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■ College Profile: SHENANDOAH UNIVERSITY Editor’s Note: This is a continuing series profi ling Virginia’s colleges and universities.


at a glance


Founded: 1875 President: Tracy Fitzsimmons, who has headed the university since July 2008


Enrollment: 2,063 undergraduates and 1,781 graduate students in fall 2017


Tuition: $15,640 per semester plus $625 in mandatory fees.


Locations: Main campus in Winchester with other sites including the Health Professions Building on the Winchester Medical Center-Valley Health campus; Scholar Plaza in Leesburg; and the Inova Center for Personalized Health in Fairfax County. The Cool Spring River Campus in Bluemont includes195 acres along the Shenandoah River that was the site of the 1864 Battle of Cool Spring.


History: Shenandoah High School opened in Dayton in 1875 and was renamed Shenandoah Seminary the next year. In 1884, the institution was purchased by the Virginia Conference of the United Brethren in Christ, which would become part of the United Methodist Church, SU’s present affiliation. In 1960, the Shenandoah College and Shenandoah Conservatory of Music moved to Winchester after a fund drive by the Winchester- Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. In 1962, Shenandoah assumed responsibility for the nursing program at Winchester Hospital (now Valley Health’s Winchester Medical Center) School of Nursing. In 1974, the college and conservatory became a single institution and in 1991, a university.


On the Web www.su.edu


74 NOVEMBER 2018


“We have always been unapologetic about offering professional training,” says Tracy Fitzsimmons, the president of Shenandoah University.


by Karin Kapsidelis A


cross the state’s higher-ed landscape, Shenandoah University stands apart because of what it does not profess to be.


“Shenandoah is a different animal in


higher education in Virginia,” says Tracy Fitzsimmons, president for the past decade at the Winchester-based univer- sity. “It was not started as a liberal-arts institution, and we have never been a lib- eral-arts institution.” That pronouncement may be


unusual for a private, nonprofit insti- tution, but the principle behind it has gained currency since the recession.


Founded in 1875 as a seminary and


conservatory, Shenandoah has grown into a university while retaining its mis- sion to align degrees with careers. “We have always been unapolo-


getic about offering professional train- ing,” Fitzsimmons says. “We love that our students get jobs at graduation and that they are able to contribute broadly to their community.” But don’t mistake Shenandoah for a


Photos by Norm Shafer


‘A different animal’


University began as a seminary and conservatory


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