Imagine waking up one day and seeing on Facebook that your alma mater was shutting it’s doors for good. No warning, no explanation, virtually nothing. Alumnae and current students of Sweet Briar College experienced that in March and have since taken the matter to Virginia’s Supreme Court and established Saving Sweet Briar in hopes of keeping their school alive.
While I was supposed to be having a meeting at work about important deadlines and goals for my summer internship, we landed on the subject of Sweet Briar College instead. One of my managers, who happened to be an alumna, started describing the recent troubles with her college potentially closing down. The passion that she and her fellow classmates have for their school is inspiring.In 1901, Sweet Briar Institute was founded as indicated in the will of Indiana Fletcher Willams, who left her estate to be used as a school for the education of women. The entire 3,250 acre estate was dedicated to her only daughter, who died at the age of 16. Since then, Forbe’s named Sweet Briar one of the most beautiful campuses and the all-women’s college has made recent headlines for trying to close for “insurmountable financial challenges.”
These ambitious and determined alumnae created Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. shortly after the news broke to get to the bottom of what happened and raise the funds to save the school. They’ve brought a legal team in to examine Sweet Briar’s financials and have had small and climbing successes in the courts of Virginia.