So, this is what we know:
Webber International University, of Babson Park, Florida, has signed on to a document saying they are interested in Virginia Intermont College having a future, and more specifically, that they intend to be the accredited parent of Virginia Intermont moving forward, with a merger slated to be concluded by this coming July.
That’s what we know. That’s all of it.
Don’t read into it more than what’s there. It’s not a merger agreement; it’s a memorandum of understanding. The work has not finished; bluntly, the work is only beginning. There are plenty of things that have to happen in order for this memorandum to turn into an actual working relationship between two institutions (and potentially three, given that Webber International is also a parent of St. Andrews University as well). Mergers are hard. Cultures going from being different cultures with different purposes to one body with one mission does not happen easily.
But don’t read into it less than what’s there, either.
Until today, for everything happening behind the scenes, there were no public, tangible commitments from any entities with an interest securing Virginia Intermont’s future. Now there is such a tangible commitment – and not from a random outfit, but from a fellow teaching-centered, student-centered institution, from people who value what Virginia Intermont College has been – and what the College will be in the future.
Documents have been checked and double-checked. Signatures are on paper. The press release is out. There is a path forward.
This is the most hope Virginia Intermont has had in a long, long time.
Now, the heavy lifting begins.