Alumna Gift Will Support Launch of Women’s Global Leadership Program

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Agnes Scott College will be taking its focus on women’s leadership and global issues a significant step further thanks to a half million-dollar pledge from alumna Sarah B. “Sally” Gladden ’65 and her husband, Joseph R. Gladden Jr.,  former Agnes Scott board chair.

The gift will be used to launch the Women’s Global Leadership Initiative, which will include a certificate program designed to provide Agnes Scott students with the skills and experience they need to lead in solving global issues. The college plans to begin offering the certificate in fall 2013.

“Women have come a long way in the last 50 years, but we still make up only a disappointing fraction of leaders across societal sectors both here in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott. “Inspiring the next generation of women leaders from home and abroad will be critical to solving the global challenges of the 21st century, and Agnes Scott is ideally suited to serve as a leadership incubator for young women who want to understand and tackle those challenges. My colleagues and I are deeply grateful to the Gladdens for their generous gift and the ways it will help us do this.”

Half of the Gladdens’ gift will be used to initiate the program, while the remaining half will serve as a challenge match to encourage others to give to endowments that will help sustain it.

The Women’s Global Leadership Initiative, which will include learning both inside and outside the classroom, will provide a select group of students with first-hand opportunities to meet and learn from a diverse group of women leaders—from corporate executives and elected officials to grassroots advocates. They will experience the challenge of working as a team to understand and tackle issues facing girls and women at home and abroad. In addition, students will learn about their personal leadership styles, strengths and challenges and develop greater cultural awareness and intercultural competence.

“Empowering women to go out into the world either as a group or individually, armed with a committed spirit and determination, will do worlds to help bring humanity back to civilization,” said Sally Gladden. “Informed women everywhere know how desperately important this is for the future. The only way this empowerment can happen to more than a fortunate few is by mentoring individuals and small groups through access to dedicated women who have been successful in their fields.”

The certificate program also links to Agnes Scott’s growing network of local and global partners who focus on women’s global leadership, including non-profit organizations such as the Global Village School (a school for refugee girls housed in Decatur Presbyterian Church), the Harpswell Foundation (dedicated to promoting women’s education and advancement in Cambodia), the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, the Davis United World College Scholars Program, CARE, Women’s Education Worldwide and the Atlanta Museum on Civil and Human Rights, as well as corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company and CNN.

Sally Gladden graduated from Agnes Scott with a B.A. in history. She has devoted much of her time to volunteer work for many institutions. She has served on the Board of Visitors of Emory University, The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University and the Corporation for Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Mission and has maintained memberships in the Atlanta Junior League and Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS). Currently, Sally and Joe operate a farm outside Charlottesville, Va., and oversee the equitation center on their property.

Joseph R. Gladden Jr. graduated from Emory University and went on to receive his law degree from the University of Virginia. He has served on Agnes Scott’s Board of Trustees, as well as on the boards of the Atlanta Ballet, Wesley Woods Center of Emory University Inc. and Emory Healthcare. A recipient of the Emory Medal, Gladden previously served as an executive vice president of The Coca-Cola Company and as a senior vice president and general counsel, retiring in 2001.

With the help of the Gladden’s gift, the college had its third best fundraising year on record with more than $16 million in new gifts and pledges for the fiscal year ending June 30.

“Agnes Scott is fortunate to have alumnae and friends like the Gladdens and others who are making significant investments in its students, faculty and future,” said Rob Parker, vice president for college advancement. “My colleagues and I are deeply grateful to our donors for their inspirational generosity, which has made this one of the best fundraising years in the college’s history.”

Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location—offering myriad social, cultural and experiential learning opportunities. This highly selective liberal arts college is known for its diverse and dynamic intellectual community. Through SUMMIT, it provides every student, regardless of major, with an individualized course of study and co-curricular experiences that develop leadership abilities and understanding of complex global dynamics.