Chaired by Ann Hanes, a community volunteer who is a 1971 graduate of Salem Academy and a member of its board of trustees, the campaign aims to add $15 million to the school’s endowment of roughly $50 million, and to raise $10 million for its annual fund.
The endowment has tripled in the past 15 years during the presidency of Julianne Still Thrift.
The annual fund raised nearly $1.5 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, the most ever, and aims to exceed that total in the current fiscal year.
Salem wants to increase the annual fund to $2 million over the next three years, says Vicki W. Sheppard, vice president for institutional advancement.
Planned gifts through wills and other estate planning represent 20 percent of funds raised in the campaign so far, a share that likely will continue for the overall campaign, Sheppard says.
A $2.3 million bequest the school has just received, in fact, is the biggest gift to the campaign so far, she says.
From the estate of Velma Davis, a community volunteer in Winston-Salem who died in January, the gift will be divided evenly to support a scholarship in the arts in the name of her late husband, Dr. John Davis, a physician, and as undesignated funds.
The campaign’s main target will be the 11,000 alumnae of the college and academy, most of whom live in the Southeast, Sheppard says.
Salem officials, for example, are setting up eight alumnae and admissions events in the Southeast this fall that will lay the groundwork for future campaign events, she says.
Enrollment totals 184 students at Salem Academy and 1,109 students at Salem College.
Since 2000, the staff of the office of institutional advancement has grown roughly 15 percent to 21 people.
Mary Davis Holt, a 1968 graduate of Salem Academy and 1972 graduate of Salem College who retired as chief operating officer of Time Life, chairs Salem’s board of trustees.