Opening Convocation 2021

On Thursday, September 9, Alderson Broaddus University commemorated the start of a new academic year and welcomed the Class of 2025 to the mountaintop. Students from 25 countries, 34 states, 1 territory, and the District of Columbia were celebrated as diverse and vibrant members of AB and the community.

The formal Opening Convocation ceremony officially embraced new and returning students and staff to the AB campus. As in years past, Alderson Broaddus will become the home away from home for many, as they trust the University’s rich tradition of providing the highest quality education.

“It is a great joy to welcome our students back for our 151st year. The Opening Convocation allows us to affirm and enhance the sense of community which exists at Alderson Broaddus while we celebrate our shared values and our mission.”

This year’s Opening Convocation address was given by Dr. Beth Rushing, President of the Appalachian College Association (ACA). Representing a consortium of 34 private colleges and universities in Appalachia, ACA offers collaborative opportunities for faculty, staff, and students of member institutions.

Rushing’s address, entitled “On Failure as an Option,” centered on failure as a necessary by-product of success. She invoked memories of Apollo 13 and the many inventions by Thomas Edison to underscore her point. In essence, Rushing explained that failure is an experience, that if properly evaluated, would enable them to be more successful going forward. The key, never let failure have the last word.



About Alderson Broaddus University

Alderson Broaddus University is an independent institution of higher learning, affiliated with the West Virginia Baptist Convention and American Baptist Churches USA, committed to serving the region as an academic, cultural, and religious resource, with programs based on a liberal arts foundation.

The mission of AB is to provide 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.

Since its founding in 1871, AB has been a leader and innovator in higher education, with accolades in the health and natural sciences. Alderson Broaddus University stands out as one of the most innovative health education providers in Appalachia, pioneering the nation’s first baccalaureate physician assistant program of its kind in 1968 and a post-baccalaureate physician assistant master’s degree program in 1993, and West Virginia’s first four-year Nursing program in 1945.

AB is located on a historic hilltop in Barbour County in Philippi, West Virginia. The University is rooted in historic and continuing relationships with the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. and the West Virginia Baptist Convention.

For more information about AB, visit