Virginia Intermont sells all merchandise before closing

Virginia Intermont sells all merchandise before closing

BRISTOL, Va. - Jerseys. T-shirts. Socks. Bags. All of it needed to go.

Virginia Intermont College is preparing to close its doors for good, and that has some alumni grabbing for some final memories.

Colleen Bowman is a 2007 graduate. She came to the bookstore to buy a bag and to say goodbye.

"It's sad to see it going away, but to have a bit of mementos to take away knowing that the school isn't going to be here anymore," she says.

In spite of its 130 year history, the college couldn't overcome recent financial troubles.

"It's a shame, it's been a big part of the community here. A lot of kids from around here went here. I went here," Bowman says.

A merger between Virginia Intermont and Webber International University in Florida left many teachers out of a job and students to find a new place to finish out their education.

For Mary Lou Smith, it was more than a job. It was a career, a place that embodied her life's work.

She worked at the college for 57 years.

"It's sad, but I'm not hurting as much as the younger one's are, who have to have a job or who have families," she says.

Mary Lou doesn't need to go back to work. Other professors haven't been as fortunate.

"They've applied for different places, but I haven't heard from any of them because they are on and off campus like I am. Just run by to try to finish stuff," Mary Lou says.

She says the school's closing is more of an emotional time for its students., especially students who wanted to graduate with a Virginia Intermont diploma.

"It's like a funeral, and it is," Mary Lou says. "I haven't cried. I've teared up a few times, I haven't cried, but oh, there have been a lot of tears shed."

For teachers, students and alumni, the future is uncertain.

Most Popular