Thursday, April 16, 2015

As written previously, I am on a mission alongside thousands of alumnae, current students and friends of Sweet Briar College, to overturn a decision made by less than 2 dozen people to shut down the school effective August 2015.

Yesterday, the Amherst County (where Sweet Briar is located) lawyer Ellen Bowyer, brought her case before Judge James Updike to rule on whether or not it was legal for current President Jimmy Jones & Board of Directors of Sweet Briar to continue to ask for donations & large donor gits to the college, while simultaneously their non-disclosed plans were underway to shut the school down.

Bowyer asked the judge to remove President Jones, the Board and place a permanent injunction on the closure. The judge granted a 60 day injunction and also stated that the officials at Sweet Briar can longer continue to dip into donated funds to operate the school with the sole purpose of closing.

Of course, we all would have loved the judge to hand President Jones & the Board of Directors a one-way bus ticket off campus....   But, we view his decision as a win for our cause and justification that Sweet Briar College should & will remain open.

One of the more telling parts of the day in court, was hearing testimony from expert witnesses plainly stating that the President & BoD rushed to judgement in making their decision to close Sweet Briar -- including a forensic financial accountant and a higher ed consultant lauded for turning around schools similar to our situation.

The most shocking testimony came from Teresa Pike Tomlinson, class of 1987, and currently the mayor of Columbus, GA. She testified that on February 11, 2015, a Sweet Briar official flew to Columbus to have her sign the document stating that she would be leaving $1 million upon her death to the college. 3 weeks later on March 3rd, 2015 a local Lynchburg, VA journalist was on her office telephone line looking for a statement from her regarding Sweet Briar closing -- she was in disbelief !!

What really ruffles my feathers are the words from previous Sweet Briar president Jo Ellen Parker, 2009-2014. She had yet to make any public comments about the news of Sweet Briar's closure until Monday, when she sided with President Jones and the BoD. It's truly disturbing to read her own words from her resignation letter on April 29, 2014 and then her comment just under a year later (read below).....   There is NO DENYING, Parker paints 2 very different pictures and begs asking the question, WHY???

*For all up-to-the-minute info and to pledge support check out the Saving Sweet Briar website and follow updates on social media -- #SaveSweetBriar

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