Founded in 1836, Emory & Henry College is the oldest institution of higher education in Southwest. The college is named for John Emory, a leader in the United Methodist Church, and Patrick Henry, a renowned patriot of the American revolution and Virginia's first governor. Emory symbolizes the belief in the union of faith and learning, while Henry represents the commitment to the ideals of freedom and civic virtue. Because of its distinguished history, Emory & Henry is designated as an "historic district" on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register. The college also is a regional leader in the arts, providing throughout the academic year a wide array of art exhibits as well as musical and theater performances.