The University of Lynchburg was founded in 1903 by Josephus Hopwood as one of the first coeducational institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The college offers 39 undergraduate majors through six academic schools and 14 graduate programs. The student enrollment is 2,600 with approximately 85 percent of the undergraduate students residential. From its founding, the university has been committed to its strong relationships with the broader community.
The faculty, staff and students of the University of Lynchburg have engaged in poverty-related matters from a primarily experiential and community-based research perspective. The development of a poverty studies curriculum at the university will grow out of established community-based research projects and strong relationships with local non-profit organizations, local recreation centers, neighborhood leaders and other grassroots organizers.
The university has worked in unison with the Homeless Coalition of Central Virginia, the city-sponsored race dialogues, an organic urban farm, and other human service organizations to address poverty-related challenges in Lynchburg. Coursework relating to poverty spans multiple disciplines, including sociology, history and literature. Courses such as “Urban Sociology,” “Sociology of the South,” “Social Inequality and Oppression,” “History of Latin America” and “Political Science” represent just a few of the possibilities for intensive and richly contextual study of poverty. With the aforementioned interdisciplinary commitment and community presence, the goal of concretely, compassionately and creatively tackling poverty in our community remains the core goal of poverty studies at the University of Lynchburg.
SHECP Council Member and Academic Director
Sharon Foreman, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Community Development and Social Justice;
Chair, Department of Sociology & Human Services;
Associate Professor of Sociology & Human Services
Bonner Leadership Director