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.
A Virginia lawmaker and groups of parents and students are hoping the Governor and First Lady keep their hands and noses out of their cookie jars. Delegate Richard Bell wants schools to be able to raise money through bake sales-or sales of other products that some call “junk food”-on school property. But that would remain prohibited if Governor McAuliffe vetoes a measure that may or may not compete with the First Lady's prominent focus on nutrition.
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?
The arts have a unique ability to embrace complexity; to hold a variety of ideas at once. They can foster exploration not always possible through other routes. That’s the idea behind the Islamic Worlds Festival at Virginia Tech’s Center for the Arts, which opens next month.
"There’s such a cultural clinging to tradition that is both admirable and sometimes problematic, but that’s in every culture; if you hold too strongly to tradition."