Sweet Briar Board of Directors welcomes three new members with strong ties to the College

Posted on August 09, 2021 by Dana Poleski

This summer, the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors elected three new members: Michael Elliott, PharmD, Senator J. Chapman Petersen and Norma Valentine ’93. Each new member has a distinctive tie to Sweet Briar and its vision and values.

Dr. Michael Elliott
Michael Elliott earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Master of Science in health administration from the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia. He is senior vice president and chief transformation officer for Centra and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Elliott envisions a future for central Virginia where communities work together to become the healthiest region in the state. Elliott lives in Lynchburg, Va., with his wife Lashelle and their three children.

Senator Chapman Petersen
John Chapman “Chap” Petersen is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Virginia Law School. He and his wife Sharon live in Fairfax City, Va., with their four children and own a law firm specializing in business law, commercial litigation and property rights. Senator Petersen has served as a Virginia State Senator since 2007, representing central and western Fairfax. He chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

His grandmother graduated from Sweet Briar College in 1935, as did her sister a year later. In 2016, Senator Petersen was the first state official to publicly oppose the decision to close Sweet Briar and advocate for a reversal of the initial decision.

Norma Valentine
Norma Valentine was born in Richmond, Va., and attended Sweet Briar with her twin sister, Nancy, Class of 1993. She has been on Sweet Briar’s Alumnae Alliance for five years and is the co-chair of operations. Valentine has over 20 years of experience in real estate and began her career in Richmond then moved to Wellington, Fla. She owns a horse farm in Aiken, S.C., and shows in the amateur hunter division. She splits her time between Aiken and Beaufort, S.C., and Wellington, Fla.

“With Sweet Briar’s thriving sustainability initiatives, award-winning equestrian program and focus on the health and wellbeing of our community, this is an exciting time to welcome these three key members to the board,” says President Meredith Woo. “I look forward to working with them as we continue to grow the College and connect with our local community and Virginia’s agriculture and equine industry.”