Sweet Briar Offers Its Resources to the Amherst Community

Besides preparing young women to succeed in the modern world for more than a century, Sweet Briar College, throughout the year, hosts a number
of public events, including lectures, performances, a Writers Series and salons with fellows from the Virginia Center for the
Creative Arts.

Readings and lectures are frequently open to the public. Here, novelist Barbara Kingsolver addresses a packed house in Murchison Lane Auditorium during the 2013 Julia B. Waxter Environmental Forum.

The College also owns an impressive collection of art. The Anne Gary Pannell Center is the College’s principal art gallery. It is also a venue for lectures and classes as well as other educational programs and public events. This main gallery is supplemented by two satellite galleries, one located in the lobby of Benedict Hall and one adjacent to the theater and dance studios in Babcock Fine Arts Center. In addition to hosting exhibitions, both Babcock and Benedict galleries also serve as spaces for talks and social events. Learn more about the galleries at sbc.edu/art-galleries.

Inside The Anne Gary Pannell Center

Sweet Briar is also a great place to explore the region’s history. Twenty-one of its campus buildings – designed by Ralph Adams Cram —are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sweet Briar House, though not generally open to the public, is home to the College president, and has been on the Virginia Landmarks Register since the 1970s. A cabin, located behind Sweet Briar House, is the only extant architectural remnant of the enslaved African-American community at the Sweet Briar estate. It is one of only a few such structures still standing in the region. The Slave Cabin is open to visitors for limited hours during the academic year. The Sweet Briar Museum maintains a permanent collection of historical decorative arts, photographs, archival documents and publications, clothing, jewelry and memorabilia associated with Sweet Briar. It is open by appointment only. Visit sbc.edu/museum to learn more or schedule a visit.

Community members are not only invited to attend Sweet Briar College theatrical productions, but actors from the area are often welcome to audition for roles. Here, a production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” directed by William Kershner, and performed in Murchison Lane Auditorium.

Of course, the College’s beautiful 3,250-acre campus is well-worth a visit for prospective applicants and the public alike. The elegant and comfortable rooms at the Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center make the inn a great option for a trip to the College or for any number of day trips in the area and the full-service conference center hosts events from meetings to weddings to family reunions.

The Anne Gary Pannell Center

Like the inn, the dining hall, Prothro, is also open to the public. The College’s catering partner, Lynchburg-based Meriwether Godsey, is committed to sustainable practices and nutritious, made-from-scratch foods. Breakfast features fresh bakery items and a daily special entrée. At lunch and dinner, enjoy the salad bar, soups, comfort foods and dessert. If you’re in the mood for coffee, a smoothie, a sandwich or a snack, visit Daisy’s Café, also located in Prothro Hall. For menus, hours and rates, visit sweetbriardining.com.

Sweet Briar’s innovative curriculum prepares students to be problem-solvers and to learn by doing, and its academic calendar begins and ends with intensive three-week sessions designed to give students an opportunity to dive deeply into topics that interest them and facilitate active learning. To learn more about the College, its curriculum and its admission requirements, visit sbc.edu/admissions.

The Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center

For a complete list of public events, visit sbc.edu/featured-events.

This content was provided by Sweet Briar College.

The Historic Sweet Briar House

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