“Why I Give” Wednesday: Teresa Phiri

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"On my first day, just off the plane, I felt so lost walking through Westlands Gate. But all of a sudden, I heard one of the Admission staff calling my name! She ran toward me and gave me a hug! She knew my interests and hometown. At Sarah Lawrence, you are never an anonymous number. You are a person encouraged to bring your whole self to campus life, to your classes, to your studies.

"During graduate school at Oxford, it was my Sarah Lawrence training that gave me the courage to jump into and connect different disciplines—and be creative. Today, working at a technology startup in Brazil, my Sarah Lawrence education continues to serve me every day.

"I believe that Sarah Lawrence's educational system—close attention from professors, academic rigor, and cross-disciplinary learning—offers a unique opportunity for students to be innovative in shaping their education. And innovation is a quality that is useful in any field of study, in so many areas of work. Sarah Lawrence, by continuing to improve and refine this educational approach, can produce thinkers who will transform thinking in different fields—and in the world.

"I need to give back to a place that gave me so much."