Each year, Emory & Henry features close to 100 concerts, lectures, theatre and dance performances, films, exhibits, and poetry readings that help to complete your academic experience. The vast majority of these events are part of the college's popular Lyceum program. In addition, we host each November a literary festival and several endowed lecture series.
The Emory & Henry Literary Festival began in 1982 with a program devoted to Sherwood Anderson, who spent the final 15 years of his life in nearby Smyth County, Virginia. Since that inaugural occasion the festival has honored a living writer with strong ties to the Appalachian region, an author who comes to campus for a reading and a public interview and who listens to two or three papers about her/his work.
The annual Leidig Lectureship presents a distinguished poet who presents a lecture and a reading, as well as opportunities for students to meet with the poet. The prestigious Leidig Prize, a poetry award named after a beloved alum who also taught in the English Department, is announced each spring when the Leidig Lectureship poet is on campus.
The Richard Joshua Reynolds Lectureship in the Humanities was established through the generosity of the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The lectureship is named in honor of an alumnus of Emory & Henry College, R. J. Reynolds (1850-1918), who attended the College during the 1860s. Mr. Reynolds was noted for his philanthropy in the fields of education and public service in the South. The lectureship presents annually scholars and artists who have distinguished themselves in the humanities.
The Bays Blackwell Lecture Series was established in 1960 by Robert Lee Blackwell (A.B., LL.D. Emory & Henry College, LL.B. Harvard University) as a memorial to his father. Mr. Blackwell asked that the college offer a series of lectures by “outstanding figures in the field of political science or statecraft.” He hoped these presentations would “foster and preserve . . . the historic form of the government of the United States, to promote the initiative, self-reliance and freedom of the people thereof, to keep before them the lessons which history offers for the guidance of each new generation.”