Emory & Henry College, known as E&H, Emory, or the College, is a private liberal arts college located in Emory, Virginia, United States. The campus comprises 331 acres (1.34 km2) of Washington County, Virginia, which is part of the mountain region of Southwest Virginia. Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is the oldest institute of higher learning in Southwest Virginia.
Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is named after John Emory, a Methodist bishop, and Patrick Henry, an American Patriot and Virginia’s first governor. The college was founded upon the union of faith and learning and the ideals of freedom and civic virtue 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 then hired Charles Collins (1838–1852) as the institution's first president with classes beginning in the spring of 1838 with only 60 students enrolled.
The College closed its doors in April 1861 due to 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 civil war ended, the College reopened.
During World War II, Emory & Henry College was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally 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 around 900 and employs 75 full-time professors. Graduates of E&H have become scientific researchers, NASA engineers, writers, physicians, ministers, lawyers, educators and business people.
According to college's web-site, the official mission of the college is stated as follows:
"'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 (0.68 km2) 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.
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 recently reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation. The current president has also undertaken a significant commitment to building new buildings or renovating existing ones. Along with a new Music addition and several new dormitories, the college is prepared to break ground on a new athletic field house and performing arts center.
Wiley-Jackson (MaWa), Elm, Hillman, Weaver, Stuart, Sullins, Carriger and Matthews Halls, The Cottage, Waterhouse, Houses 14–17, Prillaman, Cambridge, Damer, Princeton, Collins Houses. Hickory Hall, a residence hall similar to Elm is currently under construction.
McGlothlin-Street, Wiley, Fulton-Miller, and Byars Halls
Memorial Chapel, King Center, Martin-Brock Student Center, Van Dyke, Emily Williams House, 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 and 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.
The college strives to have a global perspective on education with an emphasis on undergraduate research. Students have the opportunity to study abroad or travel abroad with professors. E&H students are able to attend to a range of lectures and cultural events, called Lyceums, led by political figures, area experts, or artists.
Service The College integrates education with service and citizenship. Students have opportunities to volunteer and improve the lives of others. Furthermore, volunteerism can achieved through social activism with the Public Policy and Community Service Program and the Appalachian Center for Community Service. An alleged group known as the Emorium Society is said to perform random acts of service.
Student Research E&H professors prepare students by providing research opportunities. Students studying biology could be collecting microbes 150 feet (46 m) 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 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.
Lyceum Each year, Emory & Henry holds close to 100 concerts, lectures, theatre, 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 ah 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 & 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 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, Tennessee. The formation is featured on EA Sports' NCAA Football 07 video game as well.
The Emory and Henry football team has a long storied history claiming 11 ODAC Conference Championships (more than any other member of the ODAC) since the league's inception in 1976, and appearing in the Tangerine Bowl (currently called the Capital One Bowl) during the 1949 and 1950 seasons. They have also managed to make it to the 1987 NCAA DIII Semifinal game under coach Lou Wacker before losing to now Division I Wagner College, and well as making it to the DIII playoffs numerous times. E&H also boasted the nations longest home game winning streak in 1999 at 37 games. 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."
The Wasps football team began play in 1893 beating Virginia Tech 6–0, and have won games against other Division I programs such as Appalachian State, Marshall, The University of Central Florida, and Middle Tennessee State. The Wasps oldest current football rival is Hampden-Sydney College who first played the Wasps in 1922.
Emory & Henry College has had three players drafted to the NFL over the years. The most notable being Sonny Wade (class of '69) who went on to play several years in the CFL.
The Emory & Henry Football team is currently coached by Don Montgomery who played at Mt. Union College (Class of 1977), and helped the Purple Raiders win seven DIII National Championships.
Fight Song "Rah, Rah, for Emory!"
The official Emory & Henry mascot is the Wasps. 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 the first ever game in Tennessee's Neyland Stadium by a local Knoxville newspaper. Though Emory & Henry was beaten 27–0, legend has it that the local paper declared "that those Virginia boys stung like wasps," and the nickname has stuck ever since.
The Emory & Henry basketball team's unofficial mascot is a dog named "Pete," who wears an Emory & Henry jersey and is yellowish in nature. Pete is a reference to the late Emory & Henry basketball coach Bob Johnson's Labrador retriever (which was also named Pete). Pete (the dog) was often seen sitting beside Coach Johnson during games at the King Center.
There are more than 70 student organizations are active on Emory & Henry's campus. Community service projects are also a way many students, especially Bonner Scholars, spend their free time. Often students will mountain bike or hike on the numerous trials in nearby Damascus or Abingdon, or spend time outside participating in rock climbing, kayaking or other outdoor sports. Sports such as football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and volleyball are offered as both intercollegiate and as intramural sports.
Emory & Henry allows local social fraternities and sororities only.
The current recognized social sororities on campus are Alpha Beta Chi, Delta Omicron Pi, Delta Rho Delta, Kappa Phi Alpha, Pi Sigma Kappa, Sigma Upsilon Nu.
The current 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.
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 at Emory & Henry College include: Service Plunge – the college's annual "Service Plunge" is a tradition and a requirement of all incoming freshman in which they must go out and 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 large portions of the student population due to its somewhat humorous nature.
The Owls – Emory's campus and property is scattered with white spray painted owls with the initials ES. This stands for Emory & Henry's resident secret society, the Emorium Society, of which little is known to those outside the group. However, as of 2010, the group has become more vocal delivering letters to the student newspaper and giving gifts to the family of school officials. Many past Student government Presidents were members as are respected faculty members.
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 & 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 & 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 & Henry is notorious among students for not canceling classes due to inclement weather. This is due the fact that large numbers of Emory & 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 21 years, 12 E&H professors have won a major state or national teaching award. The most recent recipient was Dr. Teresa Keller, a professor of Mass Communication who won the 2010 Outstanding Faculty Award given by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia.
E&H was honored with the Corporation for National and Community Service Presidential Award March 2010, making it the first Virginia institution for higher learning to receive the award.
Forbes Magazine has consistently ranked 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 is ranked as the 25th safest school in the nation.
"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 23 years, seven 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, five 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."