A College Founded on an Antebellum Plantation Digs Into the Pain of Its Past

How Sweet Briar Is Finally Remembering the Enslaved People Who Built—And Were Buried Beneath—Its Campus

Twenty years ago, an equestrian instructor at Sweet Briar College in rural Virginia stumbled over a stone in one of the horseback riding rings. It turned out to be a headstone from a forgotten cemetery. Sweet Briar College has been grappling over that cemetery’s meaning ever since.

There’s a long-standing equestrian tradition at Sweet Briar College, one that is touted in contemporary marketing brochures and on the college website homepage alongside its engineering program and U.S. News & World Report ranking. There’s also a long tradition of honoring the founder of …