As scores of volunteers blanketed campus for Sweet Work Days, prospective student Katie Adams was among them. A rising high school junior, Adams, 16, traveled from New Hampshire to spend a week delivering water to paddocks, cleaning tack and washing horses at the Harriet Howell Rogers Riding Center.
Before Sweet Briar’s former board announced the College’s closing, Adams had toured campus with her parents and grandmother, Phoebe Defoe Adams ’52. She was immediately drawn to Sweet Briar’s engineering and riding programs, warm climate and friendly atmosphere.
That positive impression only strengthened as she followed the alumnae’s savvy Saving Sweet Briar campaign. When Adams read about the Sweet Work Days project, she wrote asking to be allowed to help. Her parents joined her.
While Adams was at the riding center, her father, Park, was reglazing windows at the Admissions House, and mother, Cathy, power washed walls around campus.
“With every stroke, I feel I’m bringing something back to life,” Cathy Adams said as her hose blew away years of grime from a balustrade near Memorial Chapel.
Story by Anne Lowrey Bailey, a Sweet Work volunteer and daughter of former Sweet Briar public relations director Janet Lowrey Gager. Photos by Meridith De Avila Khan. See also Anne’s related story, Alumnae work to make campus shine.