Sweet Briar College to close … Staunton’s Mary Baldwin College partners with students, faculty, staff

Sweet Briar CollegeBy Lynn R. Mitchell

The news burst out Tuesday afternoon that Virginia’s Sweet Briar College in Amherst is closing effective August 25,2 015. They are financially unable to continue running the 3500-acrew campus in rural Amherst County (see Sweet Briar to close).

Stepping in to fill the void is our daughter’s alma mater, Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, that notified their campus of the sad news, and announced they had partnered with Sweet Briar to reach out to students, faculty, and staff and bring them into the Mary Baldwin fold.

A letter went out to MBC alumni and the public on Tuesday:

Dear Mary Baldwin Community:

I write to share news from the higher education community. Today, Sweet Briar College announced that it will cease operations effective August 25, 2015. I am deeply saddened by this news, as I know many of you will be as well. Sweet Briar is a venerable and historic college, long known for its academic strength and its commitment to the education and advancement of women.

We at Mary Baldwin extend our sympathy and offer our support to Sweet Briar faculty, staff, and students. We will assist in any way we can. Mary Baldwin College will provide a “teach-out” for current Sweet Briar students who would like to complete their undergraduate degrees in a women’s college environment, and Mary Baldwin staff will be on the Sweet Briar campus later this month to work with interested students on transfer details. A short news article about our agreement will be posted at www.mbc.edu/news shortly.

More information about Sweet Briar’s closure will be available at sbc.edu/transition.

I know that all of you will join me in reaching out to Sweet Briar to provide assistance and support. For those Sweet Briar students who choose to join our community, we will do everything possible to ease the transition and continue to facilitate personal and academic success.


President Pamela Fox

Sweet Briar College released the following:

The college has established arrangements with four universities, under which students may transfer through an expedited process. The schools are: Randolph College, in Lynchburg, VA; Hollins University, in Roanoke, VA; Mary Baldwin College, in Staunton, VA; and Lynchburg College, in Lynchburg, VA. In addition, Kettering University in Flint, MI, will expedite transfer applications for Sweet Briar engineering students for the Fall 2015 semester.

I visited the campus of Sweet Briar a couple of summers ago when my niece was taking a three-week UVa writing course. The campus was rural and rolling hills, and historic buildings and tree-lined lanes (see UVa Young Writers Camp … exploring the 3200-acre Sweet Briar College campus). It was stunning and soothing — an oasis in the Virginia countryside — and today’s news is devastating for alumni and those currently enrolled.

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One thought on “Sweet Briar College to close … Staunton’s Mary Baldwin College partners with students, faculty, staff

  1. […] Various facts offered by the university support the idea that Mary Baldwin either is or isn’t coeducational. The FAQ notes that two-thirds of students are enrolled in coeducational programs. Of course the college is also a member of the Women’s College Coalition. And when it looked like Sweet Briar was going to close, Mary Baldwin reached out to its students to offer the chance to enroll in “a women’s college environment.” […]

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