What is the Sewanee Parents’ Fund?

The Sewanee Parents’ Fund supports undergraduate education, creating unique opportunities for students and enhancing programs across campus. Each year parents and grandparents help shape the Sewanee experience with their unrestricted gifts. 

What is an unrestricted gift? 

An unrestricted gift is a contribution that is not designated for a specific purpose. It is the most flexible kind of support that can be used in a timely way to meet the University’s greatest needs. These funds allow Sewanee to meet new challenges and achieve excellence both in and beyond the classroom experience. Many of the University’s most innovative initiatives were made possible because of unrestricted resources. 

What is the difference between the Sewanee Parents’ Fund and the Sewanee Fund?

The Sewanee Parents’ Fund differs from the Sewanee Fund in only one significant way: the donor. The Sewanee Parents’ Fund is the fund for parent giving, whereas the Sewanee Fund is for all other constituent giving. This separation allows Sewanee to recognize the special nature of parent giving and the constant growth in support from Sewanee parents to the University. These two funds are both vital in Sewanee’s growth, standards of excellence, and ranking among universities. 

Why give to the Sewanee Parents’ Fund?

  • Tuition does not cover the per student cost of a Sewanee education. The University annually spends over $20,000 on each student above expenses covered by tuition. Sewanee relies in part on the Parents’ Fund to bridge this difference in the operating budget. 
  • Gifts to the Parents’ Fund immediately contribute to exceptional teaching, state-of-the-art classroom technology, excellent library resources, and more. From the sports field to the theatrical stage, the science lab to the student center, the Parents’ Fund keeps undergraduate life thriving. 
  • Parent giving impacts Sewanee’s reputation. The participation rate is used by publications like US News and World Report in determining rankings. Corporate and foundation donors also note participation rates in weighing whether or not to make gifts to the University. High participation is viewed as high satisfaction with the University and impacts both Sewanee’s reputation and our ability to raise funds from other resources.
  • Every gift to the Parents’ Fund makes a difference. Worried that a modest gift will just be a drop in the bucket? That’s the point—every drop is essential to getting that bucket full!
  • Special success creates special opportunities. Our fundraising goals are based on the needs of the operating budget. When we exceed those goals we open doors to even more academic programs, special events, and facility improvements. There is no limit to how much the Parents’ Fund can benefit Sewanee students.

2016-2017 Parents’ Fund Goals

  • $0.75 Million in Gifts
  • 1090 Parents Participating