Emory & Henry College (E&H or Emory) is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in Emory, Virginia. The campus comprises 335 acres (1.36 km2) of Washington County, which is part of the Appalachian highlands of Southwest Virginia. Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is the oldest institution of higher learning in Southwest Virginia.
|Emory & Henry College|
Seal of Emory & Henry College
|Motto||Macte Virtute (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Increase in Excellence|
|Type||Private, liberal arts college|
|Affiliation||United Methodist Church|
|President||Jake B. Schrum |
|Provost||John Wells |
|Colors||Blue and gold|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III|
Old Dominion Athletic Conference
Emory & Henry College
|Nearest city||Emory, Virginia|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival, Other, Georgian Revival|
|NRHP reference #||85003695|
|Added to NRHP||January 30, 1989|
|Designated VLR||January 18, 1983|
Emory & Henry College is named after John Emory, a renowned Methodist bishop, and Patrick Henry, an American patriot and Virginia's first governor,, though some research suggests the name honors Henry's sister Elizabeth Henry Campbell Russell, who lived in nearby Saltville and Chilhowie. 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.
Today, the college comprises a student body population of approximately 1,100 and employs 75 full-time professors.
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 part of a historic district that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Emory and Henry allows both local and national social fraternities and sororities, but currently only local organizations exist on campus.
The currently recognized social sororities on campus are Alpha Beta Chi, Delta Omicron Pi, Delta Rho Delta, Kappa Phi Alpha, Pi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Upsilon Nu, and Zeta Phi.
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.
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 many 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.
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.