For more than 144 years, Alderson Broaddus University has been providing a quality education for its students. Overlooking the picturesque Tygart River Valley in Philippi, West Virginia, Alderson Broaddus University students learn and grow in a faith-based learning community. Deeply rooted in the liberal arts, Alderson Broaddus University is a health-related and professional educational institution. Alderson Broaddus University is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.
Two institutions were united in 1932 to form Alderson Broaddus University. Each of the institutions passed on a rich Christian heritage. The older of the two, Broaddus University, 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 Civil War. In response to economic hard times, Broaddus University was moved across the Alleghenies to Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1876. The college was moved again to the small town of Philippi, West Virginia in 1901.
The other institution, Alderson Academy and Junior College, was founded in Alderson, West Virginia 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 1920’s led to the decision to merge the two colleges, both of which shared a common identity as Baptist and liberal arts institutions. Alderson Broaddus University derives its hyphenated name from the joining of these two 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. In 1968, the College pioneered the nation’s first four-year physician assistant program, an innovation that has had enormous 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. Academic innovation is an enduring feature of AB.
As the years passed, Broaddus became a junior college, then a senior college, and Alderson Academy added junior college status. The financially depressed 1920’s and 1930’s brought the decision that the two colleges, both American Baptist supported, both dedicated to liberal arts and sciences, and both standing for the Christian education of the student, should be merged.
Eighty-one years later, on June 27, 2013, AB gained university status and changed its name to Alderson Broaddus University to better reflect its status among higher education. A campus-wide celebration was held on September 2, 2013, and an updated version of the mascot, Skirmish the Battler, was unveiled.
On September 12, 2013, officials announced a restructuring of the University into six colleges: The College of Business and Management; The College of Education and Music; The College of Health Sciences; The College of Humanities and Social Sciences; The College of Science, Technology and Mathematics; and The College of Physician Assistant Studies. The creation of a series of colleges provides AB the opportunity to expand academic majors, create new academic initiatives, increase graduate culture by developing more master’s degree programs, and gives the institution a structure reflecting the prestige, character and status among other institutions of higher education. University officials announced on September 22, 2014, that a structural change was made in Academic Affairs for the Alderson Broaddus Graduate Program of Physician Assistant Studies. The College of Physician Assistant Studies was renamed as the College of Medical Science, featuring the School of Physician Assistant Studies and the School of Anatomical Science. This restructuring comes as the University continues to develop advanced courses in anatomy with the anticipation of moving toward graduate-level education in this field.
AB is a health-related and professional educational institution firmly rooted in the liberal arts. The mission of Alderson Broaddus University is to provide its students with the highest quality education, striving to prepare students to succeed in their chosen disciplines and to fulfill their roles in a diverse society as well-rounded and responsible citizens.
Today, Alderson Broaddus is the only institution of higher education in West Virginia related to the American Baptist Churches, USA.
The University has a long cherished tradition of effective teaching in the liberal arts with strong emphases in human studies, the Christian faith, music, and the fine arts. Science and teacher preparation have, in recent years, placed emphasis on the natural and applied sciences.
In cooperation with the Myers Clinic, the first collegiate nursing program and the first radiologic technology program in West Virginia were developed in 1945. In 1968, a four-year medical science program to prepare the physician assistant was initiated. The medical science major was a national pioneering venture, the first such four-year program in the country. The nursing and allied health sciences programs are based strongly on the liberal arts.
The University initiated its first graduate degree offering in August 1991, the Master’s degree for physician assistants.
New Dimensions in Learning, a program inaugurated in the fall of 1964, moved Alderson Broaddus into a new era of academic adventure and service. The world had become the classroom in which ideals and intellectual achievements of students were tested and developed—far beyond the confines of the West Virginia campus.