Sweet Briar College president to be absent from final commencement, cites possible disruption

Sweet Briar College's president has told students he will not participate in what is scheduled to be the school's final commencement because he says there are threats to disrupt the event if he attends.

In a statement Friday, President James F. Jones Jr. said he reluctantly decided against participating in Saturday's commencement. He said the decision came after he was informed about unspecified disruptions by some faculty members and alumnae.

Jones and Sweet Briar's board announced in early March that the 114-year-old women's college would be closing in August because of what they called "insurmountable" financial challenges.

The announcement shocked and angered many, including faculty and graduates who say the school hadn't examined all its options.