Oxford College of Emory University
In 1919 Emory College was relocated to the Druid Hills community of Atlanta. The historic campus at Oxford was named Emory University Academy at Oxford in 1916 and designated a residential college preparatory school, similar to that of Andover or Philips Academy in New England. It enjoyed a promising beginning. Student enrollment tripled in the first three years. Despite the early success, Academy administrators soon determined that the freestanding academy would be strengthened if college-level courses were included in the curricular mix.
In the middle to late 1940s Academy enrollment steadily declined. Oxford and Emory leaders sought to find a way to reinvigorate the Academy and make it more appealing to prospective students. Influenced by the experimental models of integrating secondary and postsecondary education at the University of Chicago, Emory and Oxford leaders reorganized the Oxford curriculum
By the late 1950s the Georgia system of public secondary schools had improved in both quality and quantity, and the need for the secondary grades of the four-year junior college diminished. Oxford discontinued all secondary instruction and focused exclusively on the first two years of general education. In the early 1960s Oxford stabilized its institutional structure. Now called Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford positioned itself as a two-year college featuring excellence in teaching, small classes, and ample faculty-student contact—very similar to the Emory College model of the nineteenth century.
Oxford College in the Twenty-First Century
Enrollment at Oxford College rose from 600 in 2005 to 900 in 2012. The college provides a campus environment with a clear mission concentrating exclusively on the intellectual, social, and developmental needs of first- and second-year students. Oxford attracts students mainly from Georgia and the Southeast yet also enrolls students from all parts of the United States and abroad. After completing the Oxford program of study, roughly 90 percent of the graduating sophomores continue their study at Emory's Atlanta campus at Emory College, the Goizueta Business School, or the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
Oxford has extraordinary resources to support the curriculum. Students have access to the 2.7 million volumes contained in the Emory University libraries, in addition to a wide assortment of online journals and research databases.
In addition to their studies, Oxford students are also fully engaged in campus life. They are active participants in the arts, intramural and intercollegiate athletics, and a broad variety of service, religious, and social organizations. An effective and highly regarded student leadership program prepares students to assume leadership roles at Oxford and beyond.
Henry Morton Bullock, A History of Emory University (Nashville, Tenn.: Parthenon Press, 1936; reprint, Atlanta: Cherokee, 1972).
Polly Stone Buck, The Blessed Town: Oxford, Georgia, at the Turn of the Century (Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin, 1986).
Wilbur Allen Carlton, In Memory of Old Emory (Atlanta: n.p., 1962).
Thomas H. English, Emory University, 1915-1965: A Semicentennial History (Atlanta: Emory University, 1966).
Gary S. Hauk, A Legacy of Heart and Mind: Emory since 1836 (Atlanta: Emory University, developed and produced by Bookhouse Group, 1999).
Joseph C. Moon, An Uncommon Place: Oxford College of Emory University, 1914-2000 (Oxford, Ga.: Oxford College, developed and produced by Bookhouse Group, 2003).
Joseph C. Moon, Emory University
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.