College announces nearly 300 students and counting, Junior Year programs to return

In its third board meeting in 12 days, the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors met via teleconference yesterday to continue taking steps toward ensuring the success of the historic women’s college.

In just six business days under new leadership, Sweet Briar has nearly 300 new and returning students committed to enroll this fall. Returning students include the Student Government Association president, each of the class presidents, while the first-year class will include Presidential Scholarship candidates and new applicants.

“Not surprisingly, we are getting our very best students back,” said Sweet Briar College President Phillip Stone. “These are students that have many choices, and they are choosing to come back to Sweet Briar. The nearly 300 students who have indicated they will return give us our new starting point. We intend to move up from there.”

Upon the president’s recommendation, the board voted unanimously to recall Sweet Briar’s Junior Year Abroad programs from Hollins University, pursuant to the terms of Judge James W. Updike’s order allowing for the temporary transfer. The College will work with Hollins on an orderly transition of the Junior Year Abroad programs for the benefit of students and all involved, but the programs are expected to return to their home base at Sweet Briar, Stone said.

Sweet Briar College’s Junior Year in France program is the oldest coeducational intercollegiate study abroad program in Paris and has been administered by Sweet Briar since 1948. The College’s other study abroad programs include Junior Year in Spain and semester or academic year programs at St. Andrews University, as well as programs at institutions around the world.

The board approved Tom Connors to serve as interim chief financial officer of the College. Connors previously served as vice president and treasurer of Sweet Briar from 1986 to 1995, among other distinguished professional positions. Connors was serving on the newly elected Board of Directors, but will step down during his tenure as CFO.

The board set 2015-2016 tuition and fees to remain unchanged from the 2014-2015 year, at $47,095. Stone emphasized that the College will honor the most recent financial aid provided by Sweet Briar College to current students who return. For accepted first-years, the administration is working to expedite the review of financial aid applications so that quick decisions can be made.

Additionally, the College announced special dates for the upcoming school year, including Convocation on Aug. 26, first day of classes on Aug. 27 and Founders’ Day Weekend on Sept. 25-26.

Stone and the members of the board pledged to continue working diligently to create a vibrant and flourishing liberal arts college for women that will last for the next 114 years and beyond.

“What we have accomplished in this first week is truly remarkable,” Stone said. “The best is yet to come.”

The board will continue to meet weekly via teleconference and has scheduled a retreat on campus Aug. 14-15.