student life

June 2014 E-newsletter

Dear Sweet Briar students and families:

Congratulations on completing another year at Sweet Briar to all upperclasswomen! New students,  we look forward to welcoming you personally in August and having you here on campus as part of this community.

Sweet Briar parents, you have an important role in your daughter’s experience at the College, and we appreciate your support and connection.

Ongoing communication with you is important to us. Our e-newsletters are intended to keep you informed about the College during the summer and winter. This edition focuses on summer activity at Sweet Briar and some advance planning information for new and returning students. You will receive additional e-newsletters in mid-July and early August.

Please feel free to contact us at any point while you are away from campus. If you are not sure which College office to call, please contact Co-curricular Life at (434) 381-6134 and we will be happy to assist you.

Enjoy the summer and best wishes —

Cheryl Steele signature
Cheryl Steele
Dean of Co-Curricular Life



Academic resources and support for new students
y:1 information
The ARC — more services for students!
News from the Honors Program
Important financial aid information
SBC health and wellness services
Summer news from Career Services
Fall into Family Fun Weekend
Leadership Certificate Program
Buzz the Briar for answers to your questions
Shuttle service FAQ
Inter-club Council announces 2014 awards
Save these dates
Thanks from the Parent Steering Committee
Endstation Theatre Company


Academic resources and support for new students

ARCHESFletcher Hall entrance
First-year students and new students with 20 hours or fewer of transfer credit will be part of an exciting new initiative: ARCHES. Designed to assist you in making a successful transition to college life at Sweet Briar, ARCHES is a two-semester, pass/fail program that will earn you a half-credit each semester. It’s also a graduation requirement. You will register for a 50-minute session that meets once a week. More information will be forthcoming and is available at

Learning differences
If you have learning challenges and feel you would benefit from special accommodations, please forward to the Dean’s Office a copy of your testing (not your IEP), which should have been done within the last three years. Upon your return to Sweet Briar, you will be contacted for a review meeting of that documentation and steps for accommodations will be put into place. You can also bring documentation with you, if that is more convenient. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Dean’s Office at (434) 381-6205.

Academic advisors
You will receive information regarding your academic advisor upon your August arrival and check-in. You will then meet your advisor on Monday, Aug. 25. Advisors assist with course selection, registration and serve as a general resource for any academic questions you might have. Each advisor is a member of the faculty and is looking forward to working with you.

Academic Advising Questionnaire
The Academic Advising Questionnaire can be found at Please be certain to complete it fully and candidly. This document will be shared with your advisor prior to your arrival and needs to be completed by Aug. 1.

Language Placement Assessments
These tests in Spanish, French or Latin are tools used for pre-determining your language proficiency and subsequent course choices. If you have had any language background and wish to pursue that language at SBC, you need to complete this test, which should only take you 5-10 minutes. If you have not had any languages or wish to learn a new language, you do not need to take this assessment. All placement tests can be found under the Orientation/New Students/Academic Forms tab and need to be completed by July 15.

Plagiarism Assessment
This ‘test’ needs to be completed prior to your arrival. It, too, can be found under the Orientation/New Students/Academic Forms tab. Upon completion, you will immediately know your score. If you pass, there is nothing further for you to do. If you don’t pass, you will be expected to attend a review session at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6 (location TBA). You will receive follow-up details from the Academic Resource Center (ARC). There is no cost for using the ARC.

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y:1 informationStrength in What Remains book cover

The 2014 y:1 program is underway! Placement in y:1 classes should be finished by mid-June and all students are welcome to join the Facebook discussion of the Common Reading.

Common Reading
Tracy Kidder’s latest work, “Strength in What Remains,” was selected as the 2014-2015 Common Reading. Copies will be sent to all members of the incoming class, so check your mailbox in June. Also plan to join us this October for the related special lecture by Deogratias Niyizonkiza, the protagonist of Kidder’s book, whose story of surviving the civil wars in Burundi and immigrating to America will be both inspirational and educational.

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The ARC — more services for students!

The Academic Resource Center, more commonly referred to as the ARC, will soon be relocated to the newly renovated Mary Helen Cochran Library. It is open six days a week with expanded hours for the 2014-15 academic year. In addition, we hired more student tutors to better serve you. This staff applied, was interviewed, selected and will go through a tutor training course. They are skilled in writing and in leading workshops in time management, note taking, test-taking strategies, etc. All students are welcome! In addition, each academic discipline appoints departmental tutors who are co-coordinated with the ARC.

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News from the Honors Program

Khirsten Cook ’15 is one of 10 Honors Summer Research fellows selected this year.We are celebrating the end of a busy and successful year in the Honors Program, marked by an important milestone. The Class of 2014 was the first class to graduate since the implementation of major changes to the program. These changes were intended to give students a more intentional four-year path leading to one of three options for Honors Program recognition at graduation, and to ensure that more students are able to pursue and complete a four-year honors course of study.

The results are in, and the Class of 2014 exceeded our expectations in many ways! Sixteen students earned Honors Program recognition at graduation, more than twice the usual number of honors graduates. Ten of those students also were awarded more than one type of honors recognition, earning both the Honors Degree and Departmental Honors in their major.

The Honors Summer Research Program is underway with 10 students, 12 faculty participants and a change to the weekly presentation format. Instead of the traditional research presentation usually given by faculty mentors during the summer program, we are experimenting with a more interactive approach, encouraging faculty to give lab demonstrations and tours of their outdoor campus research sites — literally taking us into the field! It should be a lively and engaging summer!

A complete list of 2014 participants and projects is available on the Honors Program website.

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Important financial aid information

Everyone who applied for financial aid for 2014-2015 should have received financial aid award packages in bright pink envelopes by now. Return all appropriate paperwork for funds you wish to accept; for example, loan request forms and campus employment applications. Most forms are located on our website. If you have misplaced the forms that were in your package, or if you are unsure of your financial aid award, go to mySBC to view your award and any items you may need to return.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that financial aid magically renews itself. Students must reapply each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); the website is There are many variables involved in determining eligibility but there is no way to know if you are eligible without applying.

**Summer break may be the best opportunity to dedicate time to applying for outside scholarships. There are scholarships for new and returning students, as well as those just graduating from high school. A reliable source to search is

We are here to help you navigate this process. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Our office hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; (800) 381-6156 or [email protected].

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SBC Health and Wellness Services

Summer is a good time to think about health insurance        
Each year, Sweet Briar, in collaboration with a consortium of colleges, selects a student health insurance plan (SHI) and makes it available to students. This plan, which covers a full year, is available for purchase at the beginning of each semester and covers many services, including prescriptions and diagnostic studies that may be ordered at SBC Health and Wellness Services or at another local provider, urgent care or emergency department. The policy is cost-effective, comparable to the plans available in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) marketplace and meets all ACA requirements. Policy details and enrollment deadlines are available on the Gallagher Student Health Insurance website and through the Business Office at (434) 381-6200. If you are interested, you must enroll. It is not automatic.

Additional information, including an FAQ regarding our health and counseling services, can be found here.

All insured students need to provide SBC Health and Wellness Services with documentation of insurance. An email will be sent to each enrolled student to submit an online verification of insurance. Please look for it in your inbox.

Please note: If you have out-of-state Medicaid insurance, coverage does not convey in other states, unless it is an emergency (criteria vary). If you are currently enrolled in Medicaid or another state-subsidized plan from a state other than Virginia, we recommend you obtain the SBC student health insurance.

SBC Health and Wellness Services will work with each student to provide comprehensive and cost-effective quality care regardless of insurance status.

Visit our website for more information and read the welcome letter from our health and counseling services directors.

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Summer news from Career Services

Leslie Andrade ’14 completed an internship in public programming at Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, Va.Internships — The pathway to your career!     
Wondering where to find your Sweet Briar peers this summer? Perhaps they’re working as an art museum educator at the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, or engaging in a technical chemistry internship at Bend Research Inc. in Oregon. You might run into a Sweet Briar student on Capitol Hill as she serves as a congressional staff assistant, or perhaps you might see one at the University of Virginia doing an administrative internship with the College of Arts and Sciences. If you happen to be at Arkansas State University this summer, you might also encounter an SBC student working as an animal behavior and habitat research assistant. It is never too early to start thinking about how an internship can fit into YOUR academic plans and your career planning. To begin your internship adventure, visit

Student employment on campus

Barb Donelson, coordinator of Campus Student Employment, can help you connect with a meaningful campus job. If you plan to work on campus, please remember the following:

Keep an eye out for new job postings starting Aug. 1 on our website. New students who are interested in working on campus will have the benefit of attending a special information session during orientation.

Questions about working on campus? Contact Barb Donelson at [email protected] or (434) 381-6580.

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Fall into Family Fun WeekendFather and Daughter

Every weekend is families’ weekend at Sweet Briar, but the College is extending a special invitation to you to join us on Oct. 24-26 for our Fall into Family Fun Weekend. Events will include a library open house with tours, open houses in the Dean’s Office and Co-curricular Life, as well as athletics, performing arts and a Casino Night. All events are free of charge and open to everyone; meals are pay-as-you-go in Prothro, Daisy’s Café or the Houston Bistro. No need to register for the weekend, just come and go at your convenience!

If you opt to stay on campus at the Florence Elston Inn, your first stay during the academic year is available at a 50-percent discounted rate (subject to availability):

King — $78.00
Double Queen — $71.00
Single Queen — $64.00
Double Full — $66.50

We hope you will consider staying with us on campus whenever you decide to visit your daughter! Please contact the Elston Inn at (434) 381-6207 or visit their website for more information and reservations. This offer is available from Sept. 1-Nov. 20 and Feb. 1-April 30, depending on vacancy at the time of your request.

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Leadership Certificate Program

The Leadership Certificate Program is a three-year program open to all Sweet Briar students interested in exploring and developing their leadership skills. Students learn to lead with integrity through a program that combines academic and experiential learning and prepares them to become engaged and influential members of the world community. This year’s program will kick off from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30. Space in the program is limited, so please register online early. To learn more about the LCP, go to


Buzz the Briar logo

Buzz the Briar for answers to your questions

Buzz the Briar can help you navigate Sweet Briar College.

Ever have a question you just can’t seem to get answered? We can help! From understanding financial aid packages to submitting a work order and everything in between, Buzz the Briar can help students and parents navigate life at Sweet Briar. Simply email your question to [email protected] and someone will be back in touch with you soon.

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Shuttle service during college breaks

Before and following each College break, Co-curricular Life (CCL) offers a shuttle that will take SBC students to and from public transportation in Lynchburg: Amtrak (train), Greyhound (bus) and the Lynchburg airport (US Airways).

There is no cost for this service, but students must sign up in advance in order to participate. Information will be shared by CCL staff.

We provide this FAQ for your information and advance planning, particularly as reservations are made/tickets purchased.

Q: When will the shuttles run?
A: Fall return to campus: Sunday, Aug. 24 and Tuesday, Aug. 26.
Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 20-Saturday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 30.
Winter break: Thursday, Dec. 18-Saturday, Dec. 20 and Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Spring vacation: Thursday, March 5-Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 15.
End of the academic year: Tuesday, May 12-Thursday, May 14.

Q:  Where do the shuttles run?            
A: Trips are limited to the airport and the Amtrak and Greyhound stations in Lynchburg.

Q: How do students sign up for the shuttles?
A: An email will be sent to all students allowing them at least two weeks to sign up electronically at their own convenience. Reminders will be sent through other emails, such as weekly announcements by the Student Government Association.

Q:  Can students sign up late?
A: We try to accommodate those whose plans change. Requests for late registration will be received during regular office hours by the Office of Spiritual Life (8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday).

Q: Can students cancel their shuttle reservation?
A: Students can cancel their reservations as travel needs change. Cancellations can be made directly to the driver’s phone during established hours. The Office of Spiritual Life will also accept changes during regular business hours.
Students who do not sign up on time and/or do not cancel in a timely manner may lose the privilege of taking upcoming shuttles offered by CCL.

Q: Is there a cost for the shuttles?
A: CCL pays for the expense of the shuttle and the driver. Because those who take a “real-world” shuttle are expected to tip a dollar or two per bag, we encourage our shuttle takers to tip our driver accordingly.

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Inter-club Council announces 2014 awards

Professor Rob AlexanderInter-club Council (ICC) would like to congratulate the winners from the Student & Club Recognition Awards Ceremony sponsored in late April by ICC and SGA.

  • First Year Emerging Leader — Tristin Burke
  • Second Year Emerging Leader — Megan Shuford
  • Student Involvement — Nina Rezai
  • Dedicated Service — Brittany Griffith & Jesse Schaaf
  • Enthusiastic Vixen — Mary Earnhart
  • Meritorious Service — Paint & Patches
  • Rookie Club of the Year — Help Save the Next Girl
  • Outstanding Community Service at SBC — BAM
  • Outstanding Community Service Outside of SBC — Bum Chums
  • Outstanding Program of the Year — GLOW
  • Advisor of the Year — Dr. Robert Alexander, BAM

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Save these dates

  •  Aug. 29-31, 2014 — Welcome Weekend. Plan to stay on campus your first weekend back — tailgates, bonfires and foxes: Oh My!
  • Sept. 26-28, 2014 — Founders’ Day Weekend

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Thanks from the Parent Steering Committee

A Sweet Briar education would not be possible without philanthropy. More than $7 million scholarship dollars were awarded last year. It is the value of a Sweet Briar education that moves parents and grandparents to stretch beyond tuition dollars and give to the Annual Fund.

Your gifts make an impact. Gifts to the Annual Fund support your daughter and others in student programming, scholarships and academic opportunities, to name only three. You can also designate your gift to the department of your choice to make an impact where it means most to you and your student.

The Parent Steering Committee thanks each family for their gifts to the Annual Fund last year, and would like to invite returning, new and incoming families to join the effort now. Make your best gift today to the Annual Fund.

Your gift not only goes to work for your daughter or granddaughter, it also demonstrates the importance of philanthropy to her. She will see the value in your support and will pay it forward to future Sweet Briar students.

Thank you!

For questions about the Parent Steering Committee, how gifts go to work, or to make a gift honoring your student, please contact Terry S. Nash, director of Reunion and Parent Giving, at (434) 381-6372 or [email protected].

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Endstation Theatre Company
Endstation Theatre Company began residency at Sweet Briar College in 2006 and went on to produce the company’s first show, “The Tell-Tale Heart and The Mind of Poe,” in a number of theaters throughout Virginia and as part of the Washington, D.C., Fringe Festival in summer 2007.

The company produced its first Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival (BRSTF) on the College’s grounds in 2008, and the festival has expanded with each new season.

Endstation produces the only outdoor theater in the greater Lynchburg area, with Sweet Briar’s campus offering an ideal setting. Audiences can enjoy a picnic while watching an incredible story unfold before them. Each year, Endstation sets out to explore a different site-specific location, providing variety and excitement for its audiences. In addition to campus, this year’s locations include the following Lynchburg venues: Poplar Forest, the Old City Cemetery and the Academy of Fine Arts.

Information about the 2014 summer season can be found here.

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