Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is set in 335 acres of the Appalachian highlands of Southwest Virginia. It is reputedly the oldest institution of higher education in the region and the whole campus is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Register of Historic Landmarks.
A private, liberal arts college, Emory & Henry College has a required four-year core curriculum of history, literature, and culture, offering undergraduate course majors in: accounting; art; athletic training; biology; chemistry; civic innovation; economics; English; environmental studies; equine studies; French; geography; health and human performance; history; management; mass communications; mathematics; music; philosophy; physics; politics, law, and international relations; psychology; religion; sociology; Spanish; sports management and theatre. Plus pre-professional courses in education, law, engineering, health and veterinary.
Graduate courses range over: athletic training; community and organisational leadership; education (pre-professional); history; occupational therapy; physical therapy and physician assistant studies.
Volunteering is one of the key student activities and it is enshrined in one of the college’s many traditions – the annual "Service Plunge" where all incoming freshmen carry out community service for a day during the first month. Outdoor pursuits such as hiking, climbing or mountain biking are also popular. In terms of sports, football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and volleyball are offered at both intercollegiate and intramural levels.
Notable alumni range across the arts, politics, science, the military, business and sport and include: Joe L. Kincheloe, author of over 50 books on education, culture, and politics; Canada Research Chair in Critical Pedagogy at McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Frank Rowlett, the cryptologist who cracked the Japanese code during World War II; Harold Arthur Poling, former CEO and chairman of the Ford Motor Company and Glenn Roberts, credited as the inventor of the modern-day jump shot in basketball.
In 2010,the then President Obama awarded Emory & Henry with the Corporation for National and Community Service Presidential Award. It was the first higher education institution in Virginia to receive the award.