Students launched an effort to save Marian Court College from closing, but administrators said Wednesday they are sticking with plans to shutter the small North Shore school.
On Tuesday evening, students and faculty met with the Swampscott college’s board chairman, president, and attorney to discuss events that led up to the decision last week to close the school, which is facing financial problems.
President Denise Hammon has said she does not want to close Marian Court, but called its challenges “insurmountable.” Hammon on Tuesday offered to ask the Sisters of Mercy, which oversees the school, to allow a one-week extension on the closure, students said in a statement.
But a spokeswoman for the Sisters of Mercy said Wednesday that the college is still set to close June 30.
“As the college moves through the sadness of the closure process, we also need to celebrate all that has been accomplished at Marian Court,” said the spokeswoman, Susan Carroll.
The effort to save the school comes after Sweet Briar College, a women’s liberal arts college in Virginia slated to close in August, announced that it will remain open at least one more year. That school’s plight has been deemed by many as a sign of what many small colleges with declining enrollment and limited means could face.
Marian Court students circulated a nine-page petition that includes reasons why students love the school and suggestions about how to recruit more students.
Another said the Swampscott college is the only school on the North Shore where students can go to school full time at night, where classes start late enough to fit with work schedules.
The petition asks the board to stay the decision until the end of the first session in the fall so students can have time to recruit students, find donors, and “enhance programming to correspond with student needs.
Students said they have collected more than 700 signatures and raised more than $1,000 so far via an online campaign. Students said they will return donations if the school closes.