Virginia secretary of agriculture and forestry to speak at Sweet Briar College on Earth Day

Sweet Briar campus mountainsVirginia’s secretary of agriculture and forestry, Bettina Ring, will speak at Sweet Briar College at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 22, in Murchison Lane Auditorium in the Babcock Fine Arts Center. The event is part of the College’s “At the Invitation of the President” series and its Earth Day activities and is free and open to the public.

Before the lecture, the Sweet Briar community is invited to a farm-to-table dinner outdoors on Quad Road, with food provided by Meriwether Godsey. Please note that this part of the event is not open to the general public.

Ring was appointed state forester by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2014. She has extensive experience in forestry, having worked at the American Forest Foundation, where she oversaw the the largest and oldest sustainable woodland program in America. She has a long history in the conservation and forestry sectors, having spent 14 years at the Virginia Department of Forestry, leaving the agency in 2001 as deputy state forester.

In the years following her Department of Forestry service, Ring held various leadership positions in nonprofit organizations focusing on natural resources management and conservation, including the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, The Wilderness Land Trust and the Bay Area Open Space Council.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry and wildlife from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in business administration from James Madison University.

“Women’s leadership takes many forms,” says Sweet Briar President Meredith Woo. “Not only is Bettina an excellent role model of leadership in public service, but Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity to cement the College’s role in — and commitment to — environmental sustainability.”

In its first year, the “At the Invitation of the President” series brings women of consequence to perform and speak at Sweet Briar. The first event, in January, brought the Vivaldi Project to campus, an all-women period instrument ensemble presenting a 17th- and 18th-century string repertoire. In February, “Code Girls” author Liza Mundy was the featured speaker.

Ring’s visit to Sweet Briar is supported by the Sweet Briar College Center for Sustainability and the Judith Haskell Brewer Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.

The event is free and open to the public. Because there is limited seating, the College asks that attendees reserve their seats by picking up tickets in advance at The Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center on campus. Tickets will be available at the front desk from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day beginning on Wednesday, April 11. You may also call the Inn at 434-381-6411.

Directions and Parking

The Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center is located just past the gate house on Sweet Briar’s campus. Babcock Fine Arts Center is located on Sweet Briar Drive just past the Fitness and Athletics Center. Click here for directions on getting to campus. Click here for a printable map of campus. There is ample parking near Babcock.

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