March is Sweet Briar Forever Month

Posted on February 15, 2016 by Jennifer McManamay

#SweetBriarForever Photo by Margret Wood ’13

March 3 is coming and everybody in the Sweet Briar College sphere knows what that means. It is the one-year anniversary of the first day of the College’s new life, the day a former administration said it would be shut down, and the day a community rose up to save a beloved institution.

The College will commemorate the events of one year ago not just on that day but throughout March, which has been designated Sweet Briar Forever Month.

Several events or observances will be held to reflect on what this community has recently endured, but more importantly, to rejoice in Sweet Briar’s rich heritage, its renewal and the future before it.

We’ll start by spreading the word via social media — and that’s where we need your help: During the month of March, we’re asking our followers to submit their favorite photos of Sweet Briar using the hashtag #SweetBriarForever. We’ll select some of the images to create a collage or feature on Facebook and Instagram.

For a little extra fun, if you’re planning to be on campus, consider recreating a snapshot from your time at Sweet Briar, and we’ll feature these “then and now” photos as well.

March 3 will also launch a Day of Giving campaign to raise $500,000 toward a goal of $1 million by March 10 — the 188th birthday of Indiana Fletcher Williams, Sweet Briar’s founder. This week, we will show our gratitude toward “Miss Indie” for her bold vision to educate women. This $1 million will go a long way to jumpstarting Next is NOW, our campaign to raise $30 million by June 30 for the Sweet Briar Fund, the College’s annual giving fund. We know we can do it, but only if you’re with us! Look for more details — and some surprises — about the Day of Giving campaign from the Office of Alumnae Relations and Development.

Here’s a quick at-a-glance look at what else we’re planning for Sweet Briar Forever Month:

Thursday, March 3

  • All day – Day of Giving: Please help us reach our goal of $1 million by Indiana’s birthday on March 10.

  • 11 a.m. –Service of reflection and renewal for students, faculty and staff in Memorial Chapel

  • 11:30 – Alumnae gathering in quad

  • 11:40 – Dedication and ceremonial planting of Sweet Briar roses, between Gray and Pannell

  • 11:50 – Ringing of the bells, bell tower

  • Noon – Special celebration lunch in Prothro; open to all (staff, faculty and alumnae dine as guests of the College)

Friday, March 4

  • Video message from President Phillip C. Stone on Facebook

Thursday, March 10

  • Indiana Fletcher Williams’ birthday

Thursday, March 24

  • Noon – “Women Work: A Century of Female Leadership at Sweet Briar,” a lecture by Lynn Rainville, historian, author and director of the Tusculum Institute, Johnson Dining Room in Prothro

Over lunch in Prothro, learn about the role of female leaders in the creation of the College and its growth through the Great Depression, two world wars, and the cultural shifts of the 1960s. From President Mary K. Benedict to beloved science professor Connie M. Guion, and from riding instructor Harriet H. Rogers to President Martha Lucas, female professors and administrators have led the College with distinction.

Wednesday, March 30

  • 4:30 p.m. – Honors Colloquium: “The Fight for Sweet Briar College,” by Amherst County Attorney Ellen Bowyer, 1948 Theater in the Fitness and Athletics Center 

Thursday, March 31

  • 6-8 p.m. – Dell Party!

Enjoy free live music, delicious comestibles for purchase from popular local food trucks, and excellent company. This event is open to the general public. Members of the Amherst community are especially welcome. More information is coming on this event.

  • 8 p.m. — Music & Poetry of Place, 1948 Theater, FACInstrumentalists and composers use music and poetry to explore the meaning they experience in special places on Sweet Briar’s campus. For more information, email Jeff Jones at

All month

  • 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – Sweet Briar Museum exhibits
    Whitley Gallery – “Simply Justice and Fair Play: Civil Rights at Sweet Briar College 1960-1964,” open March 1-June 5. Chronicles Sweet Briar students’ involvement in the civil rights movement.

    Alumnae Gallery – “ ‘Perhaps hereafter it will delight you to remember this’: A Brief Introduction to the History of Sweet Briar College” and selections from the fall 2015 exhibit depicting the response to the closing announcement, “We are Sweet Briar: A Community Rises,” remain on view.

  • Women’s History Month

We haven’t forgotten that March is Women’s History Month, so keep an eye out for news stories and social media postings on that, too.

For more information about Sweet Briar Forever Month, please email or call (434) 381-6262.