Skip to Main content

Women of Vision Fund Takes Shape

Apr 3, 2015
by Laura Smith, Photo by Zach Thomas, '00

It’s no secret that Flagler College has long been a special place for women to cultivate achievement and leadership. In fact, at its founding in 1968, Flagler’s student body was entirely female; the vote for co-ed enrollment did not come until 1971.

Now, in a salute to the College’s early roots and as an incentive to the future generation of female leaders, Flagler has launched a new effort to provide support for female students, as well as to strengthen ties between women and the College.

The new program, called the “Women of Vision Fund of Flagler College,” is steered by an advisory board comprised of female leaders and philanthropists from the local community.

“With the ‘Women of Vision Fund of Flagler College,’ we seek to harness the collective power of women to raise money for a significant endowment fund,” said Dr. Beverly Carmichael, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Flagler and also a member of the College’s first graduating class. “The ultimate goal is to create scholarships, financial aid and educational opportunities for women at Flagler College. In four years, the College will turn 50, and this seems a fitting time to establish a legacy fund for the women who study here, the women who earned degrees here, and the women who are connected to Flagler in other ways.”

When Carmichael helped start the Student Government Association in the early 1970s, 12 students — all women — held positions. (Incidentally, the first vote they took was for the school to go co-ed.) But this strong history of women in leadership at Flagler was largely dependent on the availability of scholarships to help students — including Carmichael — attend college. “Many of the early students were on scholarships,” she said. “Access to scholarships was a critical element for many women at that time, just as it is today.”

Today, 60 percent of Flagler’s student population is made up of women, and a large number of these students still rely on scholarship funds to help them afford the cost of college. The Women of Vision Fund will initiate campaigns and host events designed to raise funds for these women.

“When we achieve our goals to raise money for scholarships and educational opportunities for female students at Flagler College, we are investing in women. This investment likewise has a positive, domino effect upon children, men and boys, and the community at large,” said Robin Cooper, Chair of the Women of Vision Fund of Flagler College advisory board. “We hope to raise enough funds in the next several years to establish an endowment fund for scholarships for women attending Flagler College. We hope that the community will support our worthwhile efforts.”

 “I wanted to get involved because I have always been a proponent of helping women,” she continued. “Women helping women works in mysterious ways — and we women who are able need to give back to society and help others rise to their capabilities. Sometimes all that is needed is a hand upward. I trust that the Women of Vision will involve and engage many women from our community to help one another.”

One of the first initiatives of the Women of Vision Fund of Flagler College advisory board will be a “Power of the Purse®” luncheon on May 7, which will kick off fundraising for financial aid and scholarships for women attending Flagler College. The event will feature guest speaker Chris Freytag, a nationally-recognized health and fitness guru. Tickets to the luncheon will be on sale to the public later this month.

Tagged As