BOLD Scholars with President Patton

The BOLD Women’s Leadership Network was established in 2016 by the Pussycat Foundation (now known as the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation) with the mission to develop young leaders across the country through underwriting scholarship and fellowship programs at an inaugural group of four higher education institutions, including Middlebury. Over the years, the Foundation has intentionally brought new schools into the Network while concluding their partnerships with others, with the goal of expanding the program’s reach to serve those with greatest need. This means that Middlebury will wind down its BOLD Women’s Leadership Network program, supporting its cohorts through 2026 as planned. We are so grateful to our partners at the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation for a decade of commitment and generosity that has provided life-changing opportunities for nearly 70 Middlebury BOLD Scholars. We at Middlebury believe in this important work and will now envision new ways to continue to support emerging leaders on our campus.

Any future plans will be announced this fall.


Funded by The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, the BOLD Women’s Leadership Initiative is a pioneering program cultivating courageous leadership in young women during the college years and beyond.

BOLD focuses on facilitating opportunities for women’s career development and networking through scholarship funding, programming, and post-graduation fellowships. In the spirit of Helen Gurley Brown, the program equips young women to be innovative agents of change in whatever respective field or industry they decide to pursue. By awarding scholarship and fellowship money, the Initiative will mitigate financial burdens while allowing young leaders to pursue their interests. Ultimately, the program will empower young college women to become leaders in their life and careers after college.

Program Highlights


The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation will provide significant support to the development of young women leaders through the allocation of scholarship funding to BOLD Scholars. 

Helen Gurley Brown Fellowships 

The Initiative gives scholars the opportunity to research and develop their own post-graduation fellowship in support of their individual career goals. 


Middlebury BOLD will host an annual retreat/outing (or series of outings) to include BOLD Scholars, mentors, and other women leaders in the BOLD network across sectors.