Celebrating the reprieve that the students of Sweet Briar College got this week keeping their college open for one more year brought home the strength of the relationship between people and their colleges. A board making such a life altering decision in a vacuum should have known that the backlash would end up in court because people who affiliate with a college expect to have a relationship for life.
In many ways, a college is like an extended family where people continue their relationship long after graduation, returning for reunions and contributing money. This week alumni got to match their money with their words, pledging to raise twelve million dollars to keep their college alive.
As this year's rising high school seniors look at colleges for the fall of 2016, they too are looking for a lifelong college home and friendships that will last a lifetime. They are looking for relevant learning, growth opportunities, friendly mentors, friends, a safe and comfortable environment and the internships and placement support they need to enter a profession. The success of their college, in part, depends on the professional success that allows them to become generous future donors.