i just graduated from the most magnificent school on earth. i am head over heels in love with sweet briar college. it’s a gorgeous campus and it is the single most engaging environment with which i’ve ever been involved. 4 years just wasn’t enough. every single day i woke up on that campus and its beauty took my breath away. every day i went to class, i couldn’t believe how amazing the professors were [particularly advisor man] and how an all-women environment really does create such a wonderful atmosphere. goodness gracious i miss that place every single day.
my point here is not to wax poetic about my undergrad. my point is that i was reading an article about the slaves’ descendants. [ed. note: the school is a result of a 19th century virginia plantation built and worked on by slaves. the original family left a will creating a school for women.] president muhlenfeld made a comment in the article referencing a case that went all the way to SCOTUS brought by the college challenging the original will that specifically restricted enrollment to “white girls and young women”. in civil rights era virginia, the school wanted to extend enrollment to black women and since that was beyond the parameters of the will, had to file suit against the attorney general and commonwealth’s attorneys office [who fought it! how disgusting!].
being the good law student i am, i looked up the case [Sweet Briar Institute v. Robert Y. Button: 387 U.S. 423, 87 S.Ct. 1710] and was simultaneously astounded and totally not surprised. sweet briar has always been a type of visionary seeking a better world and it was just phenomenal to read the challenges the school faced by fighting an unjust and inappropriate issue. much has changed in the 40 years since this case, but i’m just amazed by my alma mater. it would have been so much easier to follow the crowd in rural virginia and not fight a suit all the way to SCOTUS. but clearly what is easy is not always right. that school always finds new ways to amaze me.
i love sweet briar college. i wonder if it’s possible to un-graduate?