Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its lists of best value and best Southeastern colleges. Shorter University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is a member of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).
Through its campus in Rome, Ga. as well as a remote campuses across Atlanta, the university offers traditional bachelor’s degrees in 48 areas of study, undergraduate degree programs for working adults and three master’s degree programs. Online courses and degree programs are also available.
How Shorter Began
Conceived in the mind of educator Luther Rice Gwaltney, the Cherokee Baptist Female College opened for students in 1873. As pastor of Rome Baptist Church, now First Baptist, Gwaltney encouraged the active participation of church members in the establishment of a school for young ladies.
Because of the generous contributions of Alfred and Martha Shorter, in 1877 the college was renamed Shorter College. Originally, the college was housed in Victorian structures located on Shelton Hill, near Clock Tower Hill in downtown Rome. In its early years, Shorter had three departments–primary, preparatory, and collegiate. Young women in the collegiate department studied the classics, science, music, art, and drama and established the literary magazine The Chimes as well as two societies–Eunomian (now Epsilon Sigma Sorority) and Polymnian (Pi Sigma Sorority).
By 1910 a new vision of a “Greater Shorter,” and contributions from the J. L. Bass family and the J. P. Cooper family made the relocation of the school to its current site a reality. As construction symbolized a new era, President Azor Van Hoose and the trustees looked to the past for inspiration–the first Founder’s Day was instituted. The young women students celebrated the opening of the new campus in dozens of ways in the 1910s, including the first May Day Festival, the writing of “Alma Mater”, and the creation of the Periscope newspaper.
On June 1, 2010, Shorter officially changed its name to Shorter University in a move designed to recognize the institution’s growth in recent years. In addition to traditional undergraduate programs, the university offers an array of adult-degree programs, master’s programs, and online courses that include general education as well as degree programs. In addition to the hilltop campus in Rome, Shorter operates campuses in Gwinnett, North Atlanta, and Riverdale; Shorter’s Robert H. Ledbetter College of Business is housed in the MidTown Crossing Shopping Center in Rome, and the School of Nursing is located in a facility in Rome’s Riverbend Center.
Shorter University continues to pursue its mission to inspire students to make commitments to lifelong learning, personal spiritual values, responsible citizenship, community and societal leadership and global awareness. The university affirms its commitment to being an intentionally Christian university.