One of the best liberal arts colleges in the country will close for good at the end of the semester.

Officials from Wells College announced the school will cease to exist once the class of 2024 collects their diplomas.

iStock via Getty Images
iStock via Getty Images

Wells College, which is in Aurora, had been educating some of the best and brightest minds for over 155 years. Notable alumni include Pleasant Rowland, founder of the American Girl dolls, as well as former First Lady Frances Cleveland.

Wells College Board Chair Marie Chapman Carroll and President Jonathan Gibralter released the shocking joint statement Monday.

"It is with profound sadness that we announce the forthcoming closure of our beloved Wells College at the end of this academic semester," the two wrote. "... [W]e have determined after a thorough review that the College does not have adequate financial resources to continue."

The administrators shared that small colleges nationwide have struggled in recent years to save themselves from going under. Unfortunately, none of the solutions were enough to save Wells College.

Harbucks from Getty Images
Harbucks from Getty Images

The school will partner with teach-out partner Manhattanville University to let the remaining students finish out their college career. That university is also considering integrating Wells College into a legacy agreement so its history can continue within their community.

The institution is also looking into developing housing solutions for the Wells students.

The school entered similar teach-out agreements with Excelsior University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Keuka College, Le Moyne College, Mercy University, and SUNY Brockport.

"The Board thanks all of our alumnae/alumni and friends who have supported the institution since its founding in 1868. Your support and generosity have allowed Wells to continue its mission of helping students think critically, reason wisely and act humanely," the announcement concluded.

Since opening its doors as a women's college 3 years after the Civil War ended, Wells College has cultivated a reputation for its strong liberal arts curriculum. The school went co-ed in 2004.

The school began experiencing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic and announced in 2020, "If New York State continues its mandate that our campus remain closed through all or part of the [2020] fall semester, Wells simply will not receive enough revenue to continue operations."

It's sad to see such a legendary institution close its doors forever.

Farewell, Wells College, and thank you for the memories.

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