Women’s college to remain open
Virginia’s attorney general announced a mediated settlement to keep open Sweet Briar College, using $12 million raised by fiercely determined alumnae to keep the women’s college afloat in the upcoming academic year and sweeping out leadership of the 114-year-old school.
Atty. Gen. Mark Herring said the resolution came after hundreds of hours of negotiations involving the college, the local county attorney fighting its closure and the money-raising nonprofit Saving Sweet Briar Inc.
The announcement of a rescue plan ended months of frantic efforts to save the school, litigation that reached the state’s highest court, and national ruminations on the future of all-female higher educational institutions.
In early May, leaders of the liberal arts college cited insurmountable financial challenges as the reason for the planned closure in August. They cited mounting debt, deferred maintenance on the historic 3,250-acre campus in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and declining enrollment.