Emory & Henry College, which is affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, is a small, private, liberal arts college located in Washington County in the southwestern portion of Virginia near Abingdon. The college awards the BA and BS in traditional subjects and has nationally recognized interdisciplinary program in public policy and community service and international studies.
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 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.
As the oldest college in Southwest Virginia, 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 just over 1,000, and is home to some of Virginia’s and the nation’s leading professors, 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 Virginia Professor of the Year award from the Carnegie Foundation and one, Dr. Stephen L. Fisher, has received the national Professor of the Year award. Emory & Henry College has been ranked among the top 100 colleges in the US by USA today for several consecutive years.
Located in the Virginia Highlands region, Emory & Henry’s campus is approximately one-half mile off Interstate 81 in the village of Emory, Virginia, which is surrounded by Meadowview. The campus is roughly delimited by a railroad track on the north side and the college's golf course to the south. In the center of campus lies the duck pond, which was built upon the foundations of a springhouse, the campus' oldest remaining structure. Emory’s campus is beautiful in the fall, when the many tall, majestic trees turn from their summer shades of green to bright shades of yellow and red; and in other seasons that bring flowers and snow. The college is within easy driving distance of the metropolitan Tri-Cities region of Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee; Johnson City, Tennessee; and Kingsport, Tennessee. The Appalachian Trail is accessible from Damascus, which is about 15 miles away. The campus is approximately an hour from Boone, NC, and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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."
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.