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Emory and Henry College

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Macte Virtute (Latin)

1836 (1836)

Undergraduate tuition and fees
30,326 USD (2015)

Motto in English
Increase in Excellence

$86.5 million

Acceptance rate
71.7% (2014)

Emory and Henry College

Private, liberal arts college

United Methodist Church

30461 Garnand Dr, Emory, VA 24327, USA

Notable alumni
J E B Stuart, Toni Atkins, George C Peery, Henry Carter Stuart, Sonny Wade


Emory and henry college 2015 campus drive thru tour

Emory and Henry College, known as E&H, Emory, or the College, is a private, coeducational liberal arts college located in Emory, Virginia, United States. The campus comprises 335 acres (1.36 km2) of Washington County, which is part of Appalachian highlands of Southwest Virginia. Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is the oldest institution of higher learning in Southwest Virginia.



Emory & Henry College is named after John Emory, a renowned Methodist bishop, and Patrick Henry, an American patriot and Virginia's first governor. The college was founded upon the principles of vital faith and civic engagement by Creed Fulton, a Methodist minister; Colonel William Byars; Tobias Smyth, a Methodist farmer, and Alexander Findlay, a Methodist businessman.

The foundation for Wiley Hall was laid on September 30, 1836. The Board of Trustees hired Charles Collins (1838–1852) as the institution's first president, with classes beginning in the spring of 1838, with 60 students enrolled.

The college closed its doors in April 1861 during the Civil War and was commandeered by the Confederate States of America in 1862, operating as a hospital until 1865. During this time the campus saw battle during the Battle of Saltville. The hospital was the setting of Lieutenant Smith's murder on October 7, 1864 by Champ Ferguson. After the war ended, the college reopened.

During World War II, Emory & Henry was one of 131 US colleges and universities that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

Today, the college comprises a student body population of approximately 1,100 and employs 75 full-time professors. Graduates of E&H have become scientific researchers, NASA engineers, writers, physicians, ministers, lawyers, educators and business people.


Located in the Virginia Highlands, the Emory & Henry central campus encompasses 168 acres (0.68 km2) and is surrounded by an additional 167 undeveloped acres in the village of Emory. The entire central campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Register of Historic Landmarks.


With many campus buildings dating from the mid-19th century, several major academic buildings are listed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings, including Wiley Hall, which was built 1838 and was used as a confederate hospital during the Civil War. In recent years, Emory & Henry has experienced a building boom, most notably with the construction of the James H. Brooks Field House, a major expansion of Byars Hall, and the construction of the Woodrow W. McGlothlin Center for the Arts.

Residence halls

Emory & Henry boasts modern and newly renovated campus housing. Among the residence halls are the newly built Elm and Hickory halls, which feature double occupancy rooms, each with its own bathroom. In the Emory "village" students enjoy Prillaman and Linden houses, modern residences that feature single and double occupancy rooms in a home-like setting. Other residence halls include Stuart Hall, Martha Washington Hall and Hillman Hall.


Academic buildings include McGlothlin-Street Hall which includes Emory & Henry's science programs as well as programs in education, political science, business and history. Historic Byars Hall was recently expanded to include classrooms, rehearsal spaces and office space for the Division of Visual and Performing Arts. The Hermesian and Calliopean rooms, which are home to the College's historic debate societies, have been restored to their early elegance. Students also attend classes on the main E&H campus in the Creed Fulton Observatory, Miller Hall and Wiley Hall.

Other buildings

Other campus buildings include Memorial Chapel, Kelly Library, the King Athletic Center, Brook Field House, Martin-Brock Student Center, Van Dyke, Emily Williams House, and Tobias-Smyth Cabin (a reconstructed log house which was home to one of the college's founders; now a museum and meeting place).


Emory & Henry College's liberal arts academic program is based upon a required four-year core curriculum of history, literature, and culture. The college has more than 25 academic programs of study, offers more than 50 bachelor degrees, and offers master's degrees in education and community and organizational leadership. The college's programs in public policy and community service and international studies have been nationally recognized.

Students have the opportunity to study abroad or travel abroad with professors. They may attend a range of lectures and cultural events, called Lyceums, led by political figures, area experts, or artists.


Students have opportunities to volunteer. Volunteerism can be achieved through social activism with the Public Policy and Community Service Program and the Appalachian Center for Civic Life. The service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega has a chapter at Emory and Henry College.

Student research

E&H professors prepare students by providing research opportunities. Students studying biology might collect microbes 150 feet (46 m) under water. Physics majors could find themselves photographing binary stars. Students doing research for a political science class might present their work to a major conferences such as the Western Political Science Association.

Study abroad

The International Education and Study Abroad Program is an important part of the liberal arts curriculum. In a partnership with CIEE, students have spent semesters or summers abroad, or participated in Emory abroad courses — short-term international programs led by the E&H faculty. Through active engagement, the program enhances global awareness through an understanding of cultural diversity and global interdependence.


Each year, Emory and Henry holds close to 100 concerts, lectures, theatre performances, dance performances, films, exhibits, and poetry readings to complete the academic experience. Of the lyceum events, the biggest are a literary festival each November and a Spring Forum focused on a particular social issue.

Outdoor program

The college is located in the Appalachian Mountains with forests to hike, mountains for cross-country skiing, creeks to paddle, cliffs for rappelling, and caves for spelunking. The Appalachian and Iron Mountain Trails, the Virginia Creeper Trail, the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the Jefferson and George Washington National Forests, and the New, Nantahala, and Clinch rivers are all close by.


Emory and Henry College's sports teams, nicknamed the "Wasps," participate in NCAA Division III in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The college fields men's teams in football, soccer, basketball, baseball, cross country and tennis, and women's teams in cross country, volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, tennis and swimming.


The official Emory & Henry mascot is the Wasp. While there are many rumored origins of the nickname, the most commonly accepted story is that Emory & Henry was first called the Wasps after the football team played its first game in Neyland Stadium at the University of Tennessee. Although Emory & Henry was beaten 27-0, Emory & Henry held the Volunteers scoreless for the first half. Legend has it that the local paper declared that "those Virginia boys stung like wasps."

Student activities

There are more than 70 student organizations active on Emory and Henry's campus. Community service projects are also a way that many students, especially Bonner Scholars, spend their free time. Often students mountain bike or hike on the numerous trails in nearby Damascus or Abingdon, or participate in rock climbing, kayaking or other outdoor sports. Sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and volleyball are offered as both intercollegiate and intramural sports.

Greek life

Emory and Henry allows local social fraternities and sororities only.

The currently recognized social sororities on campus are Alpha Beta Chi, Delta Omicron Pi, Delta Rho Delta, Kappa Phi Alpha, Pi Sigma Kappa, and Sigma Upsilon Nu.

The currently recognized social fraternities on campus are Theta Chi Epsilon, Pi Delta Chi, Sigma Alpha Kappa, Sigma Iota, Dom-I-Necher, Phi Gamma Phi, Phi Pi Alpha, C Phi C, and Beta Lambda Zeta.

Student media

  • The Whitetopper student newspaper, established in 1921
  • EHC-TV, student produced television news program
  • WEHC-FM 90.7, the college's official radio station
  • ehcwired.com, online student news site
  • Traditions

    Traditions at Emory and Henry College include:

    Service Plunge – the college's annual "Service Plunge" is a tradition and a requirement of all incoming freshmen in which they perform community service for a day during the first month of school (usually a Saturday).

    Running of the Bulls – The Running of the Bulls is a bi-annual event in which girls who are pledging a sorority are sent running out of the front door of Wiley-Jackson (MaWa) and are told to run towards the sorority which they intend to pledge. The event, although short, is often attended by much of the student population due to its humorous nature.

    The Rock – Every athletic team that plays their games at Fred Selfe Stadium touches a giant rock taken from the late Fred Selfe's hometown. Coach Selfe was a long-time assistant coach for the Emory and Henry football team who died of cancer and whose saying "Trust in your teammates, trust in yourself" is painted in the football locker room. Touching the Rock is seen as not only a unifying gesture, but it is supposed to also be a "recognition of all those who wore the blue and gold before you."

    The Duck Pond – Emory and Henry is known for having ducks year round at its duck pond. This is because the pond is naturally heated due to a spring (which can be see in the corner closest to Wiley Hall in the foundations of the old well house).

    Rain, Sleet, or Snow – Emory and Henry is notorious among students for not canceling classes due to inclement weather. This is due the fact that large numbers of Emory and Henry students live on campus and, since they do not have to drive to school, the college often feels little need to cancel class. It is rumored among students that the college has only been closed three times since its opening in 1836 due to inclement weather.

    Rankings and recognition

    In the last 27 years, Emory & Henry professors have been recognized 17 times with major state or national teaching awards. Recent recipients include Dr. Michael Lane, who received the 2014 Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia; and Dr. Alma Ramirez-Trujillo, who was awarded the 2014 "Rising Star" award by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Seven times Emory & Henry professors have won the state or national Professor of the Year Award given by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Emory & Henry has won this award more than any other college or university in Virginia. Recipients include T. Edward Damer, 1988; Kathleen R. Chamberlain, 1993; David A. Copeland, 1997; Stephen L. Fisher, 1999; Teresa D. Keller, 2003; John H. Roper, 2005; James C. Duchamp, 2011; and Scott Boltwood, 2013. In addition to Lane, E&H winners of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award have included Fisher, 1994; Samir N. Saliba, 1997; John Lang, 1998; Duchamp, 2009 and Keller, 2010. Lane is also the recipient of the 2012 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching given by the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges. Saliba is also the recipient of the 2001 Outstanding Teaching Award given by the National Board of higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.

    E&H was honored by President Obama with the Corporation for National and Community Service Presidential Award in March 2010, making it the first Virginia institution for higher learning to receive the award.

    Washington Monthly consistently ranks Emory & Henry as the top liberal arts college in Virginia and among the top 50 liberal arts colleges nationwide.

    "Virginia has no shortage of schools with robust reputations... but Emory & Henry does the finest job of them all of educating contributors to society." – Colleges That Change Lives.

    According to measurements of student satisfaction conducted by the Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), Emory and Henry students rate their college well above the national average for four-year institutions with regard to the quality of the instruction they receive and the effectiveness of their academic advisors. Among the many other categories in which Emory and Henry sharply exceeds the national average are students' desire to enroll again and their assessment of the helpfulness of E&H staff and administrators.

    Literature, television and arts

  • Ken Farmer (1972) - appraiser and star of PBS' Antiques Roadshow
  • Kermit Hunter (Re-1931) - playwright who penned numerous outdoor dramas, including Unto These Hills; went on to become an English professor at Hollins College and Southern Methodist University
  • Samuel W. Small (1871) - journalist, evangelist, prohibitionist; founded the Oklahoman (1889) and the Norfolk (VA) Pilot (1894)
  • Education

  • Henry DeLamar Clayton - President of the University of Alabama from 1886-1889; Confederate general during Civil War
  • Joe L. Kincheloe (1972) - author of over 50 books on education, culture, and politics; Canada Research Chair in Critical Pedagogy at McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Military

  • James Patton Brownlow - Brevet Brigadier General of the 1st Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry Regiment (Union) during the Civil War
  • Thomas T. Handy (enrolled 1908-1911) - Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Army in World War II; signed the orders to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima
  • Frank Rowlett (1929) - cryptologist who cracked the Japanese code during World War II
  • J.E.B. Stuart (enrolled 1848-1850) - US Army officer and later a Confederate general during the Civil War
  • Science, research, and medicine

  • John Young (1955) - NASA worker who discovered the use of gravitational pull of the earth and moon to bring the Apollo 11 lunar module back to earth
  • Politics and government

  • Toni Atkins - Speaker-elect and current majority leader of the California State Assembly; former acting mayor of San Diego
  • Henry Bowen - elected to the Virginia House of Delegates from 1869 to 1873; served two terms in the US House of Representatives
  • B. B. Comer (1869) - Governor of Alabama from 1907 to 1911
  • John M. Fleming (1851) - Tennessee state legislator and newspaper editor
  • Morgan Griffith (1980) - elected to the US House of Representatives in 2011 and serves Virginia's 9th Congressional District; served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1994 to 2011 and was elected House Majority Leader; first Republican in Virginia history to hold that position
  • Joseph P. Johnson (1952) - served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1966 to 1970; and again from 1990 to 2014
  • George C. Peery (1894) - Governor of Virginia from 1934 to 1938
  • Harley Orrin Staggers (1931) - US Congressman from 1949 to 1981; represented West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District for 32 years
  • Henry Carter Stuart (1874) - Governor of Virginia from 1914 to 1918
  • Business

  • Harold Arthur Poling (1940s) - CEO and Chairman of the Ford Motor Company from 1990 to 1993
  • Richard Joshua Reynolds (enrolled 1868-1870) - founder of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Sports and athletics

  • Eric McClure (2000) - NASCAR Nationwide Series driver
  • Glen Roberts (1930s) - credited as the originator of the modern-day jumpshot in basketball; All-American; scored over 2,000 career points
  • Sonny Wade (1969) - 1968 All-American quarterback; drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1969; later played for the Alouettes in the CFL; Grey Cup champion
  • Monte Weaver (1927) - pitched for the Washington Senators and the Boston Red Sox from 1931 to 1939
  • Mike Young (1986) - Division I college basketball Head Coach at Wofford
  • References

    Emory and Henry College Wikipedia

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