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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)
TypePrivate university
Established1903; 121 years ago (1903)
Religious affiliation
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Endowment$150 million (2022) [1]
PresidentAlison Morrison-Shetlar
Academic staff
157 full time
StudentsApproximately 2,460
Location, ,
United States
ColorsCrimson and Silver
Sporting affiliations
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. It has approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. The university's campus 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.

Beginning with 11 faculty and 55 students, the institution has grown to 159 full-time faculty and 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. For undergraduate students, the university offers 39 majors, 49 minors, two dual-degree programs, and the Westover Honors Program. It also confers the Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Master of Science in Nursing as well as doctoral degrees in physical therapy, physician assistants, and educational leadership.

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.[4]

The University of Lynchburg campus


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


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 life

Carnegie Hall

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.[5]

Greek life

Fraternity life began on the University of Lynchburg campus in 1962, but 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.[citation needed]


Shellenberger Field, where some athletic games take place.

Main article: Lynchburg Hornets

The University of Lynchburg Hornets participate in NCAA Division III and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC). The Hornets program offers 24 intercollegiate athletics programs, 23 which compete in Division III, along with equestrian, which competes in both the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association and National Collegiate Equestrian Association formats. Since joining the ODAC as a charter member in 1976, the Hornets have recorded 205 conference titles.

In recent years, Lynchburg athletics has competed for four 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.[6] In 2010, the Hornets men's soccer program reached the Division III national championship match, where they fell in overtime to Messiah College.[7] 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.[8] In the 2023 NCAA DIII baseball tournament final, Lynchburg defeated Johns Hopkins in 3 games to capture its first national championship.[9]

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

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
Ryan Cranston Former Major League Lacrosse Player Graduate
Bob Duff Senator - State of Connecticut BA, 1993, Sigma Phi Epsilon[10]
Jerry Falwell Founder of Liberty University Journalism student before transferring to Bible Baptist College[11]
Ted Gulick Episcopal bishop Graduate
William J. Hadden Chaplain, US Army and US Navy, and Episcopal Church BA, 1944
Franklin P. Hall Virginia House of Delegates [12] Graduate
Whit Haydn Magician, entertainer BA, 1972
John Hobbs Major League Baseball player BA, 1978,[13]
Howard Kester Preacher, organizer, activist and author BA 1924
Robert A. McKee Member, Maryland House of Delegates B.A. in political science in 1971[14]
Deirdre Quinn Actress 1993 BA in Theatre[15]
Jessamine Shumate Artist and painter Attended art classes during the 1940s
Kathrine Switzer First woman to officially run the Boston Marathon Attended for two years
Setsuko Thurlow Anti-nuclear weapons activist who accepted 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN[16] B.A. in Sociology in 1955[17]
Percy Wootton American Medical Association president[18] Graduate


  1. ^ As of December 20, 2022. University of Lynchburg suffers $12 million budget deficit (Report). The News and Advance. December 20, 2022. Retrieved December 25, 2022.
  2. ^ "Overview of the University of Lynchburg". U.S.NEWS.
  3. ^ John Pike. "NS Savannah". Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  4. ^ "Lynchburg College to change its name to University of Lynchburg". Lynchburg College. February 24, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "Student Activities". Lynchburg College. Retrieved February 28, 2014.
  6. ^ "Champions! Hornets Win First Title in School History". 6 December 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Sudden-death goal ices third title". 4 December 2010. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Tufts Wins D3 Lacrosse Title with 19-11 Win over Lynchburg College - Lynchburg". Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  9. ^ "2023 Division III Baseball Official Bracket |". Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  10. ^ "My Bio".
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Virginia House of Delegates: Historical Bio for Franklin P. Hall".
  13. ^ "Jack Hobbs". CNN. Archived from the original on 2002-11-02.
  14. ^ "Robert A. McKee, Maryland State Delegate". Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  15. ^ "Lynchburg College: StageNotes 2006". Lynchburg College Theatre. Archived from the original on 2007-10-04.
  16. ^ "Setsuko Thurlow | ICAN". Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  17. ^ "Hiroshima survivor, Lynchburg College graduate, to accept Nobel Peace Prize". Lynchburg College. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2018-04-02.
  18. ^ "Society of Smith Scholars".