The University of Lynchburg seeks its next president, effective August 1, 2020, to serve a campus that enjoys both a tradition of academic excellence and a strong foundation on which to build further success. Lynchburg’s 11th president will succeed Dr. Kenneth Garren who will be retiring after 18 years of presidential leadership.
Founded in 1903, the University of Lynchburg is a private coeducational institution in Lynchburg, Virginia and is home to nearly 3,100 students. The University is associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), offering undergraduate and graduate programs that reflect its commitment to teaching and learning, scholarship, and service to the broader community. In 2018, its name was changed from Lynchburg College to the University of Lynchburg to reflect the range of both the undergraduate and graduate programs and to expand the market reach of the institution both in the United States and globally.
While the University has seen tremendous expansion in the last several years, the incoming president will have the opportunity to shape the school in its next phase of growth and development, lending the campus greater visibility and an increase in philanthropic support. The next five to ten years will be as critically formative and equally transformational as the last decade. The president will have the opportunity to define and distinguish the University’s unique identity from its competition, raise the institution’s profile, and position the school for future success.
Like most private institutions, the University faces pressing issues that require a strong, collaborative, and intelligent leader to galvanize its community behind a shared vision for its future and to create the strategic pathway to realize that vision. Thus, the University also seeks a leader who can articulate that vision and execute that plan in ways to further motivate its many constituencies and provide the support necessary for success.
Chief among the responsibilities of the new president will be the cultivation of strong partnerships with external constituents including current and future donors, alumni, friends, community members, government agencies, and industry. The president will serve as the University’s ambassador and principal fundraiser, representing the institution in the local, national, and global community. A continued focus on enrollment and efficiently delivering programs will be critical to achieving financial goals and success. Outreach beyond Virginia, including the northeast, will be vitally important to the future economic success of the institution. Differentiating the campus among its peers and regional institutions will be instrumental to attract and retain students. The president should also prioritize the cultivation and development of faculty, staff, and administration while operating with transparency and collaboration.
While leadership experience, specifically in higher education, is preferred rather than required, candidates with personal experience with undergraduate, graduate and professional education will be decidedly advantaged, including those with a personal history of teaching, scholarly research and faculty governance. An advanced degree is required; a terminal degree is preferred.
For information regarding a nomination or expression of personal interest in this position, please see the section “Procedure for Candidacy” section.
The role of the president
Opportunities and expectations for leadership
Priorities for the president are listed here in no particular order.
The University of Lynchburg’s next president will have the opportunity to lead the conversation around the University’s future. This is an ideal time for a new president to join the institution as its current strategic plan, Vision 2020+, is being implemented. The president will motivate and inspire the campus and other key constituencies toward an evolving plan that helps adapt and position Lynchburg for continued success.
Ongoing fundraising for the University is a priority for its next leader. Lynchburg is preparing for a comprehensive campaign to deliver on the promise of Vision 2020. Top priorities include significant investments in capital projects, including Hobbs-Sigler Hall, which houses the institution’s science facilities, and fundraising for the modernization and enhancement of the athletic facilities such as Wake Field house.
Growing the undergraduate population, particularly for full-time residential students, is a major priority for the next president. In order to attract students, necessary investments will be the continued support of a compelling branding strategy to advance the University’s strategic vision and its enrollment efforts throughout the region and nationally.
On July 1, 2018, Lynchburg College took its final step in the process toward becoming the University of Lynchburg. This move to rename the institution has positioned Lynchburg in the highly competitive higher education marketplace. The new president has the opportunity to create a communications plan and articulate a compelling message and brand that captures the University’s strengths and invites prospective students, parents, and supporters to join the enterprise.
Internal and external relationships
Lynchburg retains a strong sense of ownership by people on campus and throughout the region. It is possible to forge personal relationships across campus with virtually every member of the community, reinforcing a student-centered and family environment that engenders trust and distinguishes the University from other institutions. The next president will join a community that expects transparency in communication and a collaborative approach to discussing and solving challenges.
Diversity and inclusion
The new president must continue efforts to create a culture of accessibility and inclusivity.
The president will bring a commitment to diversity and inclusion as an element of academic excellence and a sincere dedication to preparing students to be leaders in diverse workplaces, diverse communities, and a diverse world.
The next president of the University of Lynchburg must demonstrate continued commitment to a healthy, sustainable environment for present and future generations. A prior record of experience and accomplishments in this area would be ideal.
Presidential Qualities and Qualifications
The ideal candidate for the University’s presidency will possess the following professional qualifications:
A PhD or other terminal degree is preferred. In lieu of a terminal degree, candidates should have a demonstrated record of successful executive leadership and comparable credentialsand/or experience to warrant the respect and confidence of the community.
- ability to articulate the University’s mission, vision, and strategic plan locally, regionally, and
- demonstrated talent and capacity for fundraising with the personal and social skills to cultivate financial support and partnerships;
- superior communication and speaking skills with the ability to relate to both internal
and external groups;
- increasingly responsible executive leadership in a complex organization;
- successful history as a leader and manager and the ability to build consensus, motivate
people, and hold them accountable, bring people together around opposing views;
- commitment to teaching, research, and service—with experience in each preferred;
- understanding of higher education and the emerging topics in higher education, particularly those that are relevant to the University of Lynchburg;
- talent to engage deeply in the local and regional community;
- financial acumen and change-management skills;
- the ability to listen, discern, inspire, and explain;
- commitment to the liberal arts and sciences as well as other disciplines that make up
the academic program;
- successful experience crafting and executing a strategic plan; and
- interest in and experience with collegiate athletics.
- commitment to a private, church-related, student- centered university; and
- a commitment to diversity in all of its forms, with a successful history of increasing the diversity of the institutions he or she has served.
Procedure for Candidacy
Nominations and expressions of interest are welcome and should be sent electronically to the Witt Kieffer consultants assisting the university with this search, Ann Yates and Jessica Herrington, at Questions may also be directed to the consultants through the office of Joan Larson at 630-575-6926. Credential review will begin immediately. For fullest consideration, applications should be submitted by September 6, 2019.
Candidates should provide a resume or curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in this leadership profile and the names and contact information of five references. Candidate confidentiality will be respected and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates.
The University of Lynchburg is a nationally recognized private university where students gain a greater heart for humanity and a mindset of individual growth. Here, thought-provoking learning ignites change in each individual, and the world.
We were founded in 1903, when a handful of professors instructed fewer than 60 students in the halls of a former resort hotel. There were four people in the first graduating class.
Since then, we’ve grown as a community and as a university. We have nearly 3,100 students and 25,000 alumni around the world. We’ve evolved from a small liberal arts college to a comprehensive university.
The University is the smart choice for students who want to learn more about the world and more about themselves. Here, students are encouraged to share their perspectives and consider other points of view not as an afterthought, but as the first step toward greater knowledge. In short, we don’t tell our students what to think. We teach them how to think for themselves.
We are our students’ biggest fans. And we show that through a steadfast exchange of inquiry and insight grounded in the liberal arts. We combine traditional classroom instruction with experiential learning and real-world applications, bringing a hands-on, multi-faceted approach that serves our students best today and for the rest of their lives.
Lynchburg students develop personal talents, knowledge, and skills. They’re prepared for a career, but they also learn how to advocate for themselves and others. In other words, they’re prepared for life. That’s because our progress as a university revolves around their progress as individuals and the progress of the world. Knowledge plus character equals a better world.
Our faculty are devoted to scholarship within their fields of study, but they’re equally devoted to developing their students’ potential as scholars and citizens. They tailor the educational experience to each studen’s needs. Study abroad, internships, research projects, and a design-your-own major option are just a few ways they do this. They help students stretch themselves to become more of who they are, and more of who they want to be.
At Lynchburg, we cultivate a culture of kindness and philanthropy — on campus, in the local community, and in the broader world. We give of our resources, our talents, and our time, and we’re passionate about making the University and the world better places.
We’re a tight-knit community that’s accepting and inviting. We’re socially responsible and active, and don’t hesitate to stand up and speak out for what’s just and right. Pride and belonging are important at Lynchburg. Everyone has a niche, a club, a team, or a group of friends, but when it comes down to it, we’re all Hornets.
The University of Lynchburg was founded as Virginia Christian College in 1903 by Josephus and Sarah Hopwood, pioneers in Christian coeducation. They established one of the oldest coeducational colleges in Virginia with the support of ministers and businessmen associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a denomination that welcomes dialogue with people of all faiths.
In 1909, the College completed construction of its first academic building, Main Hall (later renamed Hopwood Hall). Around the same time, Carnegie Hall, a men’s residence hall, was partially funded by a gift from industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. A decade later, Virginia Christian College changed its name to Lynchburg College, a reflection of its student recruitment and fundraising expanding beyond Virginia.
The campus master plan envisioned buildings in an elliptical pattern around the Dell. Hopwood Hall (1909) and Snidow Chapel (1966) were built at the east and west ends of the ellipse, symbolizing Dr. Hopwood’s guiding principles of faith and reason. Schewel Hall (2005, originally Centennial Hall) completed the ellipse.
The period from 1964 to 1983 saw the largest building expansion in the institution’s history, increasing the number of major buildings on campus from nine to 19. The academic program grew in that same period, and the first graduate programs were added in 1964. The growth in the academic program was a major step in the College’s evolution to University.
In 1998, Claytor Nature Center was created on a farm in Bedford County, through a bequest from the late A. Boyd Claytor III. Used for research, education, and recreation, the 491-acre center is home to the Belk Observatory, an education building, an herbarium, the Eco-lodge, a campsite, and hiking trails.
The University entered a new phase of growth beginning in 2003. In addition to major projects such as the construction of Schewel Hall and the $12 million renovation of the Drysdale Student Center (2014), the University extended campus housing to include many homes in the surrounding neighborhood, as well as new on-campus townhouses and apartments. Additionally, several sustainability programs have helped the University protect the environment even as it has grown.
In 2007, the Board of Trustees adopted a plan to pursue more graduate health sciences programs. The faculty soon approved the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, the institution’s first doctoral program. Today the University also offers a Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies and a Doctor of Medical Science, one of the first doctoral degrees for physician assistants in the U.S. The University also offers 14 master’s degree programs and several graduate certificates.
While expanding its graduate programs and pre-professional offerings, the institution has maintained its commitment to the liberal arts, believing that the two areas of study support each other. In 2017, the faculty passed the DELL curriculum, a major revision to general education, streamlining requirements and calling for the creation of new, interdisciplinary seminar courses.
In 2011, Lynchburg entered into a partnership with Historic Sandusky, a nearby historic home known for its role in the Civil War’s Battle of Lynchburg. The University now owns and operates the historic site. The University also has a partnership with the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum. Spencer, a Harlem Renaissance poet, occasionally hosted groups from Lynchburg College in her home.
The intercollegiate athletic program includes 21 teams for men and women, which have won more than 120 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships. In 2014, the women’s soccer team won the NCAA Division III championship, the first team national championship in the history of the University. Students also enjoy intramural and club sports for men and women. The fall of 2019 will mark the addition of swimming and women’s golf.
The institution is nationally recognized for offering quality educational opportunities while building the character and the leadership ability of its students. The University of Lynchburg is one of only 46 colleges nationwide to be included in Loren Pope’s Colleges That Change Lives and one of 60 institutions nationwide selected to participate in the Bonner Leader Program.
Mission Statement and Institutional Values
University of Lynchburg offers distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs that reflect its commitment to teaching and learning, scholarship, and service to the broader community.
The mission of University of Lynchburg is to develop students with strong character and balanced perspectives and to prepare them for engagement in a global society and for effective leadership in the civic, professional, and spiritual dimensions of life.
University of Lynchburg provides its students with a wide range of rigorous educational experiences delivered through multiple modes of instruction. Undergraduate programs are grounded in the liberal arts, enhanced by professional studies, and nurtured by a residential community. Further, the University’s quality graduate programs respond to identified community needs, advance scholarship in the disciplines, and promote student career goals.
University of Lynchburg extends its reach beyond the campus through experiential learning, cultural opportunities, and service by sharing the expertise and commitment of faculty, staff, and students with the broader community.
In support of its mission, University of Lynchburg is an academic community that: fosters a student-centered environment; develops the breadth of knowledge associated with liberal arts education; develops depth of knowledge and promotes focused inquiry in academic disciplines; respects and supports diversity; values and celebrates diverse faith traditions; and sustains close working relationships among faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community partners.
In keeping with the traditions of University of Lynchburg and consistent with our relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the University affirms its commitment to a set of core values that inform the work of the University, ensuring that our planning and programs embody principles that help us offer educational experiences of the highest quality.
- Academic Rigor: Students and faculty meet high standards of academic excellence, intellectual honesty, and commitment to open inquiry
- Active Learning: Students take responsibility for developing themselves into lifelong learners; faculty foster that development, while modeling their own commitment to learning through scholarly and creative activities
- Commitment to Success: Our programs, advising, and services provide students with the guidance and support they need in order to successfully complete their education at University of Lynchburg
- Integrity: Our policies and procedures, our treatment of one another, and our own behaviors demonstrate a commitment to fairness, honesty, and principle
- Diversity: Our community benefits from the contributions of individuals from a variety of ethnicities, nationalities, sexualities, religions, ages, and political beliefs
- Community: We work to strengthen a sense of community on campus, to foster active engagement with the larger Lynchburg community, and to maintain mutually beneficial connections with our alumni
- Wellness: We strive to foster the well-being, in its many forms, of the members of the University community
- Sustainability: We believe everyone benefits when we recognize and act upon our environmental obligations to future generations
Strategic Plan: Vision 2020+
The University’s strategic plan, Vision 2020, was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2016 and reaffirmed as Vision 2020+ in 2019. The plan details how we will enhance the signature Lynchburg experience that generations of students and alumni hold dear. We will do this by pursuing our primary aspiration to be nationally recognized as the leader for student engagement in the classroom, athletics, and leadership. In support of this overriding goal, we must modernize and enhance campus facilities and technological infrastructure and strengthen and foster a culture of philanthropy.
Lynchburg will be distinguished by a mix of academic rigor, experiential learning, championship athletics, leadership, and great diversity and breadth of undergraduate and graduate programs. Lynchburg will be a first choice for talented scholars, leaders, and student-athletes who seek a community of engagement, service, and active learning.
Out of necessity, we will need to improve facilities. Academic, athletic, and residential spaces will need to be improved to maximize student engagement, allow for active and collaborative learning, and support future programming growth.
As we face a future of significant change, we must rely on our alumni to stay connected and involved. Lynchburg alumni have a special fondness for the institution that is grounded in their experiences on campus. This good will represents our best opportunity for success as we build a case for advancing the institution.
This planning effort ensures that the identity, traditions, and values of the University of Lynchburg – the essential foundations of the institution – will best be maintained while allowing for intentional growth to an undergraduate population of approximately 2,500 and a graduate population of 1,000.
At the University of Lynchburg, our faculty are teacher-scholars who are deeply committed to inquiry in their disciplinary fields and passionately committed to student learning. Scholarly and creative activities are an essential part of the Lynchburg experience, and they broaden and expand the learning communities in which faculty and students function. Typically, these activities are related to the faculty member’s discipline, but they might also include significant work that prompts the intellectual advancement of teaching and learning and communities of practice.
Many faculty include undergraduate and graduate students in their scholarly and creative projects as part of broadening students’ educational experiences. Participation in scholarly and creative activities enhances the student experience. Students have an opportunity to work with faculty in community-based settings, laboratories, and studios to explore interesting research questions, to generate solutions for challenging policy problems, and to create new works of art.
We take deep pride in the diversity of scholarly activities, the breath of professional recognition, and the excellence evidenced by the scholarly and creative achievements of our faculty.
Lynchburg faculty are outstanding scholars and leaders in their disciplines. Of the 200 full-time faculty members, 82% are tenured or tenure track. The student-faculty ratio is 11:1, which allows for personal attention and collaborative research. The University does not employ teaching assistants.
Brooke Haiar was the recipient of the 2019 Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science Education, awarded by the Virginia Museum of Natural History. An environmental science professor, Dr. Haiar has been excavating dinosaur fossils in Wyoming since 1999. In 2009, she started taking students with her.
Kim McCabe, criminology professor and internationally-known expert on the investigation and prevention of child abuse crimes, spoke with international law enforcement officials in Vienna, Austria, in January 2019. The event was organized by the United Nations Standing Group on Organized Crime.
Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State, by history professor Brian Crim, was listed among Smithsonian Magazine’s favorite books for 2018. The book tells the story of a post-WWII program that brought more than 1,500 Nazi scientists to the U.S., sparking controversy because the scientists had supported the Nazi regime.
As the world tuned into the 2018 Summer Olympics, Lindsay Parks Pieper, a sport management professor, gave context to various issues in women’s sports. Her book, Sex Testing: Gender Policing in Women’s Sports, has also won two prestigious awards.
Pat Aronson, of the Master of Science in Athletic Training program, will be inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame in June 2019. She has already been inducted into the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Trainers’ Association and Virginia Athletic Trainers’ Association halls of fame, and currently serves as chair of the NATA’s LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee.
Physics professor Eric Goff is known internationally for his expertise in sports physics. You might read his name in The Washington Post, see him interviewed on the Smithsonian Channel, or hear him in a sports science podcast.
Biology professor Erin Friedman was the 2017 recipient of the H. Hiter Harris III Rising Star Award. It recognizes faculty “who are up and coming in their profession and reflect a strong, clear and abiding commitment to excellence in classroom teaching within the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences community.”
The Gender of Inanimate Objects, one of several novels by English professor Laura Marello, was shortlisted for the 2016 Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Her latest novel, Gauguin’s Moon, will be published in 2019. https://www.lynchburg.edu/news/2016/05/professors-book-shortlisted-for-prestigious-prize/
Nursing professor Stephanie Ferguson served on a committee that helped recommend global public health strategies for the United States.
Siobhan Byrns, an art professor and an expert in historic photography techniques, has won acclaim for her cyanotype series “What the Water Took From Us,” inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis.
There are 2,100 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students representing 38 states and 15 foreign countries. Of the undergraduates, 39 percent are male, 61 percent are female, 21 percent are multicultural, and 74 percent live on campus.
Nick Savino ’19 spent a summer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in Tennessee, as part of an internship through the U.S. Department of Energy. For 10 weeks, he worked with scientists and other undergraduate researchers at the lab, which was founded as part of the Manhattan Project in 1943.
Psychology majors Meagan Collins ’18, Katie Roderick ’19, and Mihika Corodimas ’19 spent a year studying zebrafish, exercise, and anxiety with what was called the “Research Dream Team.”
Hallie Sayre ’17 won the top award for original research writing in the National Athletic Trainers’ Association student writing contest in 2017. Her research explored concussions in women’s soccer and lacrosse.
The Ethics Bowl team regularly defeats opponents from much larger universities in ethics tournaments, and competed in the national tournament in 2016 and 2017. The team took first place in the 2016 regional tournament, besting schools like UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Florida.
Chad Hobson ’17 garnered international attention for his sports physics research. He’s one of many students who partner with professors to get real-world experience with research and problem solving.
The University of Lynchburg Model United Nations team consistently wins awards at its annual conference. In 2017, the team won a Distinguished Delegation award, and Outstanding Position Paper award, and a Peer Award honoring collaborative leadership and diplomacy.
Jena Gatses ’15 DPT helped keep the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR drivers and pit crew teams fit and healthy, despite the hazards of working in the fast lane. At the time, she was one of only a few women practicing physical therapy in NASCAR.
The undergraduate program of study at University of Lynchburg consists of four elements: the new DELL general education curriculum, designed to give students breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts; a writing enriched requirement to improve students’ writing skills; a major field of study comprising one-third to one-half of the program and designed to provide in-depth knowledge in a single academic area; and electives which complete the remainder of the course of study. The academic majors offered lead to a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Lynchburg offers some 51 undergraduate majors, 62 minors, and 15 pre-professional programs.
A hallmark of the undergraduate experience is Westover Honors College, a vibrant learning community for academically gifted students. The program’s innovative approach to education promotes interaction among students who value academic excellence. Westover features four major components: an off-campus retreat, the honors curriculum that replaces most general education requirements, two or three colloquia offerings each term, including study abroad opportunities, and a senior thesis.
The University embraces graduate programs as strategic opportunities for growth. It adopted its first graduate programs in the 1960s to serve the needs of individuals and employers in the Lynchburg area, and it has expanded graduate offerings to provide innovative education that prepares people for work and leadership in growing careers. Offerings include three doctoral programs and 14 master’s programs, including:
Graduate Studies include the Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies, Doctor of Medical Science, Master of Business Administration (generalist and cybersecurity), Master of Education in seven concentrations, Master of Criminal Justice, Master of Nonprofit Leadership, Master of PA Medicine, Master of Public Health, and Master of Science in Athletic Training. A new master’s program in Health Benefits Design, the first master’s degree of its kind in the nation welcomed its inaugural cohort this year.
More than 1,000 graduate students are enrolled today. The University continues to develop innovative master’s degree programs and expand the impact of existing programs. Launched in 2017, the Doctor of Medical Science was the first doctoral program specifically for physician assistants available to non-military PAs. The Master of Health Benefits Design is the first master’s degree program to help human resource professionals and benefits advisors learn to create innovative health benefits programs that deliver better care at a more affordable cost. Both of these programs and several other graduate programs are offered online. A new international partnership will allow faculty members at a Chinese technical institute to earn the University of Lynchburg Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies.
We have a long history of athletic excellence — more than 100 years, nearly 200 conference titles, and more than 240 All-Americans. In 2014, our women’s soccer team won the NCAA Division III championship — the first team national championship in the history of the institution.
Our intercollegiate athletic program includes 21 teams (10 men’s and 11 women’s) in NCAA Division III and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). Our equestrian team competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, in addition to the ODAC.
Lynchburg students may also play a variety of intramural and club sports.
Track and field athletes have flourished under the leadership of Coach Jim Sprecher. Evan Truman ’17 was one of the top long jump athletes in the national, while classmate Natalie Deacon ’17 became a national forerunner in two track events in her first season on the team. In 2019, the women’s track and field team won the ODAC outdoor track championship, something they’ve done 10 times since 1995.
Kaitlyn Johnson ’21 became Lynchburg’s first cross country All-American in 2018. She also was named “Runner of the Year” for the ODAC.
The women’s soccer team won the national championship in 2014, but the team looks far beyond points scored and championships won. Under the leadership of Todd Olsen, the student-athletes are improving the lives of women in Lynchburg and across the globe.
Lynchburg won both the men’s and women’s ODAC basketball championships in 2016 and both teams advanced to the NCAA tournament. The following year, the women had another record-breaking season on the court and earned an at-large bid to the national tournament.
In 2015, the men’s lacrosse team fought its way to the national championship game. Under the leadership of one of the best coaches in Division III lacrosse, Steve Koudelka, the Hornets continue to dominate the ODAC and earned a spot in the 2016 NCAA tournament.
Longtime field hockey coach Enza Steele led her team to win the conference championship nearly 20 years in a row.
The Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network not only shines a light on excellent student-athletes, but it gives aspiring broadcasters experience in a professional production environment.
Visual and performing arts play an important role in education and campus life at the University. Opportunities in the arts are available to all students, regardless of major, and performances attract audiences from the campus and the greater Lynchburg region.
The music program, accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, hosts recitals and performances several times each month, including a few concerts every year that bring together the wind symphony and orchestra with choral groups and a jazz band. Students operate Music Bridge, an award-winning program that provides music enrichment for local children.
The theatre department produces plays, musicals, cabaret shows, and dance recitals in Dillard Theatre. Art majors can emphasize in graphic design or studio art.
Named for the Catalan artist Pierre Daura, the Daura Gallery hosts several exhibitions each year and, in partnership with the museum studies minor, includes student-curated exhibitions.
University of Lynchburg’s 25,000 alumni span the globe. You may not know their names, but you know their work. Our alumni work around the world and change the world. Here are just a few examples:
Kevin Scott ’94 is Microsoft’s chief technology officer and is known as the “engineer who saved LinkedIn.”
Setsuko Thurlow ’55 was Lynchburg’s commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient in 2018 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her lifelong involvement and leadership of the nuclear disarmament movement.
Joan Foster ’69, ’70 MAT, ’85 MEd is the former mayor of Lynchburg, having served for eight years.
Jonathan Sobel ’18 DMSc, is president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and was a member of Lynchburg’s inaugural DMSc graduating class in 2018.
Deirdre Quinn ’93 is best known for her role as Miss Texas in the 2000 movie “Miss Congeniality”
Bob Duff ’93 is Senate Majority Leader in Connecticut.
Emily Brown ’02, a Communications Studies graduate and member of the Alumni Board, is USA Today director of platform storytelling.
Our Campus, Lynchburg, and Central Virginia
The University of Lynchburg is located in Lynchburg, Virginia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The University is approximately 180 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and 120 miles west of Richmond, the state capital.
Lynchburg – known as the Hill City – is a small city with an Old South feel and views of the Blue Ridge range of the Appalachian Mountains. Downtown Lynchburg is a mix of old and new, and the city is known for the historic districts of refined homes on the surrounding hilltops. Five of these districts are included in the National Register of Historic Districts. The area has several good museums, entertainment, and good restaurants. Mountains to the west and Smith Mountain Lake to the south offer great outdoor recreation.
Cost of Living and housing are moderate among Virginia’s metropolitan areas. The economy is supported by steel pipe and furniture manufacturing, healthcare, and an assortment of smaller businesses.
Lynchburg is situated in the James River Valley at the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nearby terrain is hilly with deciduous forest and sheltered valleys. Summers are warm and fairly humid with cool evening breezes and cooler conditions in nearby hills. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. Fall brings periods of cloudy, cool weather with high humidity and light rain or drizzle. Winter cold fronts bring dry, invigorating air with clear skies. There are snow showers, but the mountains to the west block many storms and high winds. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.
Located on 264 acres near the geographic center of the city, our beautifully landscaped campus is a showplace. Facilities include more than 40 buildings, many of Georgian Revival-style architecture. Campus life revolves around the Dell, with academic and residential facilities encircling a green space with Friendship Circle at its hub. Signifying the founders’ balance of faith and reason, Snidow Chapel faces Hopwood Hall at opposite ends of the Dell.
The state-of-the-art Graduate Health Sciences Building is a short walk from the main campus and houses the Doctor of Physical Therapy, Master of PA Medicine, and Doctor of Medical Science programs.
Student life is centered in the Drysdale Student Center. Music and theater performances are held in the modern Sydnor Performance Hall, Snidow Chapel, and Dillard Fine Arts Center. Shellenberger Field, the home to soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, and track and field, features a turf field and is ringed by the Jack Toms track. A new residence hall, currently under construction, overlooks the athletic complex and will house the Westover Honors College and other learning communities.
The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The University received initial accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1927. In December 2009, SACSCOC expanded University of Lynchburg’s accreditation to include degrees at the doctoral level. The next 10-year reaffirmation is scheduled for 2024.
Lynchburg is authorized to operate in the Commonwealth of Virginia through the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
The University’s operating budget for 2018-19 is $71.1 million. The value of the endowment is currently $110.4 million. The University has $63.9 million in long-term debt due to strategic capital improvements/additions. The University maintains a BBB+ rating from Standard & Poor’s, and has leveraged sustainability initiatives as well as consortium memberships in insurance, health care, and retirement plan management to enhance the financial strength of the institution. Program diversification into graduate programs has also enhanced and diversified the revenue of the University.
The University manages its financial operations with operating policies that emphasize balanced operating budgets achieved through a disciplined and involved budget process and stable cash flow. Approximately 69 percent of the operating budget comes from net tuition and fees. The remainder is provided by the University’s auxiliary enterprises, income from endowment, and annual unrestricted giving. The published tuition rate for full-time undergraduate students is approximately $38,560 per year; basic room and board is $10,800.
The University does not currently have an active capital campaign; however, the planning phase for a significant fundraising effort in the next 7 – 10 years is under way. Currently, Advancement is working to increase the number of new potential donors engaged with the institution, and there are additional funds being raised for priority efforts laid out in the University’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2020+.
With the implementation of Vision 2020+, our recent name change, and an ambitious rebranding initiative, Lynchburg is well positioned in the marketplace. Challenged by both demographics and competition – especially from public universities in Virginia – the University has diversified by launching a number of critical graduate programs, moved to online delivery of selected programs of study, and launched an integrated rebranding campaign to raise awareness of the University beyond the local market.
The University worked closely with Ologie, a prominent higher education marketing firm, to rebrand and launch a comprehensive brand awareness campaign that began in January of this year. In just a few months, we have begun to see the new brand take hold.
By ensuring that our brand reflects our identity, the University of Lynchburg will attract the student body we need at the undergraduate and graduate levels, domestically and internationally – to thrive in a competitive marketplace. Our research indicates that the new name will draw more interest from prospective students.
Lynchburg has acquired a reputation as an institution that offers quality educational opportunities while building the character and leadership ability of its students.
Our students, campus leaders, faculty, and coaches regularly receive awards and recognition for their achievements.
Lynchburg has repeatedly been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top tier of Southern colleges and universities. The 2019 rankings put Lynchburg at number 32 in the Regional Universities-South category. It also claimed number 26 on the Best Value list for Southern universities and 22 on Best Colleges for Veterans.
One of 46 colleges nationwide to be included in Colleges That Change Lives by Loren Pope, former education editor of The New York Times.
Twice selected as one of the 100 colleges nationwide for the John Templeton Foundation’s Honor Roll of Character-Building Colleges.
Featured in The Princeton Review College Guide, The Best 384 Colleges, and ranked 12th in the publication’s list of “Best-Run Colleges.”
Ranked well above the national average of U.S. colleges and universities in student engagement, according to the 2018 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
Listed on G.I. Jobs magazine’s “Military Friendly Schools” for its effort to “embrace America’s veterans as students.”
One of about 60 institutions nationwide selected to participate in the Bonner Leader Program, sponsored by the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation.
On the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll numerous times. About 700 students contribute more than 70,000 hours of community service annually.
The Lynchburg Nursing program is recognized by Apple as a Distinguished School for its innovative use of iPad technology in classroom and clinical settings.
The University of Lynchburg values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching and service missions of the University. The University of Lynchburg is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.