Virginia Theological Seminary and College
Virginia Seminary and College
|Motto||Sibi Auxilium et Libertas|
|President||Kathy Franklin (Interim)|
Virginia University of Lynchburg
|Location||2058 Garfield Ave., Lynchburg, Virginia|
|Area||6.82 acres (2.76 ha)|
|Architect||Romulus C. Archer Jr.|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival, Beaux-Arts|
|NRHP reference #||11000035|
|Added to NRHP||February 22, 2011|
|Designated VLR||December 16, 2010|
Virginia University of Lynchburg is a private, historically black university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university currently offers instruction and degrees, primarily in religious studies, including a Doctorate of Ministry program. The campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Virginia University of Lynchburg is the oldest school of higher learning in Lynchburg. The school was founded in 1886 and incorporated in 1888 by the Virginia Baptist State Convention as the coeducational "Lynchburg Baptist Seminary". Classes were first held in 1890 under the name Virginia Seminary. With the offering of a collegiate program in 1900, the name was again changed, to Virginia Theological Seminary and College. In 1962, the institution was renamed to the Virginia Seminary and College. Finally, in 1996, the school was given its current name. The campus includes three historic academic buildings on 6.82 acres: Graham Hall (1917), Humbles Hall (1920–21) and the Mary Jane Cachelin Memorial Science and Library Building (1946). These buildings and the Hayes Monument (c. 1906) comprise a historic district, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
Its first President was the Rev. Phillip F. Morris, pastor of the city's Court Street Baptist Church. Seeking a financial patron, Morris agreed to step down as president rather than yield to the demand of the American Baptist Home Mission Society that he step down from the pulpit to assume full-time leadership of the school. Rev. Morris would later serve as President of the National Baptist Convention. Rev. Gregory W. Hayes, a graduate of Oberlin College, assumed the full-time position as President in 1891, serving until his death in 1906. His wife, Mary Rice Hayes Allen, biracial daughter of a Confederate general and mother of author Carrie Allen McCray, assumed the presidency until replaced by Dr. JRL Diggs in 1908.
During Hayes' administration, controversy arose between black separatists and accommodationists over the future of the school. The chief patron wished it to become a pre-collegiate manual training institution. Hayes, among the separatists, returned the patronage to retain and strengthen black autonomy and academic integrity. This move eventually led to a schism within the National Baptist Convention.
The Virginia University of Lynchburg was formerly a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. They were removed from the USCAA for failing to pay their membership fees. The Virginia University of Lynchburg is now a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association NCCAA. They are currently ineligible to join the NCAA and the NAIA due to insufficient academic accreditation. They are athletically known as the Dragons. Men's sports include basketball, football, and track and field; while women's sports include basketball and track and field.
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