Al Stroobants Foundation renews promise to fund tuition for two local Sweet Briar students in 2019-2020

Posted on January 16, 2019 by Janika Carey

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For the second year in a row, two women from Lynchburg or Bedford, Campbell or Amherst counties in Virginia will be able to study at Sweet Briar College at no tuition cost, thanks to the Al Stroobants Foundation. The grant will fund two merit- or need-based scholarships of $21,000 each, underwriting full tuition and fees for two incoming first-years from Virginia for the 2019-20 academic year.

To be eligible, students must apply for admission at by April 1 and include an essay. For students wishing to be considered for need-based aid, they should also file the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and include SBC’s FAFSA code 003742. A scholarship committee will select the recipients from all eligible applications.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the Al Stroobants Foundation for renewing this generous gift that will recognize two deserving students from our local area, where we have so many promising scholars,” said Sweet Briar College President Meredith Woo.

The first two such scholars to enjoy the inaugural Stroobants Scholarship in 2018 were Juliet Hatch, of Forest, and Jacquelyn Vari, of Lynchburg.

Daisy Ceremony Jacquelyn Vari ’22 receives her daisy during orientation at Sweet Briar in 2018.

“It was such a privilege to receive that scholarship because it steered me in the right direction,” said Vari, who graduated last year from E.C. Glass High School. “I started looking into Sweet Briar only after my scholarship coordinator told me I should apply, and that ended up being one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received. Letting Sweet Briar have a focus on bringing ladies from our close communities together is important so that we can build a strong foundation and support network in our area, and I was glad to be a part of the renewal of that!”

Sweet Briar College’s academic reset last year reduced tuition by 32 percent to a price tag of $21,000 for tuition and fees, making it competitive with Virginia’s flagship universities. The reset, which took effect in fall 2018, also included an overhaul of the curriculum. A modern core curriculum focused on women’s leadership in the 21st century replaced general education requirements to reimagine the liberal arts.

The Al Stroobants Foundation was founded in 2006 by well-known Lynchburg philanthropist Alphonse Stroobants, a native of Belgium who came to the United States in 1954. Stroobants founded Belvac, formerly Belgium Tool and Die, in 1962 and served as its president and CEO until 1990. He later created a trust for cardiology services at Lynchburg General Hospital, which was named the Stroobants Cardiovascular Center in his honor. Stroobants died on July 1, 2010. His foundation continues to fund need-based programs in the counties of Bedford, Campbell, Amherst, and the cities of Bedford and Lynchburg, and supports charitable, scientific, literary and educational activities, including scholarship programs and the arts.

For more information, email or call 434-381-6142.