Nourish the Roots:

The Campaign for Sterling

We educate environmental stewards who are prepared to safeguard the natural world and build a healthier food system. For those who care deeply about the critical challenges facing humanity, Nourish the Roots: The Campaign for Sterling College is among the most compelling philanthropic initiatives underway today.

Fovete Stirpes – Nourish the Roots – is the Sterling motto. Our roots run deep in the environmental movement. Four decades have passed since Sterling became among the very first colleges to embrace a revolutionary model of education exclusively focused on the human relationship with the natural world. Sterling alumni of all generations do vital work in Vermont, around the nation, and around the world.

Nourish the Roots: The Campaign for Sterling College underpins an ambitious strategic effort to secure the role of the College as the leading voice for environmental stewardship. Participation in this campaign is a recognition of the critical role Sterling plays in preparing its graduates to become environmental stewards at a time when the stakes have never been higher.

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Comprehensive Campaign Goal

The-campaignThe Nourish the Roots Campaign is the single largest fundraising initiative Sterling College has ever undertaken. In March 2015 the Board of Trustees publicly announced the campaign and that Sterling has already raised $4.5 million in gifts and commitments toward its $9 million goal.

For over a half century, Sterling College has been a pioneering institution. It was among the first colleges to commit its educational focus to the human relationship with the natural world and launch a brand new model of environmental stewardship education. Sterling has long been worthy of transformational support for the critical work of its faculty and graduates.

With your support, this campaign will secure Sterling’s future and prepare us to educate the next generation of environmental stewards.

Priority I:

Living By Our Values

$3 million

Sterling was the first college in Vermont and among the first in the United States to fully divest its endowment of the fossil fuel sector. In 2015, the College will join a small group of institutions around the world that produce as much solar energy on campus as it uses in a year. Building upon these accomplishments, the Board of Trustees has made a further commitment to conservation that will allow Sterling to eliminate the use of fossil fuels to heat its buildings.

Continuing to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, Nourish the Roots: The Campaign for Sterling College will prepare the College to renovate key academic buildings on our campus, strengthen the academic experience of our students, and provide important tools for our faculty.

Our early initiatives in this campaign to improve campus sustainability and strengthen our academic resources as called for in our strategic plan include:

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Priority II:

Endowed Support for Faculty

$2 million


Sterling has a remarkable and devoted faculty committed to the mission of the College and to providing a rigorous academic education. The experiential and interdisciplinary nature of our curriculum requires that faculty work collaboratively in support of individual students as they create a path toward graduation and careers in environmental stewardship.

Sterling will work closely with donors who wish to recognize the work of our faculty and to determine opportunities for two newly named positions. Endowed faculty positions could include, but are not limited to, the following areas of study:

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Outdoor Education
  • Sustainable Agriculture
  • Sustainable Food Systems

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Priority III:

Scholarship Support for Students

$4 million


Because the need for our graduates is so great, and our environmental stewardship mission is so critical, providing financial aid to students is one of our highest priorities. We achieve this aim by controlling operational expenses, restraining tuition increases, and through a robust program of financial assistance partially supported through the Fund for Sterling.

As the only federally recognized Work College in New England, Sterling rightly places a high priority on providing support for its students. Nearly 100% of our students receive Sterling grant funding and each student works in support of their educational costs.

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  • Make a Stock Gift

Sterling College
Advancement & Alumni Relations
P.O. Box 72
Craftsbury Common, VT 05827

If you have questions about how to make a gift, please contact Micki Martin at or at (802) 586-7711 x101.