Along Old Highway 63, a horse grazes behind a new white fence purchased for Stephens College with a portion of an $80,000 donation made by Friends of the Equestrian, a group of alumnae that lends support to the equestrian department.
Seventy donors — a mix of alumnae and friends — have made donations and given gifts to the equestrian program.
“We had one alumna that paid for nearly all the fencing,” said Carol Julian, vice president for development and alumnae relations. “She made the donation and specified that the money be used specifically for that.”
Julian said the group has worked very closely with the equestrian department to determine its needs. The donation also provided new stable windows and doors and bleacher replacements in the riding arena.
“With new and revamped majors and the newly renovated facility, we will continue to be the premier equestrian program attracting students from around the country,” said Michele Smith, the equestrian department chair, in a news release.
Smith said the group has been providing clinics and scholarships to equestrian students since it began in February. Julian said she is touched by the continued support by the college alumnae.
“Their response to this initiative demonstrates their feelings for the programs, the stables and the traditions they represent,” she said in a news release. “The improvements their gifts have made possible will enhance the experience of our current and future students and are important to our continued success.”
Although she has not calculated the money in several weeks, Julian said she is sure the group has exceeded $80,000 since gifts and donations are still coming in.
For more information about the Friends of the Equestrian, contact Michele Smith at 876-7166.