Alderson Broaddus University

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Alderson Broaddus University
File:Alderson Broaddus University seal.png
Motto "Out of hiding, into the light"
Established 1871
Type Private
President Richard Creehan
Provost Joan Propst
Academic staff
Students 1100
Location Philippi, West Virginia, USA
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Campus Rural
Athletics 22 NCAA Division II
Colors Navy and Gold
Nickname Battlers
Mascot Skirmish

Alderson Broaddus University — informally known as "AB" — is a private, four-year liberal arts university, located in Philippi, West Virginia, USA.

Alderson Broaddus was formed in 1932 as Alderson–Broaddus College by the union of two Baptist institutions: Alderson Academy (founded 1901) and Broaddus College (founded 1871; moved to Philippi, 1901). The school adopted its current name in 2013.

Noted for its health science, natural science, education and music programs, the college offers a variety of majors in five academic divisions: Education and Special Programs, Health Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.


File:Alderson-Broaddus Early Campus.jpg
The college's campus in the early 1930s.

Alderson Broaddus University derives its double-barreled name from the merging of two Baptist institutions in 1932. The older of the two, Broaddus College, was founded in Winchester, Virginia, in 1871 by Edward Jefferson Willis, a Baptist minister who named the new college after Rev. William Francis Ferguson Broaddus, a prominent Baptist minister at the time of the American Civil War. In response to economic hard times, Broaddus College was moved across the Allegheny Mountains to Clarksburg, West Virginia in 1876. The college was moved again to the small town of Philippi in 1901. In 1917 it became Broaddus College and Academy. The other institution, Alderson Academy and Junior College, was founded in Alderson in 1901 by Emma Alderson, a committed Baptist laywoman. As the years passed, Broaddus became a junior college, then a senior college, and Alderson Academy added junior college status. Financial hardship in the late 1920s led to a decision to merge the two colleges, which shared common missions and outlooks as Baptist and liberal arts institutions. Since its founding, Alderson Broaddus has been committed to a strong liberal arts education. As such, the College seeks to imbue students with an appreciation of literature and the arts, Christian faith, music and the sciences. In more recent times, the College has focused on developing programs in the natural and applied sciences as well. In 1945, Alderson Broaddus developed the first four-year nursing and the first radiologic technology programs in West Virginia.

A portion of the physical assets of Storer College, a historically black Baptist college founded 1867 in Harpers Ferry were transferred to Alderson Broaddus in 1964 and became the “Storer Scholarship” given annually to African-American students.

In 1968, the College pioneered the nation's first four-year physician assistant program, an innovation that has had significant influence on the development of the physician assistant profession nationwide. From this program emerged in 1991 the College's first graduate degree offering, the Physician Assistant Master's program.

In the mid to late 2000s, on the verge of bankruptcy, the College hired Richard Creehan as President. Creehan embarked on a plan to expand the College, and the school has since upped enrollment by over 600 students, expanded the athletic department immensely, and added many new academic programs. Today, Alderson Broaddus remains a health-related and professional educational institution firmly rooted in the liberal arts. The school is still growing and expanding.

In 2013, the Board of Governors renamed the school Alderson Broaddus University.[1] That same year, the institution matriculated the largest incoming freshman class in school history.


The University is located on a 170-acre (0.69 km2) campus with approximately 1100 students. The campus occupies a rolling hilltop overlooking the Tygart Valley River and the community of Philippi, with its county courthouse, church spires and the historic Philippi Covered Bridge, used by both Confederate and Union troops during the first land battle of the Civil War. The campus includes seven residence halls, the old Broaddus Hospital, a student center and cafeteria, an arena that houses the basketball, swimming, wrestling, and acrobatics and tumbling programs, tennis courts, a grass field used for intramural sports, a state of the art stadium that houses the football, lacrosse, and soccer teams, six academic buildings, a library, and a chapel.

Residence life

The campus has seven different dorms for students to live in. All housing options are co-ed.


Official athletics logo.

Known as the "Battlers" (harkening back to the 1861 Battle of Philippi), Alderson Broaddus is a member of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) and NCAA Division II. The teams colors are Navy Blue and Gold, and its mascot is named Skirmish. The university offers 22 sports, 21 at the Varsity level: Football (which became a full varsity program in 2013),[2] Baseball, Softball, Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Lacrosse, Men's (club level; to become full varsity in 2015–16) and Women's Volleyball, Men's and Women's Cross Country, Men's and Women's Track, Men and Women's Golf, Men and Women's Swimming, Men's Wrestling, Women's Acrobatics and Tumbling, Women's Tennis and Cheerleading.

AB and its predecessor institutions had been members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) since that league's formation in 1924. The WVIAC disbanded at the end of the 2012–13 school year, after the nine WVIAC members that then played football announced they would break away to form a new league that eventually became the Mountain East Conference.

Shortly after the announcement of the Mountain East split, AB found a new conference home, accepting an invitation to join the G-MAC in the fall of 2013.[3] AB and three other West Virginia schools—former WVIAC members Davis & Elkins and Ohio Valley, plus independent Salem International—all entered the G-MAC.[3]


File:Alderson Window.JPG
The Alderson Stained Glass Window (1910), Burbick Hall, Alderson Broaddus University (Originally: Old Main Building, Alderson Academy and Junior College)
  • Alderson Broaddus was the sponsor of the “University of Hard Knocks,” an honorary society with a mission to recognize people who have made a success of their life without the benefit of higher education. The organization, founded in 1947 by late West Virginia historian and publisher Jim Comstock, voted to move its offices to the A–B campus in 1976 where it met annually until its dissolution in 2014.[citation needed]
  • AB maintains a "dry campus" policy (students may not consume alcohol on site).

Notable alumni


  1. College renamed to Alderson Broaddus University, affective July 1, 2013
  2. Stevens, Rich (June 25, 2012). "More than meets eye in breakup of WVIAC". Charleston Daily Mail. Charleston, WV. p. 1. Retrieved August 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "G-MAC News: Conference Adds Three New Members" (Press release). Great Midwest Athletic Conference. August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
References cited

External links