Sweet Briar College to close after 114 years

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Sweet Briar College To Close After 114 Years


An all-women, private school in Virginia is shutting its doors after more than a century.

Sweet Briar College, which opened in 1906, announced Tuesday it will close indefinitely at the end of the academic year because of "insurmountable financial challenges."
The students were told in a private meeting with the school's president which left many students stunned.

"Everybody's having a difficult time with it; students, professors. I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss my sisters. I'm sorry," one student said.

"I completely broke down and I started crying and it was very shocking to know the school, my home, had to end like this."

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the school's board of directors voted unanimously in February to cease all operations after a year-long study yielded no solution.

President James Jones Jr. explained not enough students are applying to rural schools and even fewer want to attend an all-women's college.

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Sweet Briar College to close after 114 years
People Sitting in front of the Library, 1993
SWEET BRIAR, VA - OCTOBER 25: Scenes from the Sweet Briar College October 25, 2006 in Sweet Briar, Virginia. It is an all girls college that has been educating women since 1901. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
Chung Mungs 1992
Library Stacks, 1939
Student Galloping, circa 1950
Sweet Briar College girls having lacrosse practice in Sweet Briar, Virginia, April 1951. (Photo by Peter Stackpole/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
SWEET BRIAR, VA - OCTOBER 25: Scenes from the Sweet Briar College October 25, 2006 in Sweet Briar, Virginia. It is an all girls college that has been educating women since 1901. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
SWEET BRIAR, VA - OCTOBER 25: Scenes from the Sweet Briar College October 25, 2006 in Sweet Briar, Virginia. It is an all girls college that has been educating women since 1901. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
Student Using the Card Catalog, 1971
Susanna Strassburger, 1935
Girders for the New Library Wing, 2013
Dana Wing Architectural Sketch 1, 1964
Chung Mungs 1993 (3)
QVs 1965 (1)
Bum Chums 1990 step singing
Guests and Refreshments at Cronin's Retirement Dinner, 1998
Tau Phi 1942 (1)
Student in the Browsing Room, 1990 (1)
Chung Mung - Tau Phi Softball Game (3)
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Alumni expressed their shock and sadness on Twitter after hearing the news.

One user said, "A piece of me is dying. Devasted @Sweetbriaredu is closing"

Another tweeted, "I am STUNNED, it's taking all my courage not to burst into tears right now...Why didn't we know this was happening"

The decision isn't just affecting students.

In a Facebook post, a wedding and events company explained it was, quote, "starting to get calls from panicky couples that had their weddings booked at Sweet Briar College." The business went on to explain that it will do everything in its power to help find another venue.

The troubling news even touched a teacher in Ohio, who tweeted, "Stunned and heartbroken at the announced closing of Sweet Briar College, the result of dangerous trends in higher ed."

Several local colleges plan to open their doors to Sweet Briar students next year.

President of Sweet Briar explains the board's decision:


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