E&H History & Finding Aids

The Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church – forerunner of the United Methodist Church – along with material and monetary assistance from citizens of Washington County and the surrounding region, established Emory & Henry College in 1836, thus making it the oldest institution of higher learning in southwest Virginia. The foundation for the main building was laid on 30 September 1836. The board of trustees hired Charles Collins (1838-1852) as the institution's first president, and classes began in the spring of 1838 with 60 students enrolled.