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University of Virginia-Wise

The University of Virginia's College at Wise (also known as UVa-Wise, or University of Virginia at Wise) is the liberal arts college of the University of Virginia, and a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, located in Wise, Virginia, United States. It is the only branch of the University of Virginia, and the westernmost public college in Virginia



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Highland Cavaliers
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Mountain East

College History


The college was first conceived by local residents who petitioned the University of Virginia to establish a college in Wise. As support for a college grew, the Commonwealth of Virginia appropriated $5,000 to open, staff, and operate the college as a two-year junior college on a trial basis for a year; and if successful, another $5,000 would be available for a second year. In the winter of 1954, the local community matched the commonwealth's funds and collected over $6,000 to furnish the classrooms and use for supplies. Wise County donated over 400-acre (161.9 ha) of property that included two sandstone buildings, the property had once served as the county's poor farm. Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia opened in September 1954 with an enrollment of 100 freshmen. Clinch Valley College became the westernmost state-supported college in Virginia and the only branch of the University of Virginia. Prior to its opening, Virginia lacked public colleges west of Radford. Clinch Valley College operated as a junior college throughout the late 1950s and 1960s. During that time, the college gained more support from graduates who wanted to complete their baccalaureate degrees at the same institution and the college began the process to become a four-year college. In June 1970, Clinch Valley College granted its first Bachelor of Arts degrees; followed by Bachelor of Science degrees, first awarded in 1973. The college continued to grow and added new programs such as nursing and technology and in 1996, the college granted its first Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees. In 1999, the Virginia General Assembly renamed the school "The University of Virginia's College at Wise," following an unsuccessful effort to change the institution's name in 1991. UVa-Wise expanded its focus on international education and signed three sister institution agreements along with initiating cooperative and mutual exchange programs for students and faculty with three international institutions in the late 1990s. In 1998, the college signed a sister institution agreement with Istanbul University in 1998. A year later, it signed a second agreement with another Turkish university, Dumlupinar University in K�tahya. In December 2000, the University of Seville in Spain became the college's third sister institution. Through the early 21st century, UVa-Wise underwent rapid growth, with several new buildings and campus beautification projects to accommodate enrollment growth. As of September 2010, the college offered 31 majors, 31 minors and 23 teaching specialties and had an enrollment is about 2,005 students. On February 2, 2012, UVa-Wise saw the unexpected death of Chancellor David J. Prior. During his seven years as chancellor, the college experienced dramatic growth in student enrollment and facilities. During his tenure, the UVa-Wise's five-year fund raising campaign, known as the �Fulfilling the Dream� campaign, exceeded its goal to raise $50 million. UVa-Wise constructed numerous building during Prior's tenure, including the Hunter J. Smith Dining Commons, the Gilliam Center for the Arts and two residence halls, the $30 million Convocation Center, as well as the renovation of the Leonard W. Sandridge Science Center

College Specialty


The University of Virginia's College at Wise, a public liberal arts institution, provides students with learning experiences that offer opportunities to develop the insight, competence, sensitivity, and integrity necessary for living enriched lives and for enriching the lives of others. Established in 1954 as a college of the University of Virginia, it is guided by the values of citizenship and altruism. Proud of its Appalachian heritage, the College continues to honor its commitment of service to Southwest Virginia, the nation, and the world. The College is guided by a legacy of teaching and scholarly excellence and by a dedication to quality in both the arts and sciences and professional programs. Above all, The University of Virginia's College at Wise is a diverse community of people who believe that information can be transformed into knowledge and that teaching and learning create a foundation for wisdom.



Holly Kiser was a student of UVa-Wise; she became the first winner of Make Me a Supermodel. Terry Kilgore, politician, elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1993; graduated from Clinch Valley College (now UVa-Wise).



Rural, 400 Acres (1.6�Km2)