Saving Sweet Briar delivers on $12 million promise

Saving Sweet Briar Inc. has made its third and final payment to Sweet Briar College, fulfilling its obligations under a mediated settlement that prevented the school from closing on Aug. 25.

The College has confirmed receipt of the $3.643 million payment, which brings the total amount of Saving Sweet Briar’s contributions to $12.143 million by Sept. 2 as required under the June 23 agreement. The settlement followed an attempt by the former administration to shut down the school. In June, the alumnae-led group, Saving Sweet Briar, successfully negotiated an agreement to keep Sweet Briar open under new leadership, which took control on July 2.

“September 2 is a day to celebrate — together,” said Mary Pope Hutson, chair of Saving Sweet Briar’s Major Donor Task Force, in a statement released Sept. 1 by the nonprofit group.

“At twelve noon Eastern Standard Time, ring a bell if you have one, and let’s show the world our colors — a sea of pink and green! And please share our story of tenacity and determination. We, the alumnae of Sweet Briar College, have preserved this unique institution of higher education to empower future generations of young women — just as it empowered us.”

Sweet Briar President Phil Stone agreed that the occasion calls for ringing the bells in the College’s iconic tower.

“Not only is this a significant gift itself, but it represents the culmination of extraordinary efforts by Saving Sweet Briar Inc. to save the College from closing,” he said. “September 2 will always be remembered as the day Saving Sweet Briar demonstrated again the reality of the claim that at Sweet Briar College, the impossible is just another problem to solve!”