Virginia Intermont College Considers Closure — Horses Need Help!
April 16, 2014- Virginia Intermont College, a national leader in intercollegiate equestrian competitions, including the 2014 Intercollegiate Dressage Team National Champions, is considering closing it’s doors in July after a merger with Webber International University (Fla.) fell through on April 15.
The college’s President Clorisa Phillips released this statement today regarding the news:
“Virginia Intermont College and Webber International University have reached the joint and difficult conclusion that we do not have a viable model for merger in July. This deeply saddens the administration and the Boards of each school, as we have very high regard for one another and we both strongly believe in Webber’s goal of uniting small colleges in order to preserve their identities. Webber President Dr. H. Keith Wade joins me in expressing his personal disappointment and, importantly, in “applauding everyone at Virginia Intermont for keeping their attention precisely and appropriately focused on student success.”
Despite this decision, VI will complete the spring semester, keep scholarship support in place for the semester, and have graduation on schedule. We also expect to offer our 8-week summer session, which concludes on June 27. We have kept the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges informed of our situation, and we are grateful for the Commission consenting to the prior injunction remaining in place until July 1, which will support these accredited activities.
Due to this decision, we are moving with haste to guarantee accredited options beyond July 1 for our students who are not slated for graduation. We will also immediately call faculty and staff in to discuss plans for operating over the coming months. In the coming days we will take care of our students, address the needs of our employees, continue to work on our financial situation, and communicate with our partners and vendors. We ask for the space and time to do this important work. That is especially critical for our students. Therefore no interviews will be granted at this time.”
In addition to the potential school closure, the future of Virginia Intermont College’s equestrian program—including its Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Intercollegiate Dressage Association and American National Riding Commission teams—is also unknown. The Virginia Intermont College Equine Facebook page has a statement posted asking for monetary assistance for the college’s 65 horses.
“All right VI equine alumni, here is your chance to do something to help. As you may have heard, the merger has been called off and the school will be closing at the end of June. However, serious efforts are being made to transfer the equine program to another college. Dr. Patty, Lisa and Heather are all on board with the plan.
The issue now is caring for the horses until we can either transfer the program to a new school or close it if a new school can’t be found. To accomplish this we are now tasked with raising $100,000 over the next few weeks with every dime of it going to the feeding, shoeing and medical care of the herd. At the moment we have a plan that will accomplish this goal and allow for tax donations.
So open your hearts and your checkbooks and give back to the horses who are the heart of the equine program.
There are 12 horses that need to retire and need a nice place to serve as pasture ornaments until the end of their days. I will post a list of names of these great old teachers shortly.
To make a donation or arrange to take one of the retirees or anything else please contact Lisa or Heather at the Riding Center. Let’s do this for the horses!”
The Virginia Intermont dressage team most recently won the IDA National Championship (Va.) on April 13.