Sweet Briar College president to skip commencement

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SWEET BRIAR, Va. (AP) — Sweet Briar College's president has told students he will not participate in what is scheduled to be the school's final commencement because of what he says are threats to disrupt the event if he attends.

In a statement issued 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 within the last 24 hours of the threat of 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.

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