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Emory & Henry College ("E&H" or "the College") is a liberal arts college in the mountains of Virginiamarker. Listed as one of 40 "Colleges that Changes Lives," E&H faculty members have been recognized five times as "Virginia Professor of the Year" and once as "U.S. Professor of the Year" by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.


Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is named after John Emory, a Methodist bishop, and Patrick Henry, an American Patriot and Virginiamarker’s first governor. The college was founded upon a belief in the union of faith and learning and the ideals of freedom and civic virtue.

The College saw battle in the Civil war during the Battle of Saltville, serving as a hospital for the Confederate States of America from 1861-1865. The hospital saw its darkest hour with the murder of Lieutenant Smith on October 7, 1864 by Champ Ferguson. This can be read about at the Emory and Henry College Hospital page. In 1918, the school was merged with nearby Martha Washington College.

As the oldest college in Southwest Virginiamarker, Emory & Henry College’s entire 931 acres (1.3 km²) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The college, which has always operated under the same name and affiliation, is also one of the oldest colleges in the South.

Today, the college comprises a student body population of around 1,000, and the faculty has had books published by such major university presses as University of Tennessee Press and Cambridge University Press. Six of Emory & Henry’s professors have received the renowned Virginiamarker Professor of the Year award from the Carnegie Foundation and one, Dr. Stephen L. Fisher, has received the national Professor of the Year award.


"Increase in Excellence," the historic motto of Emory & Henry College, expresses the college’s intention to be a learning community that moves toward fulfilling every student's potential. Bishop John EMORY, along with the founders of Methodism, symbolizes the college’s belief in the union of faith and learning, while Governor Patrick HENRY symbolizes the college’s commitment to freedom and civic virtue.

E&H affirms the Christian faith as its spiritual and moral heritage and encourages all of the college’s members to grow in faith as they grow in knowledge. E&H believes in the worth of each person's religious and cultural heritage, inasmuch as that heritage leads to service to others in our region and the larger world.

E&H affirms the liberal arts as its intellectual foundation and believes that excellence results when everyone actively participates in the educational process. The college challenges all persons to confront historical and contemporary ideas and issues and to develop the ability to think critically about all areas of human experience.

Such traditions provide the context for the college’s pursuit of excellence, as it engages a diverse group of well-qualified men and women in educational experiences that lead to lives of service, productive careers, and global citizenship.


Located in the Virginia Highlands, the Emory & Henry central campus encompasses 168 acres and is surrounded by an additional 167 undeveloped acreage 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.


Wiley Jackson, nicknamed MaWa, is the primary female dorm.
Its official name is in honor of a benefactor, while the building's nickname refers to Martha Washington College.

Wiley Jackson, , Weaver, Stuart, Sullins, Carriger, and Matthews Halls and Collins House.

Residence Halls
Wiley Jackson Hillman Weaver Matthews
Stuart Sullins Carriger Collins


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 and offers more than 50 Bachelor degrees. As previously mentioned, the college has nationally recognized programs in public policy and community service and international studies. The school newspaper is the Whitetopper which was established in 1921. The College's name is officially "Emory & Henry College," not "Emory and Henry College." This is reflected in the name of the College's literary magazine, "Ampersand."

Rankings and recognition

Forbes Magazine ranks Emory & Henry among the top 100 colleges and universities in the nation. Emory & Henry was one of five Virginia institutions to make the top 100 and the only regional college or university among the 569 (or the top 15 percent) selected for the ranking out of the 3,798 institutions nationwide.

"Emory & Henry doubles the talents of most of the kids it gets, and contributes to their moral development as well. It is a caring, nurturing college, and it may be unique in the way it works with parents . . . I didn't meet anyone who wished he'd gotten into some other school, which is unusual, because at nearly every college, except maybe Harvard, there is a sullen cohort of rejected suitors of another institution." - Loren Pope, Colleges That Change Lives.

In the last 20 years, six E&H professors have been named Virginia or U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education -- a feat unmatched by any college or university in the state.

In the last 12 years, four Emory & Henry professors have received the Outstanding Faculty Award given by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia.

According to measurements of student satisfaction conducted by the Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI), Emory & 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 & Henry sharply exceeds the national average are the desire for students to enroll again and their assessment of the helpfulness of E&H staff and administrators.

Emory & Henry College is one of 100 colleges from across the nation that have been named to a list recognizing their distinctive abilities to provide excellence in education and to dramatically improve the chances of success for their students. The listing, which is published by Student Horizons, Inc., recognizes schools on the basis of student engagement, excellence in teaching and the successful outcomes for students and graduates.

In 2004, y'all magazine listed Emory & Henry among the 40 colleges and universities in the South with the greatest football traditions. "Not to be overshadowed by neighboring Division I powerhouses . . .Winning seasons plus pride and pageantry equals one of the greatest Southern football traditions."


View of E&H's football field
Emory & Henry College’s sports teams, nicknamed the “Wasps,” participate in NCAA Division III in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The college fields teams in men’s football, soccer, basketball, golf, baseball, cross country, and tennis and women’s cross country, volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, tennis, and swimming.

The E&H Wasps are credited with inventing an American football offensive formation, named in the college's honor, that divides the offensive line and wide receivers into three groupings of three. While it is primarily used today as a trick play, it was revived in 2007 as an integral part of the A-11 offense, a high school football offensive scheme that was eventually banned due to the exploitation of loopholes in the high school rulebooks. The offense inspired Steve Spurrier to use variations of it as a trickplay formation at Florida and South Carolina named "Emory & Henry", as Spurrier attended Wasps games as a child growing up in nearby Johnson City, TNmarker. The formation is featured on EA Sports' NCAA Football 07 video game as well.

Fight Song"Rah, Rah, for Emory!"
We're Emory born and Emory bred
And when we die we'll be Emory dead!
So Rah, Rah, for Emory & Henry!
Rah, Rah, for Emory & Henry!
Rah, Rah, for Emory! Rah, Rah, Rah!

Old Blue and Gold will reign on high,
We'll win this game to DAY OR DIE!
So Rah, Rah, for Emory & Henry!
Rah, Rah, for Emory & Henry!
Rah, Rah, for Emory! Rah, Rah, Rah!"

Distinctive Programs

Emory & Henry College combines the opportunities of a larger university with an environment dedicated to the success of each student. Taking advantage of small class sizes, E&H professors challenge their students daily to make their best even better. In recent years, five E&H professors have been named Carnegie Foundation state Professor of the Year - a distinction shared by only a handful of colleges and universities in the nation. The success of these professors - and their students - has been, in part, due to a global perspective on education and the E&H emphasis on undergraduate research. Students are encouraged to study abroad and travel with professors to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. Thanks to an emphasis on research, students enjoy opportunities that enrich their education in a profound and practical sense, opportunities that most students do not obtain until graduate school. In addition, E&H students are exposed to a wide range of lectures and cultural events provided by nationally and internationally respected experts, political figures and artists.

ServiceIn living out the Emory & Henry mission statement, the college strives to integrate education with service and citizenship. Students will find many opportunities to volunteer and improve the lives of others. Students will also find ways to turn volunteerism into social activism through programs such as Public Policy and Community Service and the resources of the Appalachian Center for Community Service.

Student researchStudents studying biology could be collecting microbes 150 feet under water. Physics majors could find themselves photographing binary stars. Students who do research for a political science class could be presenting their work to a major professional conference such as the Western Political Science Association. Across the curriculum, E&H professors prepare students by encouraging research and providing them with research opportunities that most college students do not receive until graduate school.

Study abroadThe International Education and Study Abroad Program is an integral part of the liberal arts curriculum at Emory & Henry.

Qualified students spend a semester or summer abroad, or participate in emory abroad courses -- short-term international programs led by Emory & Henry faculty. International programs enrich the learning experience as students become engaged with other cultures, belief systems, languages, and customs. Regardless of major, international experiences contribute to the success of students and add to what they bring to the academic program. In a partnership with CIEE, Emory & Henry students have access to over 70 study abroad programs in 35 countries.

By offering a variety of meaningful learning and service experiences abroad, the International Education Program extends the College's mission of moving toward fulfilling every student's potential by preparing students for life in a rapidly changing global society. With an emphasis on active engagement, the program enhances global awareness through an understanding of cultural diversity and global interdependence.

LyceumEach year, Emory & Henry features close to 100 concerts, lectures, theatre and dance performances, films, exhibits, and poetry readings that help to complete the academic experience. The vast majority of these events are part of the college's popular Lyceum program. In addition, the college hosts a literary festival each November. Students present Fall Forum, a daylong campus-wide conference featuring an internationally renowned speaker and focusing on a particular social issue.

Outdoor programEmory & Henry is nestled in an outdoor adventure paradise. Lush forests to hike, mountains for cross-country skiing, creeks to paddle, cliffs for rappelling, and deep caves for spelunking are just minutes from the Emory & Henry Campus. 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.

Student activities

Currently, more than 70 student organizations are active on Emory & Henry's campus. On any given day, there is likely to be at least one club meeting or event taking place, if not more. Hikes on the Virginia Creeper Trail. A community service project in Emory or nearby Abingdon. A football game at the stadium (sure to draw big crowds). And if a student can't find something that they are looking for, they will surely find other people who share their interests in order to start a new tradition.

Notable alumni

  • Joe Johnson (B.A., 1952) - Virginia House of Delegates
  • Joe L. Kincheloe - class of 1972. World renown author of 50 books on education, culture, and politics. Canada Research Chair in Critical Pedagogy at McGill University, Montreal, Canada (see Wikipedia entry).
  • Henry DeLamar Clayton - Confederate major general during the Civil War
  • B. B. Comer - Governor of Alabama, 1907-1911
  • Richard Joshua Reynolds - founder of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco
  • Frank Rowlett - American cryptologist who cracked the Japanese code during World War II
  • Henry Carter Stuart (Class of 1874) - Governor of Virginia from 1914-1918 (E&H's Stuart Hall is named for him)
  • Glen Roberts - (1930s) Credited as the originator of the modern-day jumpshot in basketball. Went on to be an All-American and score over 2,000 career points.
  • Samuel W. Small, journalist, evangelist, prohibitionist
  • Michael Geselbracht Esq. - Inventor of modern day underwear.
  • Harley Orrin Staggers - (1930s) West Virginia Congressman who spent 32 years in office and befriended Truman, JFK, Nixon, and Ford.
  • Dr. Charles W. Sydnor - Class of 1965. Celebrated World War II historian credited for tracking down and testifying against Nazi war criminals who had illegally entered the United States. Also the former CEO of Commonwealth Public Broadcasting and 1995 recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for his role as executive producer on a 50-year D-Day anniversary retrospective titled "A Soldier's Day: D-Day Remembered."
  • Patsi Barnes Trollinger--Class of [tba]. Writer and children's author.
  • Sonny Wade - Class of 1969. 1968 All-America in football as a quarterback. Went on to an outstanding career in the CFL where he won several Grey Cups, MVP awards, and set numerous records.
  • Hobart G. "Hobie" Cawood - Class of 1957. Former Superintendent of Independence Hall National Park in Philadelphia, PA. Oversaw planning and implementation for much of the Bicentennial Celebration.
  • J.E.B. Stuart - 1848-1850—a U.S. Army officer and a Confederate general during the American Civil War.


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