Colleges & Universities

Alumnae Rally for Returning Sweet Briar Students

Mar 16, 2015
Photo: Hawes Spencer

Alumnae of Sweet Briar, whose board voted to shut down the 114-year-old women's college at the end of the summer, are brewing a fight.

On Sunday, however, they turned their attention to embracing the students.


With bunches of daisies and words of encouragement, hundreds of alumnae lined the main road into campus in a Sunday afternoon show of support for students recently told they'd have to find a new college.

"Your alumnae sisters are fighting for you," said Terry Evans, class of 1974, welcoming students back from spring break.

Was Sweet Briar's Board Rash or Reasonable?

Mar 13, 2015
Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar College was founded in 1901 when Indiana Fletcher Williams left her entire estate, including the Sweet Briar Plantation, to found an institution in the name of her deceased daughter, Daisy. 114 years later, the school unexpectedly announced its closure – sending shockwaves through alumnae, academia, and Amherst County.  Did the board act prudently, or did it move hastily? 

Sweet Briar College

The news that Sweet Briar College would close after 114 years of educating women caught many by surprise. But to one veteran educator, it's the culmination of a financial disaster wrought by rising costs, changing tastes, and more affordable alternatives.

UVA Students Vote On Softening 1842 Honor Code

Feb 25, 2015
Photo: Hawes Spencer

For 172 years, the University of Virginia has had a rule that students caught cheating, lying or stealing get kicked out. In the 21st century, that seems harsh to some, and students are now voting on whether to change the rule. 

Critics say the University of Virginia has expelled 183 students over the years for lying, cheating, or stealing -- but not a single person has been kicked out for sexual assault. What's more, the penalty for violating the Honor Code is so strict that last year, only two of those brought to trial by the Honor Committee were convicted.

UVA Looks to History, Italy in Fixing Rotunda

Feb 23, 2015
Hawes Spencer

Just as Thomas Jefferson did nearly 200 years ago, restoration experts for the University of Virginia's Rotunda have turned to history to bring this iconic building into the 21st Century.

Besides launching a Revolution in government, Thomas Jefferson launched a revolution in education. When founding the University, he placed at center not a church, as then the custom, but a library. However, the book collection eventually outgrew the space, and a 1970s renovation let the school's governing body, the Board of Visitors, claim nearly half the central floor.