My Heartfelt Thanks

Bryn Mawr has always been an institution that defies expectation.

Dear Friends:

I often speak to students and colleagues about the positive psychological effect of expressing gratitude to others.

Today, I take special joy in thanking all of you who contributed to the Defy Expectation Campaign and its astounding success. The campaign outstripped its minimum goal of $250 million even before its original May 2020 end date. But acting on the sage advice of campaign chair Denise Lee Hurley ’82 to extend the campaign for a year to help the College address the financial impact of COVID-19, I found my wildest expectations outstripped by reality. Both the campaign’s final total of more than $301.8 million and the year-end Bryn Mawr Fund total of $8-plus million testify to your generosity and to your commitment to our students and to the College’s future.

Defy Expectation has allowed Bryn Mawr to move the needle is so many areas of the College’s work. I particularly want to highlight what you have made possible for our students.

Campaign giving has:

  • Added more than $60 million to the endowment for financial aid and established 100 new endowed scholarships and fellowships
  • Allowed the College to increase grant support for all receiving need-based financial aid by lowering summer savings expectations and reducing loan expectations for those from low-income families
  • Created the Center for Career & Civic Engagement, including significant new professional development programming and funding for 1,000 summer internships and fellowships
  • Made new professional opportunities available through the revitalized Black Alumnae/i Fund
  • Supported new programs to advance equity and inclusion, including new advising positions in the Pensby Center and start-up funds for the STEMLA (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in the Liberal Arts) Fellows program for first-generation, low-income students
  • Funded the Student Life and Wellness Center that will open next semester, which is already creating new synergies among student life programs
  • Endowed six new faculty positions and underwrote new programs in Environmental Studies, Data Science, Museum Studies, International Studies, and other fields
  • Renovated Park Science to support contemporary teaching, research, and collaboration
  • Supported the innovative 360° Program of multidisciplinary course clusters.

Students experience the impact of your generosity every day, and this impact will endure in the funding, programs, and facilities from which future students will also benefit.   

As president, I of course look to the horizon and to possibilities and challenges ahead. My ambitions for Bryn Mawr are great, as are yours. I aspire to continue strengthening our financial aid program by reducing student loan expectations. I am committed to working with students, faculty, and staff to ensure equity and belonging for all. Improving accessibility in the classroom, on our hilly campus, and in our historic buildings requires new investments. The College must offer competitive salaries to attract and retain the gifted faculty and staff who carry out our mission, and continue support for curricular innovation in our liberal arts tradition. And Bryn Mawr must implement critical technologies that prepare students for their futures and support faculty and staff in their work. That’s quite a list, but
Bryn Mawr has always been an institution that defies expectation.

My future hopes are only  possible because of what you have helped Bryn Mawr accomplish in the present. I close where I began, with my heartfelt thanks for all that you do and all that you give to ensure the College’s excellence.



Kim Cassidy, President