Incoming Sweet Briar College President Phillip Stone Provides Additional Detail on Transition Process

by vixenSBC


Phillip Stone, the expected new President of Sweet Briar College, provided more details today about the transition process underway in the wake of Monday’s ruling by Bedford County Circuit Court Judge James Updike that ratified a settlement agreement that will keep Sweet Briar College open and result in Stone’s appointment to serve as the college’s president.

In a related development, the Amherst County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution today congratulating the college for its continued operation and expressing “its desire to consider ways in which the county can work collaboratively with the college to develop mutually beneficial strategies designed to help Amherst County and Sweet Briar College best meet the needs of the communities they serve.” As part of its resolution, the Board of Supervisors designated June 23, 2015 as Sweet Briar College Day.

Stone released the following statement through Saving Sweet Briar, Inc., the nonprofit group formed to save Sweet Briar College.

“I’m not president yet so I cannot act in an official capacity but I do want people to know that I am very actively engaged in transition activities. As part of this process, I am having a number of important conversations with incoming board members, faculty and others.

I very much appreciate the work of Saving Sweet Briar in converting pledges to donations and also working on many other fronts to help facilitate the transition. This has included informal outreach and engagement with faculty and development of helpful information for returning students. I have asked them to continue this work so we have a running start when I officially take office.

Until that time, Saving Sweet Briar will continue to be a resource to provide information for students through the saving sweet briar website (

I encourage current staff at Sweet Briar College to do everything they can to assist in the transition and to work cooperatively with Saving Sweet Briar in providing support and information to returning students.

In the coming days, as I can share more details about the transition operation, I will do so. In the meantime, please know that much work has been done and will continue to be done on many fronts to begin the rebuilding process.  I know that development and successful implementation of a sound plan to rebuild Sweet Briar will earn my incoming administration the growing confidence of faculty and current and prospective students who can trust that their Sweet Briar careers and education will never be interrupted again.”


About the Author


Saving Sweet Briar Timeline

March 3, 2015 - Sweet Briar College announces Spring 2015 will be final semester, school will close on August 25, 2015.

March 3, 2015 - Sweet Briar College alumnae galvanize on Facebook, creating working groups to work to halt closure.

March 4, 2015 - launches in the early morning hours. Website begins accepting pledges midday.

March 6, 2015 - pledges exceed $1 million (with additional unconfirmed $1 million pledge that will later be confirmed).

March 6, 2015 - Troutman Sanders retained to fight closure. Read More

March 9, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. formally incorporated as a non-profit with seven alumnae appointed to serve as board members. Read More

March 11, 2015 - Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen sends letter to state Attorney General regarding the legality of closing the college. Read More

March 11, 2015 - Sweet Briar faculty join alumnae in fight to keep college open. Read More

March 18, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. begins accepting donations in the fight to save the college.

March 23, 2015 - Troutman Sanders sends letter requesting President and Board resign. Read More

March 26, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. hires Certified Fraud Examiner. Read More

March 30, 2015 - Amherst County Attorney, Ellen Bowyer, files suit against Sweet Briar College.

April 6, 2015 - Initial Financial Analysis concludes financial condition did not warrant closure Read More

April 12, 2015 - $5 million pledged to Saving Sweet Briar.

April 13, 2015 - Amherst Mayor sends letter opposing closure. Read More

April 15, 2015 - Judge Updike issues a 60 day injunction preventing the college from using funds solicited to operate the college to close it.

April 23, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. launches Alumnae Angels program to help students with financial concerns during transition and uncertainty.

April 29, 2015 - Judge Updike issues another injunction in one of the other legal cases preventing the college from selling assets for six months.

April 29, 2015 - Amherst County Attorney files Petition to Review with Virginia Supreme Court.

May 19, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. granted 501(c)(3) status, with tax exempt status applying to all donations made from the incorporation date of March 9, 2015.

June 9, 2015 - Virginia Supreme Court rules that Sweet Briar College can be a trust.

June 19, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. announces $21 million total pledged over 5 years.

June 20, 2015 - Settlement reached, keeping Sweet Briar College open. Settlement terms include 3 payments to college with the first $2.5 million due on July 2.

June 23, 2015 - Amherst CountyBoard of Supervisors names Sweet Briar Day.

June 30, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. delivers $5 million ahead of schedule to Sweet Briar College.

July 2, 2015 - President Stone assumes new position, new Board of Directors appointed.

September 2, 2015 - Saving Sweet Briar, Inc. delivers final settlement payment to Sweet Briar College, exceeding $12 million total.