U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to visit Sweet Briar on Founders’ Day

Greenhouse progress
A 27,000-foot greenhouse, seen here during construction in August, is among several agricultural initiatives Sweet Briar has undertaken.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Va., and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will attend Founders’ Day at Sweet Briar College on Friday, Sept. 20, along with Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring and Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Jewel Bronaugh.

The visit comes on the heels of significant investments the College has made into its agricultural enterprises, including two vineyards, an apiary, a 20-acre wildflower meadow for pollinator habitat (made possible through an EQIP Grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, NRCS) and a 27,000-foot greenhouse.

Warner and Perdue will be on campus from noon to 2 p.m. that day for an invitation-only agriculture roundtable and tour of the College’s agricultural operations, as well as the ceremonial ribbon-cutting for Sweet Briar’s greenhouse. Ring and Bronaugh will also attend Founders’ Day Convocation at 3 p.m. Ring will give the keynote address.

The roundtable discussion at noon in Mary Helen Cochran Library’s Reading Room will include local officials and area farmers, as well as members of the College’s leadership and faculty and students from the College’s environmental science program. President Meredith Woo will preside, with Ring moderating the panel.

Founders Day
The walk to Monument Hill on Founders’ Day 2017

A private tour of the College’s vineyards and apiary with Director of Agricultural Enterprises Nathan Kluger at 1 p.m. will be followed by the day’s highlight: the ceremonial ribbon-cutting at 1:45 p.m. at the greenhouse, located behind the Fitness and Athletics Center. Warner and Perdue will take media questions immediately following the ceremony.

The annual Founders’ Day Convocation at 3 p.m. in Murchison Lane Auditorium in the Babcock Fine Arts Center is followed at 4 p.m. by the traditional walk to Monument Hill, where students, faculty and staff will lay daisies on the founders’ graves. A short service will be held at the monument.

Other Founders’ Day events include a sunrise walk to the Slave Cemetery at 7 a.m., a community dinner for Sweet Briar students, faculty, staff and alumnae, and a book signing with alumna and author Anna Chao “Chips” Pai ’57 at 7 p.m. A complete schedule for Founders’ Day is available at sbc.edu/founders-day.

For more information, contact Rachel Pietsch at rpietsch@sbc.edu.