AU Press Releases

Alumna's bequest to help Women's Leadership Center

A leader among women in the military wants to make sure women at Alfred University (AU) are prepared to take on leadership roles in their futures by making Alfred University a beneficiary of her estate.

In 2005 Col. Sara J. Pritchett USMC (ret), the highest-ranking woman in the armed services among all AU alumnae, created an endowment to benefit the Women’s Leadership Center at Alfred University. Proceeds from the endowment are used to “to support and encourage the work of the Women’s Leadership Center at Alfred University.”

Col. Pritchett has now decided to further fund that endowment with a bequest.

A member of the Class of 1962, Pritchett attended Alfred University for two years before transferring to the University of Maryland where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism, something Alfred did not offer at the time.

“Even though I only attended Alfred for two years, I just loved it (I had to transfer because there was nothing for my major),” Pritchett said. “There was no Women's Leadership program then. Perhaps if there had been, I might have stayed. But any program that helps women get to where they rightfully belong is one worthy of my support. I was happy to be able to do it.”

After graduation, Pritchett was unsure what she wanted to do; her parents suggested she consider careers in the military. Reviewing her options, Pritchett settled on the Marine Corps and enlisted in December 1964 as an officer candidate.

During the 22 years she spent in the Marine Corps, prior to her retirement in 1987, Pritchett was stationed in Quantico, VA; Indianapolis; California; Louisiana and Washington, DC., where she worked in the Pentagon as a Navy information officer.

After retirement, Pritchett remained committed in causes dear to her – advancing leadership opportunities for women and the military. She worked at the International Women’s Forum and as an assistant to the founder of the Women in Military Service for America memorial at Arlington (VA) National Cemetery, which successfully obtained the resources needed to build the memorial to women veterans.

Pritchett is also committed to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, which seeks to preserve the history of the Marine Corps and to make people aware of it through the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

She is also involved with Soroptimist, an international volunteer organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls.