This Tuesday brought opportunities for catching up with college classmates as we shared personal news for the upcoming spring alumnae magazine. Little did we know that these would be our last class notes.
On that same afternoon, an email arrived from the college president: Dear Alumnae, at our Board of Directors meeting over the weekend, the Board unanimously voted to wind down academic operations for Sweet Briar College due to insurmountable financial challenges. The Class of 2015 will be our final graduating class, and the College will close on August 25, 2015 …”
Out of the blue, just like that, my college is gone. The rolling hills, the trails and lake, the farm and horses, the refectory, the Senior Stairs, the lively class discussions, my beaker exploding in the physics lab, the Sweet Briar Rose. All is history.
Where did you go to college, Great-Grandmother?
Oh, it was a small women’s college in Virginia. It’s defunct now. All that’s left are a few crumbling bricks, a historical marker, and lots of memories.
An alumna from the class of 2012 perhaps said it best: Grieving, but giving thanks for the family that brought me there and the family I found there. We thought we only had to bear the rose, but it turns out we are charged with bearing the seeds as well. Let us plant them wherever we are, so that the whole world might become a little more supportive, a little more unified, a little more intelligent, a little more curious, a little more confident, a little more bold, a little more fabulous – in short, let us plant a bit of Sweet Briar in everything we do!
Betsy Anderson said:
My mother went to Sweet Briar and shares your pain.
Beth Baldwin said:
Thanks, Betsy. Judging by the number of Sweet Briar emails, we are not alone!
Monica Sleap said:
Beth, such an amazing post as usual from you. Love, Monica
Carol Henderson said:
So sorry Beth. What a loss. Sweet Briar always had a stellar reputation. Sad, sad, sad.