A view of the Emory & Henry statues in front of Kelly Library

Our Mission

“Increase in Excellence,” the historic motto of Emory & Henry, expresses our intention to be a learning community that moves toward fulfilling every student’s potential. 

Bishop John Emory, along with the founders of Methodism, symbolizes our belief in the union of faith and learning, while Governor Patrick Henry symbolizes our commitment to freedom and civic virtue.

Mission Statement

We affirm the Christian faith as our spiritual and moral heritage and encourage all our members to grow in faith as they grow in knowledge. We believe 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.

We affirm the liberal arts as our intellectual foundation for undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs and we believe that excellence results when everyone actively participates in the educational process. We challenge all persons to confront historical and contemporary ideas and issues and to develop the ability to think critically about all areas of human experience and to pursue research as appropriate.

These traditions provide the context for our pursuit of excellence, as we engage a diverse group of well-qualified persons in educational experiences that lead to lives of service, productive careers, and global citizenship.

Revised by the Emory & Henry College Community, Fall 2016.
Reaffirmed by the Emory & Henry College Board of Trustees, October 29, 2016.

Strategic Plan 2020-23 “Pivot Toward the Future”

From the President, Dr. John W. Wells

Founded in 1836 as Southwest Virginia’s first institution of higher education, Emory & Henry has been educating students for over 180 years. In order to remain relevant and vibrant in the coming years, Emory & Henry must act strategically and proactively to remain a leader in higher education, which is why our Board of Trustees adopted four high-level strategic priorities in the summer of 2017 to guide our efforts in the coming years. 

With those four strategic priorities anchoring our efforts, we set out to engage all of our stakeholders (students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and friends of the College) at a series of listening events where we solicited input on what elements a new strategic plan should include. Numerous working groups met, envisioned, reimagined, debated and discussed ideas. What follows are the results of those conversations. Three pillars form the foundation upon which our new strategic plan is built: Connections, Access and Place. In short, we will strive to connect our traditional liberal arts education at the undergraduate level to the “world of work” to ensure that our students are ready to enter the workforce or go on to post-baccalaureate study and make a positive difference locally and in the world. We must remain an affordable option for students and their families that provides access to our world-class professors and curriculum that sets them on a path for success. And we will embrace this special place we call home in the scenic mountains of Appalachia and its people as we forge new partnerships with neighbors, colleagues, businesses and local governments and search for creative and innovative ways in which to improve the economic future for us all.  

With your support, I am confident that together, we will act boldly and in such a way to ensure that Emory & Henry’s best days are in front of us.

  • Connections

    The strategic area of Connections specifically focuses on crafting academic programs and structures that help students make connections between their chosen curricula and the careers that they intend to pursue. 

    • INITIATIVE: The Connected Liberal Arts
    • INITIATIVE: Expand and Enhance New School of Health Sciences, Online, Adult and Continuing Education Programming
    • INITIATIVE: Next Generation Advising
    • INITIATIVE: School of Business and Entrepreneurial Incubator
  • Access

    Today’s students and families are looking for an accessible and affordable pathway toward a degree in higher education that can lead to a life well lived through gainful and meaningful employment with opportunities to pursue servant leadership, make a difference and give back. What often attracts students to a campus is a strong value proposition, a sense of belonging, pricing options and support services. 

    • INITIATIVE: Strategic Enrollment and Marketing
    • INITIATIVE: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • INITIATIVE: Athletics
    • INITIATIVE: Center for Work and Career
    • INITIATIVE: Affinity 
  • Place

    Our Place supports the identity and values of Emory & Henry College. We are of the region and the College is committed to serving the region, intellectually, socially and economically. It informs who we are and influences the strategic directions that the institution takes. The importance of Place and the space that we occupy, literally and figuratively, are reflected in the initiatives contained in this section of the Strategic Plan. The concept of Place holds great importance to the identity and mission of Emory & Henry. 

    • INITIATIVE: Collaboration for Place and Civil Society
    • INITIATIVE: Outdoor Program 
    • INITIATIVE: Master Plan