5/26/15 Sweet Briar

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Just a few miles from Lynchburg, Virginia sits Sweet Briar College. It first opened its doors back in 1906.  It’s one of a few, accredited, all-women’s engineering schools.  In the entire nation.

Sweet Briar is scheduled to close this summer.

That’s both a travesty and a tragedy.

The news came without warning two months ago.

It was a shock given the school’s respectable endowment and steady stream of applicants.  The board says financial hardship drove the decision.  However, there are reports (here & here) suggesting there is more the public isn’t being told. 

That decision was so swift many have no place to go next year: students, faculty, or staff.

People throw around the term “academic diversity” like confetti at a parade.  But academic diversity isn’t just cramming every conceivable combination of people and viewpoints onto a single campus.

Schools like Sweet Briar serve an important role in our country.  Some are all-women.  Others, all-men.  There are historically black universities, and religious schools.  Many people want to study at schools that are one sex, one race, or one faith.

All are important.  All deserve protection.

We need people who are fiercely proud of their heritage, beliefs. and practices.

They’re a part of what makes our nation great.

There should be room for colleges like Sweet Briar.

We’re about to lose much more than just a school.

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