The Sunflower Initiative logo
Women Funding Women’s Education
The Sunflower Initiative logo
Women Funding Women’s Education

2016/02 The Sunflower Initiative Quarterly





February 2016
Carol Littleton, Film Editor
On  February 29, Carol Littleton received the Career Achievement Award for Film Editing from the American Cinema Editors (ACE) in Los Angeles.  Carol graduated from a two-year woman’s institution, Cottey College, and although she went on to earn both  bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French from the University of Oklahoma, we proudly claim her as one of our own – a graduate of a woman’s college.
Carol’s interest in film began during her junior year in Paris when she became acquainted with French New Wave Film.  Traveling with a friend during the summer of that year, she met John Bailey, fresh from a junior year in Vienna and Innsbruck and already determined to make movies.  She and John, who would become a cinematographer, eventually married and after a job editing commercials, Carol began what was to become a long and successful career with Legacy, which she and John both worked on in 1975.   Since that time, she has made some 34 feature films including nine with writer/director Lawrence Kasdan, beginning with Body Heat in 1981.  The next year she was nominated for an Academy Award in Editing for her work on E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and in 1999 she won an Emmy for her work on Tuesdays With Morrie.  Her film credits include The Big Chill, Silverado, Places in the Heart, Grand Canyon, White Palace, The Accidental Tourist, The Other Boleyn Girl, and, most recently,  A Walk in the Woods.  Clearly, Littleton is a remarkable woman.

Carol is the sister of Betty Littleton, a graduate of a woman’s college who went on to receive a Ph.D and then a J.D.  Find her statement of why she supports The Sunflower Initiative in this newsletter.  Strong sisters, strong women!



Dear Ms. McCrodden, 

I want to thank The Sunflower Initiative again so much for awarding me the Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship — it helped me through a fantastic first semester at Wellesley College! Wellesley has completely exceeded my (already high) expectations. I have met so many wonderfully diverse peers, and the faculty is not only incredibly knowledgeable, but also very supportive and accessible. I came in with an interest in economics, and my introductory microeconomics course this past semester definitely affirmed this interest. I look forward to continuing studying economics and public policy in the semesters to come. 

Last summer, I completed an internship with Boston City Councilor At-Large Michelle Wu, an amazing woman, and that experience sparked a specific interest in metropolitan policy. This winter I am interning with the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. I’ve also been able to speak with a variety of Wellesley alums in the field — a true testament to Wellesley’s alumnae network! I also want to explore opportunities in urban studies and policy through Wellesley’s exchange with MIT.

This scholarship truly means a great deal to me, especially because now I can say first-hand that I have experienced the power of a women’s college. I will, of course, stay in touch! 

-Emily Moss


Why I Support TSI
by Betty Littleton 

“I am grateful for having been directed to a woman’s college….”

I entered college in 1947 and graduated in 1951, several sea-changes ago.  College girls had yet to be called or considered “women;” the few professions or callings open to us hardly need to be named–teacher, nurse, secretary, the occasional eccentric job like director of Christian education in mainstream Protestant churches, or an upper echelon job in retail if you were fortunate to have parents who owned their own business.  The universal expectation was that girls would marry young, settling into the grooves of homemakers and mothers carved out by their mothers and grandmothers. Such expectations were buttressed by the return of thousands of veterans desperate to recover their lost youths and, as soon as they could finish their educations or apprenticeship training, marry, start a family, and live happily ever after.  All of this is oversimplification, of course, but the expectations were real.  

So when I entered a woman’s college in 1947, it was with shock and a sense of what we have come to call “empowerment” to discover that I was taken seriously and expected to make something of myself–of my own choosing.  My college was a small four-year school in St. Charles, Missouri.  It had begun in the early nineteenth century as an academy for young women but quietly and persistently had evolved into a haven and a beacon for young women who hoped for more for themselves.  

Many of our faculty were women who had forged their way, mostly unwelcomed, into universities tailored to the needs and interests of young men.  Many had been the first women to graduate from their institutions, and though they bore their battle scars lightly and without rancor, their lives were informed by their determination to excel and make their own way. Their earnestness and professional commitment, along with their unconditional belief in us, were a revelation. I remember seeing my first academic procession, hearing my first convocation lecture, having my first conversation with a faculty adviser whose palpable erudition and confidence in her own worth was startling. The women in my own family were strong and wise and sophisticated, but they were outwardly retiring and submissive.  These faculty women were nothing like that, and I wanted to be like them.

I am grateful for having been directed to a woman’s college. The faculty took me seriously.  It cared about what I thought and why. It cared about what I expected of myself.  Because we were all women, we had ample opportunity to exercise leadership, compete with each other, and excel without apologizing for ourselves.  These are old values but they have served me well.  In these later years women’s colleges, informed by the feminist movement of the 1970’s and 80’s, are more sensitive in matters of curriculum that embody and reflect female experience.  They are bolder in what they believe is possible for their students after they graduate and better equipped to educate the “whole” woman.  Even so, I think they cannot do much better than my faculty did many years ago, offering young women a place apart from the marketplace and the world to find themselves, to formulate a plan for productive and full lives and to acquire a core of knowledge from which they can, if they will, find a wisdom that endures.

The founders of the Sunflower Initiative are perpetuating a tradition which every young woman should have an opportunity to choose. I support and honor it.





Honor Roll of Donors, 2015



Anonymous (2)
Ellen and Lloyd Agnew
Keith Alford
Anna Belle Ambrosen
Bonny Anderson
June Ball
Rebecca Baltzer
Delores Beggarly
Carolyn Bell
Beth Bentley and Michael Gates
Patricia Beyer
Mary Mattison Bledsoe
Lawrence Bowden
Geraldine Brann
Anita Brearton Mashiter
Elizabeth-Latta Brother
Melissa Buhler
Cornelia Butler
Gretchen Butler
Ann Cammack
Geri Cecil
Sally Cone
Rebecca Crosson
Melinda Donovan
Mary Duke
Mary Dysart
Jennifer Elder
Karen Everett
Lyn Fraser
Sarah Gordon
Elisabeth Groninger
Eliza Hager
Nahid Hamzei
Linda Harger
Elizabeth Harris
Mary-Catherine Haug
Lee Hawthorne
Ann Herbert
Kristin Hodges
Sandra Hudson
Judith Kelly
Nancie Kennedy
Dawn Keogh
Ruth Kinsolving
Sandra Kuritzky

Megan Lamb
Nellie Pat Landrum
Carol Lang
Elizabeth Lasher
Theresa Lazo
Lauren Leeker
Susan Lewis
Betty Littleton
Mary Beth Maisel
Joan Matthews
Melissa Matthews
Sally Mattingly  
Elizabeth McCrodden
Laura McCrodden
Joan McRae
Madeline Miller
Charlotte Mullins
Jennifer Mullins
Mary Olivere
Barbara Paul
DeWitt Peterson
Rebecca Peterson
Claire Pratt
Karen Preston
Margaret Quinn
Ellen Ramsburgh
Jeannette Rodenbough
Christine Sagge
Elizabeth Shearer
Edith Simmons
Meredith Snowden
Anne Soukhanov
Christine Stenger
Birgitta Sujdak-Mackiewicz
Dr. Helen Thornton
Linda Tiffany
Margaret Underwood
Elizabeth Wahlig
Elizabeth Watson
Louise Westling
Deborah Wooten
Peace College Alumnae 







Gifts in Honor of:

Dr. Sarah Gordon
       by June Ball 

Charlene Lingo
       by Betty Littleton

Carol Littleton
       by Betty Littleton

Betsy Gordon McCrodden
       by Geraldine Brann
            Geri Cecil

Rebecca Peterson
       by Elizabeth Wahlig

The R-MWC Class of 1965
       by Lyn Fraser

The 35th Reunion of
the R-MWC Class of 1981

       by an anonymous donor


Donate today!



Gifts in Memory of: 

Katherine Cudlipp, R-MWC ’64
       by Louise Westling

Sydnor Walker Hayes
       by Anne Hayes Soukhanov 

Dr. Jan Hullum
       by Carolyn Bell
          Lawrence Bowden
          Elizabeth Latta-Brother

Randolph Hunter Jackson
       by Elisabeth Groninger

Constance Kennedy, R-MWC ’37
       by Keith Alford

LeRoy S. Mattingly
       by an anonymous donor

Louise Jordan Smith 
       by Ellen and Lloyd Agnew

Dr. Carl Stern
       by Elizabeth McCrodden

Chatham College
       by Sandra Kuritzky

Randolph-Macon Woman’s College
       by Anna Belle Ambrosen
          Megan Lamb


From the President 

“There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” 
                    ― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

Woolf’s words resonate with us at The Sunflower Initiative, for we seek to enable young women to explore their potential and open their minds with as few barriers as possible. Thanks to the many donors of TSI, 2015 was our best year for funding scholarships for young women attending women’s colleges. We selected our fourth Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship recipient—Emily Moss, who chose Wellesley College—providing us a full house, i.e., four scholarship recipients, one in each four-year undergraduate class.

Our Scholarship Committee is now well into the process of reviewing nearly two hundred applications for academic year 2016-17, and in May, we’ll proudly see our first Fitzgerald Scholarship recipient, Aastha Sharma of Nepal, who is a student with an outstanding record, graduate from Wesleyan College in Georgia.   

With your support we will continue to help young women who matriculate at same-sex institutions. As is evident in this newsletter, we are strong believers in women’s colleges:  Betty Littleton describes her life-changing experience at then all-female Lindenwood College as a great reason for her support of TSI,  and we feature the achievements of her sister, Carol Littleton, a graduate of Cottey College in Missouri. Emily Moss recounts the invaluable experience of her first days at Wellesley, offering yet more evidence of a mind unlocked!  These testaments will surely prompt you all to continue to support The Sunflower Initiative and to spread the word about our organization far and wide.