On the heels of the announcement last March that Sweet Briar College would close due to “insurmountable financial challenges,” I wrote a brief post about alumnae efforts to keep the college open. They launched the #SaveSweetBriar campaign and set up a crowdfunding site in an attempt to raise $20 million toward a goal of $250 million to keep the college open.
Over the weekend, Virginia’s attorney general announced a deal to keep the college open as long as the #SaveSweetBriar campaign bring $12 million to the table — $2.5 million of that by July 2.
The Chronicle of Higher Education follows up on the weekend’s developments with a cautionary story this morning. The jubilation over Sweet Briar’s reprieve “is tempered, however, by uncertainty about what will happen next,” writes Steve Kowolich of The Chronicle. “The college, on a 3,000-acre campus near Lynchburg, Va., now plans to reopen in the fall, but the extent of the trauma caused by the decision to close it — and the subsequent fight to keep it open — is not yet clear. Meanwhile, the college still faces the same enrollment and revenue challenges that prompted the decision to shut down.”
Crowdfunding may not have saved Sweet Briar, but it played an effort in helping the college get a reprieve.