Bristol, Va. – Webber International University (WIU), based in Babson Park, Florida, and Virginia Intermont College (VI), located in Bristol, Virginia, announced today that the schools have entered into a memorandum of understanding with the intent to merge effective July, 2014.
Webber International University is a not-for-profit independent university accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) with a strong focus in business, as well as e-learning and graduate studies. The university’s business program, accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), offers a range of specialized degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels including the MBA degree with emphases in accounting, international business, security management, and sport management. WIU also has a campus in Laurinburg, N.C., following a merger in 2011 with St. Andrews University. Webber International University’s St. Andrews campus is known for its strong liberal arts programs with core strengths in the sciences, humanities, and equine studies.
Virginia Intermont College offers a liberal arts education and bachelor’s degrees in a range of academic concentrations including science and mathematics, English, pre-professional studies, teaching and business, among others. Recognized for personalized learning through its high level of faculty/student interaction, VI is also known for its well-regarded programs in the performing arts, photography, social work and equine studies, as well as innovative programs such as Cultural Heritage Studies.
Both WIU and VI have a history of strong academic programs and are long-standing teaching-centered colleges. Extracurricular learning, community service and character-focused athletics are important components of the student experience at the two institutions as well, and both are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) athletic conference. In addition, both VI and the St. Andrews campus of WIU are known for their championship equestrian teams.
In the 2012-13 academic year, VI served approximately 500 students. WIU’s enrollment, including the Laurinburg campus, is approximately 1300 students.
“The banding together of student-centric schools that have complementary academic programs, and share a common vision of relevant, individualized education, is the best way for small institutions to serve their students by offering them the broadest possible range of opportunities. We are very excited about our future together. While much work remains to be done and many approvals remain to be secured, we are making great progress,” WIU President Dr. H. Keith Wade said.
“The VI trustees and I are thrilled about the proposed merger,” said VI President Dr. E. Clorisa Phillips. “Although VI has much to do to shore up its financial position, this opportunity will greatly benefit our students through expanded program offerings and more effective use of resources.”
Among the entities that need to approve the proposed merger are the SACSCOC, the U.S. Dept. of Education, and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). WIU and VI look forward to providing additional information as milestones within the merger process are achieved.
About Webber International University
Founded in 1927 by Roger Babson as the first private college chartered under Florida’s then new charitable and educational laws and one of the nation’s first business schools for women, Webber International University now hosts men and women from some 48 different nations. WIU is recognized by the Princeton Review as a Best Southeastern College, GI Jobs as an America’s Most Military Friendly School, and listed in the US News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges. For more information, visit www.webber.edu/.
About Virginia Intermont College
Founded in 1884, as a college dedicated to the education of women, Virginia Intermont College is a private, coeducational college in Bristol, Va., with a longstanding commitment to the liberal arts education. Currently VI hosts students from 34 states and 7 countries. VI belongs to Colleges of Distinction 2013-14 and was listed by Virginia Living magazine as one of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s top schools of 2013. For more information, visit www.vic.edu.