University of Lynchburg

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Coordinates: 37°23′54″N 79°10′52″W / 37.398468°N 79.18101°W / 37.398468; -79.18101 (University of Lynchburg)

University of Lynchburg
Former names
Virginia Christian College (1903-1919)
Lynchburg College (1919-2018)
Established1903; 119 years ago (1903)
Religious affiliation
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Endowment$109.3 million (2020)[1]
PresidentAlison Morrison-Shetlar
Academic staff
157 full time
StudentsApproximately 2,800
Location, ,
United States
ColorsCrimson and Silver
MascotDell the Hornet

The University of Lynchburg, formerly Lynchburg College, is a private university associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and located in Lynchburg, Virginia, United States. It has approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Lynchburg spans 264 acres.[2]


The University of Lynchburg was founded in 1903 by Dr. Josephus Hopwood as Virginia Christian College, a selective, independent, coeducational, and residential institution, which is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Hopwood was president of Milligan College in Tennessee when a group of ministers and businessmen approached him about establishing a college in Lynchburg. He agreed to serve as president, after which the group purchased the failed Westover Hotel resort for $13,500, securing Lynchburg's current campus. Hopwood worked with his wife Sarah Eleanor LaRue Hopwood to establish the college based on their shared vision.

The University of Lynchburg was the first institution in the United States to train nuclear physicists and engineers for the NS Savannah project under the order of President Eisenhower, to aid in the development and operation of the world's first nuclear-powered ship.[3]

The institution officially changed its name to Lynchburg College in 1919, citing a constituency that had expanded beyond Virginia.

The university has maintained its original commitment to a liberal arts education. Beginning with 11 faculty and 55 students, the college has grown to 159 full-time faculty and 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. The University offers 39 majors, 49 minors, two dual-degree programs, the Westover Honors Program, and offers graduate degrees in Masters of Arts, Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Education, and Masters of Science in Nursing as well as Doctorate programs in Physical Therapy and Educational Leadership. Recently the university obtained accreditation approval for its Doctor of Medical Science (DMSc) degree program for practicing physician assistants.

The university is ranked by U S News & World Report in its Best Colleges as #22 in Regional Universities South and #19 in Best Value Schools.[4]

The University of Lynchburg hymn was written by alumnus Paul E. Waters. Its melody is derived from J. S. Bach's "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden" Op. 135a, No. 21. The college fight song includes the phrase, "Hornet Born and Hornet Bred and when I die I'll be Hornet dead."

In fall 1994, a few months after Intel introduced its Pentium microprocessor, Thomas R. Nicely, from the University of Lynchburg, was performing computations related to the distribution of prime numbers and discovered the Pentium FDIV bug. Nicely left Lynchburg College in 2000.

In July 2018, the university changed its name from Lynchburg College to the University of Lynchburg.[5]

The University of Lynchburg is also a partner on the data aggregator website[6]


Dr. Josephus Hopwood 1903–1911
Dr. S.T. Willis 1911–1912
Mr. G.O. Davis 1912–1914
Mr. Matthew Clark (Acting) 1914–1915
Dr. John T. Hundley 1915–1936
Dr. Riley B. Montgomery 1936–1949
Dr. Orville W. Wake '32 1949–1964
Dr. M. Carey Brewer '49 1964–1983
Dr. George N. Rainsford 1983–1993
Dr. Charles O. Warren 1993–2001
Dr. Kenneth R. Garren 2001–2020
Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar 2020-present

Campus and campus life[edit]

The University of Lynchburg campus

The University of Lynchburg is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, about 180 miles southwest of Washington D.C., in the Central Virginia foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It occupies 250 acres (1.0 km2) in Lynchburg and has a separate environmental research center on 470 acres (1.9 km2), the Claytor Nature Study Center, located about 40 minutes from campus. Most students live on campus and in nearby university-owned houses.

Student organizations[edit]

The University of Lynchburg has over 40 clubs and organizations for students to participate in. Examples of organization types are Greek life, student government, spiritual life, volunteer organizations, leadership programs, and publications.[7]

Greek life[edit]

Fraternity life began on The University of Lynchburg campus in 1962, with the arrival of Sigma Mu Sigma, whose Sigma Chapter was active until disbanded in the mid-1980s. Fraternities and sororities appeared on campus again in 1992. All official Greek houses are located on Vernon Street and are currently owned by the university. UofL is 17% Greek. Listed below are the chapters of the social fraternities and sororities that comprise Greek life at UofL.


Organization Symbol Nickname Chapter
Phi Kappa Tau ΦΚΤ Phi Tau Zeta Epsilon
Sigma Nu ΣΝ Sigma Nu Mu Chi
Sigma Phi Epsilon ΣΦΕ Sig Ep Virginia Omicron


Organization Symbol Nickname Chapter
Alpha Chi Omega ΑΧΩ A Chi O Iota Omicron
Alpha Sigma Alpha ΑΣΑ ASA Zeta Upsilon
Kappa Delta ΚΔ KD Zeta Nu
Sigma Sigma Sigma ΣΣΣ Tri-Sigma Eta Upsilon

National Pan-Hellenic Council Fraternities and Sororities

Organization Symbol Nickname Chapter
Alpha Kappa Alpha ΑΚΑ AKA Omicron Sigma
Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ Alphas Sigma Pi
Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ Deltas Eta Upsilon
Alpha Psi Lambda ΑΨΛ APsi Alpha Xi


The University of Lynchburg Hornets participate in NCAA Division III and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The Hornets program offers 19 intercollegiate athletics programs: 17 which compete in Division III, IHSA equestrian, and competitive cheerleading programs. Since joining the ODAC, the Hornets have recorded 181 conference titles.

In recent years, Lynchburg athletics has competed for three team national championships. The women's soccer program won Lynchburg's first-ever team national championship in 2014, defeating Williams College in penalty kicks to take the crown.[8] In 2010, the Hornets men's soccer program reached the Division III national championship match, where they fell in overtime to Messiah College.[9] In 2015, the men's lacrosse team made its own run to the national title game, losing to Tufts University in the championship game, 19–11.[10]

Multiple men's cross country, indoor, and outdoor track & field athletes have captured NCAA Division III titles over the years as well. In 2009, Ricky Flynn won the Division III men's cross country championship.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Known for Relationship to Lynchburg College
Brad Babcock College baseball coach and administrator BA, 1963
Buddy Bailey Professional baseball manager, former major league coach BA in Physical Education, 1979
Ronnie LaBrie Former Professional Baseball Player, Minor league under the Washington Nationals farm system Graduate BS, 2010 [11]
Ryan Cranston Former Major League Lacrosse Player Graduate
Bob Duff Senator - State of Connecticut BA, 1993, Sigma Phi Epsilon[12]
Jerry Falwell Founder of Liberty University Journalism student before transferring to Bible Baptist College[13]
Ted Gulick Episcopal bishop Graduate
William J. Hadden Chaplain, US Army and US Navy, and Episcopal Church BA, 1944
Basil Kaaki 2008 Beijing Olympics, Event: Swimming. Record holder in swimming events for Lebanon. DMSc, 2021
Franklin P. Hall Virginia House of Delegates [14] Graduate
Whit Haydn Magician, entertainer BA, 1972
John Hobbs Major League Baseball player BA, 1978,[15]
Howard Kester Preacher, organizer, activist and author BA 1924
Robert A. McKee Member, Maryland House of Delegates B.A. in political science in 1971[16]

Gary Phillips Class of 1971 Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 1982 New Testament Studies and linguistics, Highest Distinction École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, 1975–76 M.Div Vanderbilt Divinity School, 1974 Biblical Studies, Theology, Magna Cum Laude Best Professor at Wabash College

Deirdre Quinn Actress 1993 BA in Theatre[17]
Jessamine Shumate Artist and painter Attended art classes during the 1940s
Setsuko Thurlow Anti-nuclear weapons activist who accepted 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN[18] B.A. in Sociology in 1955[19]
Percy Wootton American Medical Association president[20] Graduate

Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. She attended for two years.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Overview of the University of Lynchburg". U.S.NEWS.
  3. ^ John Pike. "NS Savannah". Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  4. ^ "University of Lynchburg's Rankings". U.S. News & World Report, L.P. Retrieved 9 December 2020.
  5. ^ "Lynchburg College to change its name to University of Lynchburg". Lynchburg College. February 24, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "USAFacts About". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  7. ^ "Student Activities". Lynchburg College. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  8. ^ "Champions! Hornets Win First Title in School History". 6 December 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Sudden-death goal ices third title". 4 December 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Tufts Wins D3 Lacrosse Title with 19-11 Win over Lynchburg College - Lynchburg". Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  11. ^ "Milb draft info".
  12. ^ "My Bio".
  13. ^ "Jerry Falwell Dies After Falling Unconscious in His Office". Fox News. May 15, 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  14. ^ "Virginia House of Delegates: Historical Bio for Franklin P. Hall".
  15. ^ "Jack Hobbs". CNN. Archived from the original on 2002-11-02.
  16. ^ "Robert A. McKee, Maryland State Delegate". Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  17. ^ "Lynchburg College: StageNotes 2006". Lynchburg College Theatre. Archived from the original on 2007-10-04.
  18. ^ "Setsuko Thurlow | ICAN". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  19. ^ "Hiroshima survivor, Lynchburg College graduate, to accept Nobel Peace Prize". Lynchburg College. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  20. ^ "Society of Smith Scholars".

External links[edit]