Virginia Union University was founded in 1865
to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and
advancement. The University is the result of the merger of four
institutions: Richmond Theological Seminary, Wayland Seminary, Hartshorn
Memorial College, and Storer College.
Richmond Theological Seminary held
classes in Richmond, Virginia at Lumpkin’s Jail, a former holding cell
for runaway slaves. During the same time, Wayland Seminary was founded
by the American Baptist Home Mission Society in Washington, D.C. Two
years later in 1867, Storer College was founded in Harper’s Ferry, West
Virginia, and in 1883, Hartshorn Memorial College opened its doors in
Richmond as the first college for African American women.
After three decades of operating
independently, Richmond Theological Seminary and Wayland Seminary merged
on February 11, 1899 to form Virginia Union University. Later, in 1932
and 1964, respectively, Hartshorn Memorial College and Storer College
became part of this UNION.
Virginia Union University is nourished by its African
American heritage and energized by a commitment to excellence and
diversity. Its mission is to:
1. Provide a nurturing intellectually challenging and spiritually enriching environment for learning;
2. Empower students to develop strong moral values for success; and
3. Develop scholars, leaders, and lifelong learners of a global society.
To accomplish this mission, Virginia Union University
offers a broad range of educational opportunities that advance liberal
arts education, teaching, research, science, technology, continuing
education, civic engagement, and international experiences.