Good Saturday Morning

I hope that especially those of you who live in the Midatlantic region are safe and warm.  

Below are a few articles on Sweet Briar, STEM, Liberal Arts, and more, as well as reminders for events. 

Please make sure you check all the segments for interesting articles.  I would like to point out an article on internships in the ‘Submitted by Members of the Sweet Briar Community’ segment.  Check it out! 

In addition please read the Sweet Briar “Talking Points” in the Sweet Briar News section. Great news!  So far Sweet Briar received over 1,000 applications which is 60% more than in the past four years. And 32 new students (20 returning and 12 either new or transferring students) will be added to the Spring semester!

Published today is a great article on ‘The One Thing That Saved Sweet Briar College Could Be What Keeps Women’s Colleges Alive’ which you can find at the end of Sweet Briar News articles.  A great read!

And finally, please don’t forget to sign up on Alumnifire, which is an alumni run social media platform to share and connect.


Hola! Hola!  SBC Swim Team

Vixen Swimmers Compete at Greensboro College

Sweet Briar “Talking Points”

SWEET BRIAR TALKING POINTS for use by Sweet Briar volunteers                                    January 15, 2016

The closure announcement on March 3, 2015, had a direct impact in the lives of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, and on the college’s status with educational associations, foundations, individual donors, athletic relationships – on every aspect of Sweet Briar!

 Three lawsuits were entered attempting to block closure: by the Amherst County Attorney; on behalf of the faculty; and on behalf of the students; all were settled on June 22, subject to certain funding requirements.

 Between March 3 and June 22, alumnae mobilized via Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. to raise funds and provide a communications platform, resulting in the commitment of $28 million in pledges from more than 7,000 donors, and the collection of more than $12 million in cash, enabling the initial required payment of $5 million on June 23 and producing an additional $7 million in two payments prior to September 2, 2015.

 The College opened on schedule August 26, with a new Board that had been seated as part of the June 22 settlement and a new President elected on July 2 by the new Board. By early September, all senior administrative positions had been filled, and support staff were employed to enable the College to function effectively. Currently, the College is in the process of recruiting and hiring several permanent positions.

Fall on-campus enrollment was 236 degree-seeking students, including 24 first-years and eight transfers; four of those are studying overseas in our Junior Year Abroad programs.

There is in place an aggressive program to recruit students that is expected to produce steadily increasing enrollment. Goals include transfer students, some international students, and 200 first-year students annually. More than 400 Alumnae Admission Recruiters (AARs) are supporting the recruitment effort.

For spring term 2016, on-campus enrollment will be larger than in the fall, a rare occurrence in higher education. Twenty former students will return after spending a semester at another institution as a result of the closure announcement, and 12 first-time students are either transferring from another college or attending college for the first time – clear evidence that Sweet Briar continues to have strong appeal in the student market place.

Graph courtesy of the Briar Wire


While the critical final months of the fall 2016 recruitment cycle remain ahead of us, we are pleased to see positive indicators. The College was very well-received during its recruitment travels this fall. Both Sweet Briar staff and alumnae travel the country attending college fairs, high school visits and college nights. The number of prospective students completing interest cards this fall was extraordinary. Some of the prospective students will apply for fall 2017 or 2018, but many are interested in fall 2016.

This interest has helped to generate a large applicant pool for fall 2016. With two weeks remaining before the official application deadline, Sweet Briar has received more than 1,000 applications—more than 60% greater than the average of the past four years. In the months ahead, the college will continue to review applications, offer admission to qualified students, and process financial aid.

Accepted applicants have until May 1 to make a final decision, and we have a number of initiatives in place to be certain that they receive the information they need to give Sweet Briar College full consideration. Work remains to be done, but the early signs are positive for fall 2016.

The budget for FY 2015 was balanced because of the infusion of the payments from Saving Sweet Briar, Inc.; the budget for the current year (FY 2016) adopted by the Board is also balanced. This budget is dependent on achieving the Sweet Briar Fund (formerly known as the Annual Giving) goals.

After this four-year restoration to sustainable enrollment, the Sweet Briar Fund can maintain the College’s operating budget with gifts in the range of $3 million to $4 million each year, a reasonable level of support that is consistent with past performance.

President Phil Stone has prioritized meeting with as many alumnae groups as possible to answer questions and concerns. He encourages everyone to assist in recruiting prospective students and in fundraising.


 Congratulations to seven very well deserving alumnae who will be honored with the Distinguished Alumnae Award during this year’s reunion

Distinguished Alumnae Award Recipients
At its meeting on January 5, 2016, the Sweet Briar College Alumnae Alliance Council voted on the Distinguished Alumna Award recipient for 2016. Breaking with tradition, the Council voted to give the award to not one, but seven Sweet Briar alumnae: The seven women of the Board of Directors of Saving Sweet Briar, Inc.

The Distinguished Alumna Award honors alumnae who have brought distinction to themselves and to Sweet Briar College through outstanding accomplishment in a volunteer or professional capacity. These seven women made careers out of their volunteer efforts to save Sweet Briar in 2015; to honor them collectively with this award is a small gesture of gratitude in comparison with their tremendous dedication, passion and ultimate success in the preservation of the Sweet Briar College we all know and love.

Sarah Preston Clement ’75, Christine Davis Boulware ’77, Sally Mott Freeman ’76, Jo Ann Soderquist Kramer ’64, Ellen Ober Pitera ’93, Tracy Anne Stuart ’93, and Brooke Linville ’04 will be honored during Reunion weekend, June 3-5, 2016. Please applaud their special leadership!

A return to Sweet Briar

Sweet Briar sees highest number of new applicants in 50 years


Sweet Briar receives record applications, increases Spring enrollment

Sweet Briar named 2016 BRAID Affiliate


Sweet Briar College named affiliate of nationwide diversity initiative

Archery tournament draws more than 200 sharpshooters

Sweet Briar names VP for Finance and Treasurer


Sweet Briar celebrates Amherst through art

Sweet Briar Showing Sweet Results Post-Governance Crisis

Future of Sweet Briar College is looking up

Musicologist explores relationship among music, the natural world and environmental awareness

‘Art for the People’ opens in Pannell Gallery

The One Thing That Saved Sweet Briar College Could Be What Keeps Women’s Colleges Alive

Sweet Briar Day gatherings

In the Annapolis, MD area


Cape Cod


Loudoun County, VA

Congratulations (again) Makayla Benjamin (SBC ’18) for bringing home the blue for not only SBC but for the USA from the AIEC World Jumping Finals in Marburg, Germany! We had a lovely Sweet Briar Day reception at Creek’s Edge Winery in Loudoun County, Virginia with great turn out! Special Hollas to Julie Hildebrand Nelson and Rebecca Moats Miller for their Hunt Club leadership and to Suzanne Liscouski and Jan Benjamin for all the support.



Roanoke, VA

Roanoke area SBC alums had a fabulous Sweet Briar Day. We enjoyed sharing our stories, yearbooks, photos and other memorabilia with each other. A great time was had by all!!


Richmond, VA

On January 10th, Richmond Alumnae celebrated Sweet Briar Day at Deep Run High School. Alumnae attended along with prospective students and parents. Marcia Thom-Kaley gave a fantastic and reassuring update on admissions for the spring semester and coming year. Katie Criag ’16, current President of the Student Body, facilitated a professional panel comprised of alumnae who gave excellent insight into the benefits of attending Sweet Briar and how the college prepared them for the world. Panelists included Katie Webb, ‘70; Debbie Jones, ‘84; Angela Grisby Roberts, ‘03; Lauren Guyer Thomas, ‘09. Marcia then held a break out session for prospective students and parents in attendance. The event was enjoyed by all and several applications were picked up by prospective students. Thanks and “Holla” to our panelists and special guests.12573181_552529651573449_7068444939774929617_n

President Stone visiting Redwood, CA alumnae group

Thank you to our fabulous President Stone. He is funny, eloquent, articulate and just perfect. Thank you! The stories were unbelieveable. Holla Holla!— at The Bay Club.


Holla Holla! A great success. Our raffle raised $1325 – all of which goes to Sweet Briar from the San Francisco Bay area SBC Club. Thank you all for your support!




         The January edition of The Briar Wire – a news bulletin sponsored by the Alumnae Alliance and produced by Alumnae Relations and Development Team – is out.


The Alumnae Alliance is requesting that all alumnae sign up on Alumnifire.  Alumnifire is an alumni run social media platform to share and connect.

Below are instructions on how to connect and articles with more information on Alumnifire.

Getting started with Alumnifire




Submitted by Members of the Sweet Briar Community

By Annamaria Lichtenberg

SPY Magazine mentions cow tipping at Sweet Briar – (check out the tuition prices)

Submitted by Sarah von Rosenberg

Relevant internships—as far back as five years earlier—boosted employment prospects significantly increasing the interview rate by 14%.

More Helpful Than a Business Degree: A Summer Internship

Submitted and written By Margaretta Colangelo

What’s  your Entrepreneurial Dream?

By Rhoda Harris

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond



From College to Career: Q&A with the Career Center’s Everette Fortner –

Balweg: The importance of the Liberal Arts course as I found it

The Proof Liberal Arts Colleges Need?

The 2016 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Chief Academic Officers

‘Beyond the University’ Awarded AAC&U Ness Prize

The Amazing Science of Olive Oil

At 50 years, college’s J-Term shows staying power

Philosophers, Welders and the Public Trust

Universities smart to accept jobs challenge

The arts enhance educational excellence

In defense of a liberal arts education

In Defense of Useless Degrees

UB aiming for more job-friendly liberal arts degrees

Academic breadth in a liberal education

Jobs in Shanghai are scarce for liberal arts students

ART MATTERS: Reflections on the definition of ‘art’

An Attack on Liberal Arts?  UM will lay off 27 people, reduce 192 full-time positions, by end of June


Australia Begins the Push for STEM Curriculum Early On with National Innovation and Science Agenda



NASA Fellow to speak at Pasadena ISD Stem Fair

Clemson programs help female, minority STEM students succeed

Women must fully realise their potential to curb climate change

Hasbro, IBM blunders show sexism is still alive and all too well

STEM Gender Gap Widened by Harassment, U.S. Representative Claims

How the job market is about to get even tougher for women

How the job market is about to get even tougher for women

STEM Subjects are Becoming More Appealing to Female Students

11 Franchises That Need To Gender Swap To Give Ladies Their Chance To Shine

5 Apps Designed By Women For Women

Technobabble: Sexism in the tech industry is in more than just Silicon Valley

Women in STEM: Bridging the gender gap in technical careers

Twenty-nine women from STEM-focused “Step IT Up America” headed to State Street Boston

Rooting out sexism

Science Ed Picking Up STEAM In Unlikely Setting

Hutchinson Group Urges Women Into STEM

Program seeks girls for STEM


New Center Seeks Best Practices for Increasing Women of Color in STEM Fields



Women in Manufacturing and Case Western Reserve University Partner to Produce Leadership Lab for Women in the Manufacturing Industry


Johnson & Johnson Teams with Rutgers to Advance Women’s Education in STEM Fields

Women breaking through into the field of engineering

Letter from Davos: STEM skills gap is pretty serious stuff

Welcome to the future: Where a robot is more employable than a woman

Leadership Lab is set up to provide women in manufacturing with vital learning opportunities

SHEROES to become ‘Women Career Destination’ in technology

Broaden, Elevate STEM Conversation, Female Tech Exec Advises

Plymouth needs more women engineers and scientists

Female IT leaders speak out from inside the cultural revolution happening in STEM

These STEM initiatives are inspiring women and girls around the globe

KPMG’s US boss gave us 8 pieces of advice for women looking to get promoted at work

Sun Lakers support AAUW STEM conference for young women

NJIT’s Women in Computing Society Volunteers at Nearby STEM Academy for CSEDWeek

SBIR Women Developers Got Game

Wesleyan Hosts Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics


SUNY Poly projecting 25 percent enrollment growth by 2020

High-achieving, low-income students connect with USC

Recruiting Column: Which colleges are the right fit?

Recruiting Column: Which colleges are the right fit?

7 Best Practices For College Career Fair Success

Whistleblower Lawsuit Accuses ITT Tech Of Defrauding Government, Using Deceptive Recruitment Practices

Whistleblower Lawsuit Accuses ITT Tech Of Defrauding Government, Using Deceptive Recruitment Practices



Ohio State-Lima to recruit in Fort Wayne area

Engineering academies see successful first semester

$2M campaign aims to boost UNM’s image


MUCKENFUSS: UC pushes door open for state students

College Finances

Illinois Budget Impasse Halts Student Scholarships

Illinois paid lottery winners before college students


Thousands Apply to U.S. to Forgive Their Student Loans, Saying Schools Defrauded Them

Dickinson State athletics strives to financially keep up with competition

Dickinson State University athletics tries to make most of limited budget


How to Legally Ditch Your Student Loans

How to Legally Ditch Your Student Loans

Women in Higher Education

This Is A First For Women’s Education In Afghanistan

Afghanistan to Build Its First Women’s University in Kabul

What Future for Women in Chinese Higher Education?

For Women, Higher Salaries Mean Greater Health Concerns

Survey: 21% of undergraduate women have been sexually assaulted in college

10% of Female College Students Were Sexually Assaulted Last Year

Ontario Colleges’ Saudi Arabia Campuses Exclude Female Students

Premier should have known Algonquin was running men-only campus, says faculty union

Premier should have known Algonquin was running men-only campus, says faculty union

In Academia, Women Earn More Degrees But Hold Fewer Positions

Women are postponing child-bearing, promoting themselves


Studies Show Women Are Having Children Later In Life





College and Farming

Northark taking part in local farm to table movement


Colleges and Sustainability

UNH study: U.S.Colleges significantly reduced carbon emissions


Colleges where freshman usually return (Sweet Briar needs to be on this list…..)

National Collegiate Retention and Persistence-to-Degree Rate

Eduvation Spotlight: Muhlenberg president John Williams talks diversity, liberal arts’ viability

Spring OCR withers as companies begin to recruit in the fall

University of Phoenix must produce records

UNC Board of Governors postpones meeting, thus delaying protest against them

NCCU makes pitch for new student union

The 9 Things That Are Wrong With The College Application Process

More data can make college less risky


Why We Still Need Ethnic Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies





D.C. Metro Area

January 24th, 2015


Kari Shipley ’76 has a request to all alumnae:  Next time you buy water in bottles consider saving the bottle caps for CAPS OF LOVE, an American charity that funds children’s wheelchairs.  Please remember that the bottle caps must be separated by grade. Thank you!




  1. Debra Elkins '93 says:

    Monika – fantastic job as always. This is wonderful. THANK YOU for compiling “all things Sweet Briar!!!”. I love getting the Vixen Watch in my email every weekend. It brightens my day to see Sweet Briar’s successes every weekend.


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