Sweet Briar College { First Year }

Parents Welcome Every Weekend!

Dear First Year Parents,

Since graduating from Sweet Briar in 2004 I have lived in many different places from the mountains of Virginia to Leadville, Colorado, to Las Vegas, Nevada and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For each place I have moved it was important that my family could picture where I was, what my environment and my home looked like and to have met some of my friends who supported me in each of those places. It helped me share my experience with my family and it allowed my family to be a part of my life when I was physically very far from home.

At Sweet Briar we know how important it is to be able to picture your daughter in her new home away from home. It’s important for you as parents and it is equally important for your daughter. We invite you to come visit your daughter at Sweet Briar during a weekend that works best for both you and her. To encourage you to join us and stay on campus to get a feel for life at Sweet Briar the Elston Inn is offering a special discount for any family’s first stay on campus.

So choose a weekend that works for you to head our way. Maybe there’s a play you want to see or a dance concert performance that would be fun. If your daughter is an athlete you might choose a weekend when she has a home game or meet. Or there might be a fun festival or museum in the local community that you would enjoy checking out together. We encourage you to create a weekend that both of you would enjoy whenever it works best for you to make it happen.

The weekend of October 25 is one weekend the college is highlighting as a possible visit to campus – Fall into Family Fun. The weekend will host Hunter Trials at the Riding Center at 8am, a field hockey game at 11:30am, a soccer game at 2:30pm and in the evening there will be a choir concert at 7:30pm in Memorial Chapel. If this sounds exciting to you join us. If there’s something else you’d rather do there is no pressure to attend this specific weekend. We’re simply highlighting it as a possibility to consider. We will also highlight a weekend in the spring – February 28. More details to come.

We look forward to having you join us on campus.


Ways to Wellness

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Transitioning to college living and the independence that comes with it is difficult for most first year students. As mid-terms approach students feel overwhelmed with their academic work; they need help but don’t know who to turn to; they feel as if they don’t have any time to take care of themselves. This fall the Health and Wellness Center is offering a series of programs with the goal of helping students care for themselves outside of the classroom so they can bring their best self to their academic work.

Ways to Wellness is a series of six information sessions. Students can attend one or all of the sessions depending on what topics interest them. The first session in the series will be lead by Dori Baker, our campus Chaplain and Director of the Office of Spiritual Life. Dori will be introducing Five Doctors of Wellness or five daily practices for taking care of oneself and relieving stress in our over busy lives. The five doctors are Dr. Sunshine, Dr. Good Food, Dr. Love, Dr. Om and Dr. Gratitude.

If you’ve heard your daughter voicing concern about how much she has on her plate encourage her for take time for herself and get the help she needs. You might want to suggest she attend one or all of the Ways to Wellness sessions, or encourage her to check in with her ARCHES Instructor to help connect her to one of the many resources on campus that can positively guide her to success.

Each of the Ways to Wellness sessions will take place on Monday evening from 8pm-9pm in Pannell 202 unless otherwise noted. Pre-registration is requested for individual sessions. Students can contact the Health & Wellness Center at 434-381-6140.

TODAY – October 13, Five Doctors of Wellness – Dori Baker, Office of Spiritual Life

October 20, Introduction to Yoga – Mark Magruder, Dance Department *Meet in dance studio in Babcock

October 27, Wellness & Nutrition: It’s NOT just about FOOD – Bonnie Kestner, Wellness Counselor

November 3, Know Yourself to Take Care of Yourself – Joan Lucy, Leadership Certificate Program

November 10, Let’s Get Active: Getting Started – Kate Macklin, Outdoor Program

November 17, Let’s Explore: Substances 101; Questions about family friends or self – Betty Blevins, Health & Wellness Center

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Step Singing Tonight!

Most all students on campus are looking forward to Step Singing this evening. Step Singing is a tradition that takes place in the fall and spring semesters to celebrate the seniors’ final days on campus. All students gather in the upper quad. The soon-to-be-alumnae sit on the Senior Steps in robes that have been decorated and passed down from alumnae and are surrounded by the other classes. Each class will collectively lift up their voices to demonstrate class spirit, tease their rival class and glorify their sister class and the seniors.

The first years met last Thursday evening to brainstorm how they could rewrite popular song lyrics for their class to sing. Tonight the class of 2018 will begin the step singing tradition by singing a song dedicated to their own class followed by a friendly rivalry song directed at the sophomores. The juniors class, their sister class, and the senior class will receive songs of admiration from the first years. The spotlight on the first years ends with a Holla-Holla from the seniors. The sophomores and juniors follow their songs and the evening ends with a Holla-Holla to Sweet Briar.

This is the first all campus tradition to take place this year. It is a beautiful event where the classes come together to celebrate each other. Ask your daughter what songs her class sang and how they changed the lyrics. She can also tell you what her class did when the sophomores sang their song to the first years. And if you don’t know what the Holla-Holla is it’s worth asking; although, she might not be able to tell you all the words yet. It comes with time.

Upcoming traditions include Founder’s Day (next weekend) and the Rock and Hitching Post fight (October 8).

First Full Week of Classes

The first week of college classes is always challenging. Students are navigating a new campus, meeting professors, being confronted with intimidating syllabi all while forming friendships and getting used to living with a roommate. This year’s first year students have been tested far beyond the maturity of their years and yet their resiliency is to be commended. Understandably there has been a full range of how they have processed the events of this week, but by week’s end we have pulled together as a community. Difficult and important conversations are taking place. The weight of responsibility as a respectful and intentional member of our community is very real for our students, faculty and staff.

Because of the positive experiences the Juniors and Seniors have had at Sweet Briar, the upper-class women are reaching out to the class of 2018 to share with them what SBC means to them and has to offer as a caring community.  On Tuesday, September 9 Juniors will host a mixer with the first years over lunch. The very same evening the Senior class has invited First Years to help them decorate their senior robes. Both classes are looking forward to these upcoming interactions and bonding with the newest members of our community.

Sweet Briar is resilient and continues to move forward. SGA elections will take place next week. If your daughter is interested in running encourage her to submit her platform by this Sunday evening at 10pm. If holding a position in Student Government does not interest her encourage her to learn about her potential class leaders by attending the open forum on Wednesday, September 10 and to vote on Thursday, September 11.

The class of 2018 has a lot to look forward to.

Orientation 2014

Orientation 2014 – it’s hard to believe today is the last day of orientation and tomorrow classes begin. For most our new students, tomorrow will be their fist day of college! A very exciting day! We just gathered together as a campus for Opening Convocation, the official beginning of the academic year followed by an ice cream social in front of the Sweet Briar House to welcome President Jones and his wife Jan.

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 As expected, the vast majority of orientation focused on getting students prepared academically – learning about academic resources on campus, registering for classes, meeting their adviser, etc.  Orientation provided them with an understanding of the library, computing on campus, and even provided a mock classroom experience. Students visited the library to gain an understanding of the vast number of resources available to them and met the incredibly helpful staff. The mock class defined the expectations of a Sweet Briar classroom. Students met with their advisers one-on-one to sign up for their fall classes. Ask your daughter what classes she’s most excited about and why?

 Orientation is centered around academic preparation, but students were able to relax and socialize at the evening events. Orientation creates a space for students to get to know each other and make connections with their classmates, upperclass women, faculty and staff. New students first big welcome to campus and our community was Learning on the Land. Invite  your daughter to share with you what group she was in and who her group leader was. A program titled, I Am Sweet Briar, shared personal stories of upper class women and showcased the vast assortment of identities that  Sweet Briar women claim. And Step Up, a bystander intervention program, offered tools for students to positively engage with their peers and be a part of creating a community that is open and respectful.

Cathy's group    monument hill

Tonight your daughter will sleep well. We’ve kept them busy during orientation and tomorrow classes begin, their first day of college! Congratulations – to both you and your student. We’re thrilled she is here and are looking forward to helping her be successful.

Looking Forward to the Arrival of the Class of 2018!

Welcome first years and parents! We are very excited that you are joining the Sweet Briar community on Saturday! We have been eagerly preparing for your arrival. Orientation is going to be a lot of fun and a helpful transition into the community. The finalized orientation schedule can be found on our website. You can also follow orientation on Twitter: @orientsbc


This blog is intended to keep parents of first-year students connected to the campus community. I will post articles that you may find interesting and highlight events that assist with first year transition. Who knows, you may even find your daughter’s photo from a campus event here. I do encourage you to post comments or questions if you would like more information about topics. You can subscribe to this blog by entering your email address on the right side of the page. You will receive an email every time a new blog entry is posted.

Welcome class of 2018 to the Sweet Briar community. We are so pleased to have you join us.

Exam Stress Relief

Students have a wide variety of options for combating exam stress! Check out this flier with the highlights of the exam stress options. Also, the library will be open 24/7 until exams are complete.

Stress Relief Spring 2014 flyer

Exams Start on Friday

Here is an important memo from the Dean’s Office in regards to exam protocol. Reading Days occur on Wednesday and Thursday followed by exams on Friday-Wednesday. Good luck on your exams!


TO: All Faculty and Students

FROM: Amy Jessen-Marshall

RE: Final Exam Protocols

Please be reminded of the following protocols related to final examinations:

Electronic media (including cell phones, ipods, and PDAs) and book bags may not be taken into exam rooms.
All exams requiring accommodations must be delivered to and taken out of the Dean’s Office.
Study materials may not be left out in any exam building. A “baggage room” will be designated near the distribution room. Any study materials, book bags, etc. brought into the building must be stored there during the time a student is taking an exam.
It is considered a violation of the Honor Code to discuss any exam during finals week. Even comments like “Dr. Loboschefski’s exam was really hard,” are inappropriate.

Library is Open 24/7 until May 14th

No excuses not to study! The library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until May 14th in preparation of exam week.

Spring 14 Exam Week flyer

Planning to Do a Summer Internship?

The Registrar’s Office would like to make sure students that are planning to pursue a summer internship for credit receive the following information to ensure they will receive academic credit. Please contact the Registrar’s Office directly if you have any questions.


If you are doing an internship this summer for credit, you must submit the Internship Proposal Form to the Registrar’s Office before you leave campus for the summer. This form and other information about internships can be found on the Career Services website – http://sbc.edu/career-services/internships.

Keep in mind that summer internships count as part of the maximum of 18 credits of summer credit that can be taken and counted toward your degree. A total of 12 credits of all internship and/or practicum experiences can be counted toward your degree regardless of whether taken during the academic year or during a summer.

If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Debbie Powell