Part I provides an in-depth factual overview, beginning with the Sweet Briar College's founding in the early 1900s. The commentary then turns to the controversial decision to close and discusses the facts and legal theories of the case, the decisions by the circuit court and the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the eventual settlement that kept the school alive.

In Part II, the discussion shifts to the landmark nature of this case, not only for Sweet Briar College, but also for other Virginia colleges and non-profits around the country. The essay analyzes the legal questions arising from the case, including whether a Virginia corporation could also be a trustee, and, what were the Board's legal obligations in this case?