A Visit to Emory and Henry College

Welcome to Emory & Henry!
Welcome to Emory & Henry!

I confess that the main reason I joined the group of counselors attending this year’s CICV tour of western Virginia colleges was because I have wanted for many years to visit Emory & Henry College.  There were two reasons for my curiosity – the first being the wonderful reputation for academics that this liberal arts school has (it isn’t a member of the Colleges That Change Lives for nothing!) and the second being that the college’s current vice president for enrollment management, David Hawsey, is the man who mentored me into a higher education career during my undergraduate days.

And was it ever worth the trip!  (Not many campuses I’ve been to can count nearly all of their buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, for one thing.)  But what’s more, there’s a lot of wonderful programming happening inside those buildings that make this a fantastic school that is worth a look from many students.

The science facilities are impressive and beautiful!
The science facilities are impressive and beautiful!

Notably, Emory & Henry is located in Emory, Virginia, a tiny town near Abingdon, which is a slightly larger and quite vibrant town most known for historic landmarks including the Barter Theatre, which is also the state theatre of Virginia.  It’s no wonder, then, that E&H has a nationally-recognized theatre program and has just broken ground on a new $26 million theatre and performing arts space on campus.

Indeed, theatre is a signature program for E&H, as are international education, teacher education, the natural sciences (student research – all of it undergraduate – is a big part of educational life on campus), and mass communication/broadcasting.  And it’s no wonder with the rigors of the academic programs and the lure of the great outdoors (biking, hiking, canoeing – you name it!) that Greek life on campus is just under 20 percent of the student body.  (Who could possibly find the time to be in a fraternity or sorority with everything else going on?)

Reunion at the Barter Theatre! Myself, E&H VP David Hawsey, and his lovely wife Joan.  These people were at times my surrogate parents early in my higher ed career.
Reunion at the Barter Theatre! Myself, E&H VP David Hawsey, and his lovely wife Joan. These people were at times my surrogate parents early in my higher ed career.

One other facet of E&H’s liberal arts curriculum is the presence of coursework on the liberal arts – that is, students take one course each semester that is built into each of their semesters for four years and focuses on the idea of the liberal arts, what it means in theory, and what it means in practice.  It’s a unique idea and one I’ve never heard of at any other school.

Parents, it’s also worth noting that E&H has been recognized as having the safest campus in the state of Virginia.

And equestrians, don’t despair – despite the presence of a formalized equestrian club or team on campus, the E&H riders are able to ride in the local community and can often get rides from faculty and staff members so they don’t even require cars on campus.

So what do you think?  Could Emory & Henry be the right choice for your college years? Contact me and we’ll discuss!

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