Women ACT ACTivator Spotlight Q&A With Sallie Permar ’97

Sallie Permar ’97

Sallie Permar ’97, a Women ACT ACTivator, is a physician who specializes in the treatment and prevention of neonatal viral infections.

She always makes time for Davidson, volunteering for reunion committees and the Davidson College Alumni Healthcare Professionals Group, and supporting current students as a job shadowing mentor.

Sallie, who lives in New York City with her husband and children, received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. Learn why giving back to Davidson is so important to her.

As a Women ACT ACTivator, you are helping to lead this new initiative focused on women’s philanthropy at Davidson. Why is this initiative meaningful to you as a Davidson woman?

I was thrilled to give back to the institution that gave me all the opportunities, experience and confidence that propelled my career as a woman in medicine and science. 

Your recent generosity is designated to the Dr. Malcolm Campbell ’84 Davidson Research Network Endowment. Can you explain why this fund is important to you?

I wanted to honor the professor who fostered my interest in research and instilled the confidence in me that I could take on any career path I was inspired to pursue. It turns out that I was not the only student who got this gift of mentorship; Dr. Malcolm Campbell did that for dozens and dozens of students in his 30-year teaching career. It was important to me to recognize the investment Malcolm made in many of us by making it possible for STEM-oriented students to have access to career-changing research experiences, in the name of the faculty member who made mine possible. 

Can you share a couple of aspects of your Davidson experience that inspire you to stay involved as an alum? 

The lasting relationships of faculty and students and between fellow students makes Davidson unique, and why even my non-Davidson-grad husband also says he loves a Davidson reunion!! 

Representation matters! Can you share why it is important for women to see one another as fellow philanthropists and how you hope your gift might help inspire other women to consider a leadership gift to the college?

Women are often change-agents for good in the world, and philanthropy led by women can amplify that impact. 

We hope to build a community of donors to the Women ACT initiative — including donors to the Wildcat Women Fund and those who make ACTivator level gifts. Can you talk about the value of community as you think about your investment in an institution?

There is no better community to join than one that is making change and inspiring others. 


  • May 28, 2024