Welcome to Sweet Briar, Virginia’s own little ‘pink bubble.’ With our large campus, close-knit community, and long history, there are always things to do here. As part of one of the first traditions that I have become a part of, this past September we celebrated Founders’ Day. The celebration actually extends to two days. The first, on Friday, begins early in the morning. Students volunteer to help clean up the campus and leave it beautiful – that is our Sweet Day of Service. We repainted the post office, washed all the stairs, picked up trash, all while having a good time. That afternoon was the second part of Founders’ Day weekend – the actual ceremony. Like with most other schools, the students from the freshman class are given ‘Bigs’ or Big Sisters. The whole purpose of the ceremony is walk with your Big up to Monument Hill and place a daisy on Daisy Williams’ grave, the daughter of the co-founder of the college, and for whose memory the college was started. We honor her and her family’s memory on this day, for without them, the college would probably not exist. This year, however, rainy weather impeded us from making the procession up Monument Hill to the Fletcher-Williams family cemetery. Instead, we held the celebration in the chapel. It was really nice; we had several students from the senior class speak to the student body, and then we all walked up to the altar and placed our daisies there.
On Saturday, the students are allowed to show off their dance skills with the Founders’ Day Dance, which was held in the Upfield Church House of the school’s Fitness Center. Even though Sweet Briar is a women’s college, male guests are more than welcome on campus, and the night was filled with fun and dancing. There was a live band, photo booth, and even a chocolate fountain. My friends and I danced the night away, and by the end my feet were more than complaining.
Sweet Briar College has many traditions and events that I have come to learn about and be a part of, and even more that await in the following years. The Simple Gifts Scholarship has given me the wonderful opportunity to be a part of this amazing community. I may have just finished my first semester, but I can’t wait to see what the next few years have in store for me at the ‘pink bubble.’
Laura Patlan is a 2012 graduate from Sampson Early College High School and is studying archaeology at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia. Though only in her freshman year, she has already made plans to study abroad and take full advantage of the resources her college has to offer.