Buena Vista, VA (May 5, 2003) – After three years of pre-accreditation, Southern Virginia University was granted full accreditation with the American Academy of Liberal Education (AALE) Monday.

“We were so pleased to receive such wonderful news,” stated Dr. E. Curtis Fawson, president of SVU. “We weren’t expecting to know the results of our application for full accreditation for another week or two, which made the news even more exciting.”

AALE is a nationally recognized accrediting agency for institutions of higher education and programs within institutions of higher education that offer liberal arts degrees at the baccalaureate level. The AALE accredits institutions offering quality general education programs in the liberal arts that meet stringent educational, administrative, and financial criteria.

AALE is unique in the accreditation community in grounding its accreditation and pre-accreditation processes on a rigorous set of Education Standards. These standards require students to complete demanding core studies in the arts, sciences and humanities.

“We are pleased to join the ranks of AALE accredited institutions that also have focused, well-articulated core programs,” stated Fawson. “The process of accreditation has been a combined effort. I am impressed with how our faculty, staff, and students have risen to the challenge of qualifying for full accreditation.”

During a site visit to SVU in January, members of the AALE team recognized the development and growth SVU had experienced over the last three years. The team’s report included many commendations, including, “The site team found the faculty highly motivated, well trained, and exceptionally committed to academic excellence.”

Members of the AALE Board of Trustees that granted full accreditation to SVU include world famous intellectuals such as Jacques Barzun of Columbia University and Edward O. Wilson
of Harvard University.

Institutions, such as Rhodes College, Memphis TN; University of Dallas, Dallas TX; Baylor University Texas, Thomas Aquinas College at Santa Paula California, James Madison College at Michigan State University are also accredited through AALE.

Now fully accredited with the AALE, Southern Virginia will prepare for regional accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Regional accreditation was lost prior the transition of the Board of Trustees in 1996 due to financial instability.


Southern Virginia University is a private, non-profit, co-educational, four-year liberal arts institution located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. SVU supports the values and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. For more information, please visit www.southernvirginia.edu, or call 800-229-8420.