Sweet Briar, A private rural college near Lynchburg, Virginia, will hold its final commencement on May 16 and cease operations Aug. 25, the end of the summer session, after more than a century of educating women.
Students were shocked when they heard the announcement that Sweet Briar would close its doors for good at the end of the current academic year because of “insurmountable financial challenges,” blamed on the decreasing amount of women interested in single-sex education and the pressures on small liberal arts schools.
In an interview with TriCities, senior Caitlin Daniel explains, “we’re hurting, but we’re insanely proud of this school that we went to, this school that we chose. For most of us, we came to this campus and realized it was perfect for us — this is where we grew up. This is where we prospered.”
The college’s board of directors voted unanimously Feb. 28 to shut down after a yearlong study of its future failed to find any viable paths forward.
Sweet Briar will be the third liberal arts college to close in Virginia.Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville and Virginia Intermont College in Bristol faced a similar demise form financial pressures.