University of Duck Seal

The Schools of Virginia

University of Duck Seal


Emory and Henry College

Founded: 1836 Emory and Henry University
Nickname/Mascot: The Wasps / Wasp
Colors: Blue, Gold
Motto: Macte Virtute (Increase in Excellence)
Location: Emory
As the oldest institute of higher learning in Southwest Virginia, Emory & Henry College’s entire campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Hollins University

Founded: 1842 Hollins University
Nickname/Mascot: None
Colors: Green, Gold
Motto: Levavi Oculos (Lift thine eyes)
Location: Roanoke
Founded in 1842 as Valley Union Seminary in the historical settlement of Botetourt Springs, Hollins University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education for women in the United States.
  Hollins Marker


James Madison University

Founded: 1908 James Madison University
Nickname/Mascot: James Madison Dukes / Duke Dog
Colors: Purple, Gold
Motto: Knowledge is Liberty
Location: Harrisonburg
Originally founded as a women's school, James Madison enrolled its first male students as day students in 1946.  A gray bulldog dressed in a purple cape and crown as the school's mascot - Duke Dog.
  JMU Duke Dog


Mary Baldwin College

Founded: 1842 Mary Baldwin College
Nickname/Mascot: Fighting Squirrels
Colors: White, Gold
Motto: Non pro tempore sed aeternitate (Not for time but for eternity)
Location: Staunton
Mary Baldwin hosts the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership program for female cadets, affiliated with nearby Virginia Military Institute.


Radford University

Founded: 1910 Radford University
Nickname/Mascot: Highlanders/ The Highlander
Colors: Red, White
Motto: We are Investing in Lifetimes
Location: Radford
Originally founded as a women's school - State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford, it became the Women's Division of Virginia Tech in the 40's.  With the gender integration at Tech in the 60's, the mission of the school was reworked and became Radford College.


Shenandoah University

Founded: 1875 Shenandoah University
Nickname/Mascot: Hornets
Colors: Red, Blue
Motto: Curiosity Required
Location: Winchester
According to the university's official history page, the name Shenandoah is derived from the Native American legend of Zynodoa, a brave whose life of strength and courage and his appreciation of beauty resulted in having a river and a valley named for him. Popular myth further ascribes translation of the word "Shenandoah" to mean "daughter of the stars."


Virginia Military Institute

Founded: 1839 VMI
Nickname/Mascot: Keydets / Moe the Kangaroo
Colors: Red, White and Yellow
Motto: In Pace Decus, In Bello Praesidium (In Peace a Glorious Asset, In War a Tower of Strength)
Location: Lexington
Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the oldest state-supported military college and one of six senior military colleges in the United States and has been called the "West Point of the South," All VMI cadets must participate in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), they are not required to serve in the military upon graduation. VMI graduates may either accept a commission in any of the US military branches or pursue civilian endeavors upon graduation.
  VMI Marker


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Founded: 1872 Virginia Tech
Nickname/Mascot: Hokies / HokieBird
Colors: Chicago Maroon, Burnt Orange
Motto: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve)
Location: Blacksburg
The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university in Blacksburg.  The team is known as the Hokies and their mascot is HokieBird, a turkey like creature which was a holdover from the original mascot - the Fighting Gobblers.


Washington and Lee University

Founded: 1749 Washington and Lee University
Nickname/Mascot: The Generals
Colors: Royal Blue, White
Motto: Non incautus futuri (Not Unmindful of the Future)
Location: Lexington
Originally, the Liberty Hall Academy was renamed Washington Academy in gratitude to an endowment gift from General George Washington. Following the Civil War, General Robert E. Lee was president of the school. He was president when he died in 1870 and is buried in the Lee Memorial Chapel on the campus (his horse, Traveler, is buried there also). Following his death, the school was renamed Washington and Lee University in his honor.
  W&L U


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Photos by J.J. Kwashnak

Updated December 2011