Alderson Broaduss University gained its ungainly name in 1932, when the Broaduss Institute – a Baptist school founded in 1871 – merged with the Alderson Academy (founded in 1901). These two Baptist liberal arts colleges (one a junior college, the other a baccalaureate college) hit hard times during the Great Depression and consolidated their strengths. Generally called AB by students and alumni, Alderson Broaduss remains affiliated with the American Baptist Church, and has grown well beyond its roots to become a leader in health science and teacher education for West Virginia. Today, AB is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #26 regional college in the South, and is steadily growing into one of the state’s most prestigious institutions.
Academic ProgramsAlderson Broaduss University is rooted in the liberal arts; both of its original constituent institutions were traditional liberal arts colleges, and AB’s foundational curriculum is still dedicated to the humanities, fine arts, and music, as well as Christian tradition and faith. The purpose of AB’s liberal arts tradition remains the same as ever – to ensure that students have a firm grounding in the best of Western culture, and the adaptable skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving that make for the most in-touch, engaged professionals. Alderson Broaduss also makes ethics and responsibility central to its education.
Alongside its liberal arts core, however Alderson Broaduss has cultivated one of the most advanced and influential health sciences programs in the region, becoming a unique entity – a liberal-arts focused leader in healthcare. AB started West Virginia’s first nursing school in 1945, established the first radiology program in the state, and created the nation’s first 4-year Physician’s Assistant programs – a precursor to the nation’s first PA Master’s program. In recent years, AB has expanded to include more natural sciences and professional programs, but whatever the field, Alderson Broaduss’ focus is on service and human welfare.
Student LifeThe student body at Alderson Broaduss numbers around 1100; slightly more men than women attend as full-time residential students, and more than a quarter of the student population identifies as minority. Two-thirds of the student body comes from outside of West Virginia, drawn to AB’s Baptist heritage and reputation as a best value. Students can choose from dozens of student-led clubs and organizations, including social groups (like the Power of Women and the Tabletop Gaming Guild), religious groups, and service organizations. AB also has a substantial Greek Life, with seven local and national fraternities and sororities.
Alderson Broaduss fields 23 NCAA Division II athletic teams in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. AB joined the G-MAC along with several other West Virginia colleges and universities when the previous West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference broke up in 2013. Nicknamed the Battlers, AB became the first football champions in the G-MAC after the conference added the sport in 2016, and has continued to dominate the conference.