Virginia University of Lynchburg
Former names
Lynchburg Baptist Seminary (1886–1890)
Virginia Seminary (1890–1900)
Virginia Theological Seminary and College (1900–1962)
Virginia Seminary and College (1962–1996)
MottoSibi Auxilium et Libertas
TypePrivate historically black university
Established1886; 138 years ago (1886)
Religious affiliation
PresidentKathy Franklin
Administrative staff
Location, ,

37°23′42.7″N 79°9′6.3″W / 37.395194°N 79.151750°W / 37.395194; -79.151750
ColorsNavy Blue & Light Blue
Sporting affiliations
NCCAA Division I – South
Virginia University of Lynchburg
Virginia University of Lynchburg is located in Virginia
Virginia University of Lynchburg
Virginia University of Lynchburg is located in the United States
Virginia University of Lynchburg
Location2058 Garfield Ave., Lynchburg, Virginia
Area6.82 acres (2.76 ha)
Built1888 (1888)
ArchitectRomulus C. Archer Jr.
Architectural styleColonial Revival, Beaux-Arts
NRHP reference No.11000035[1]
VLR No.118-5297
Significant dates
Added to NRHPFebruary 22, 2011
Designated VLRDecember 16, 2010[2]

Virginia University of Lynchburg (VUL) is a private historically black Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia. The university is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools and 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.[3]


Humbles Hall

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.[4] 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 (2.76 ha): 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,[5] which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.[1]

Its first President was 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. Morris would later serve as president of the National Baptist Convention. 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.

In July 2010, the school reached an agreement with Liberty University to help VUL students looking for degrees not offered at the school to complete their degrees at Liberty.[6]

University presidents

The following have led Virginia University of Lynchburg since its founding:[7]

  1. Philip F. Morris, 1888-1890
  2. Gregory W. Hayes, 1891-1906
  3. Mary Rice Hayes Allen, 1906-1908
  4. James Robert Lincoln Diggs, 1908-1911
  5. Robert C. Woods, 1911-1926
  6. William H.R. Powell, 1926-1929, 1934-1946
  7. Vernon Johns, 1929-1934
  8. Madison C. Allen, 1946-1966
  9. MacCarthy C. Sutherland, 1966-1980
  10. Benjamin W. Robertson, 1980
  11. Leroy Fitts, 1980-1981
  12. Thomas E. Parker, 1982-1987
  13. Melvin R. Boone, 1988-1990
  14. Ada M. Palmer, 1990-1992
  15. Elisha G. Hall, 1992-1999
  16. Ralph Reavis, 2000-2015
  17. Kathy C. Franklin, 2016–Present


The VUL athletic teams are called the Dragons. The university is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The Dragons were formerly a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). VUL previously competed as a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), which is currently a NCAA Division II athletic conference, from 1921–22 to 1953–54.

VUL competes in eight intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include basketball, football and track & field (indoor and outdoor); while women's sports include basketball, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball.

Notable alumni and faculty


  1. ^ a b "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 2/22/11 through 2/25/11. National Park Service. March 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  3. ^ Carmel, Margaret (February 11, 2018). "Historic district proposed for Lynchburg's 12th Street".
  4. ^ Bogger, Tommy L. "John M. Armistead (1852–1929)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Ashley Neville & John Salmon (September 2010). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Virginia University of Lynchburg" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 13, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2013. and Accompanying six photo Archived 2013-08-13 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Virginia University of Lynchburg, Liberty University strike deal for degrees". Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  7. ^ "About VUL". Virginia University of Lynchburg. Retrieved November 23, 2022.
  8. ^ "Herman Dreer (1889–1981)". Missouri Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 18, 2022.