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Saint Paul’s College, in Virginia, Reportedly Will Close

Saint Paul’s College, a historically black institution in Virginia that has been struggling shore up its finances and regain accreditation, has informed its accreditor that it will close, the Associated Press reported on Sunday. The AP’s source for that information was Belle S. Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges. Officials of the college could not be reached over the weekend.

Nothing on the college’s Web site indicates a decision to close. An “urgent appeal to alumni and friends,” apparently posted recently, says the Board of Trustees is working diligently to secure the college’s future. The message gives fund-raising totals for April and May, and says the college is about $400,000 away from completing a campaign, begun last summer, to raise nearly $1.8-million.

The Commission on Colleges terminated the college’s accreditation in June 2012 but restored it on a probationary basis later last summer in an agreement reached in response to a court order. The college shut down its athletics program a year earlier to help ease its financial plight.

Last fall Saint Paul’s appeared to have found a merger partner and new owner in Saint Augustine’s University, in Raleigh, N.C., but the North Carolina institution decided last month not to proceed with the acquisition.

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