Salem College received its charter from the State of West Virginia in December 1888 and offered its first term of instruction beginning in April 1889. Individuals in the Salem, West Virginia community founded Salem College to provide an affordable baccalaureate curriculum grounded in the liberal arts to prepare students for occupations, professional and advanced studies, as well as a Normal curriculum to prepare educators. While the institution was closely associated for many decades with the Seventh Day Baptist Church, Salem College was not sectarian in its teaching or administration. For its first seventy-five years Salem College was a small institution, drawing students mainly from a limited area. The campus comprised several buildings facing Main Street in town.
Salem has provided degree programs with a strong foundation in the liberal arts that prepare graduates for occupations or advanced studies. This rich history is foundational to the experience as students prepare for better, brighter futures.
Salem offers a number of student-run organizations that provide a variety of opportunities for students to learn, to network, and to enhance their interpersonal skills, as well as providing a means for service to the community.
Salem residence halls provide students with on-campus housing and an opportunity to learn from each other within the framework of an international community of learners. The Residence Life Hall Council serves as a voice of resident student concerns and provides opportunities for developing programs and fund-raisers for each hall. On-campus housing is available to all students without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, religion, nationality or ethnic origin.
The Benedum Library is located on the Salem campus and is open during the terms that the school is in session. In addition to the Library’s physical collection of books, journals and audio- visual materials, online access is provided to books and journals. Holdings may be identified through the Library’s online catalog. The Library is a partial depository for United States Government documents. Information about Library services, including information for distance education and online students, is available below.
Salem’s campus comprises about 100 acres in Salem, West Virginia. The center of the campus is a collection of buildings known as the Valley of Learning, which includes the main administrative and academic buildings, the gymnasium, and the chapel. Residence halls, athletic fields, and other buildings are located in Salem along K.D. Hurley Boulevard and Main Street. The original Administration Building of Salem College is located on Main Street beside the Jennings Randolph House. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Salem University is proud to offer intercollegiate athletics in 16 different men’s and women’s sports to eligible student-athletes pursing undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. It also is a member of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference, the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference, and the Bluegrass Mountain Conference (swimming). Men’s Water Polo competes against institutions in NCAA Divisions I, II, and III.
Salem is authorized by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in accordance with the West Virginia Codeof State Rules (CSR)