The college began as a co-ed academy and was chartered in 1812 as the Lewisburg Academy, one of the first across the mountains. Dr. John McEhenney, the minister of the Presbyterian Church, was the founder, leader and board member until his death in 1871. A few records indicate it was often called Greenbrier College during this period.
After the Civil War, the Presbytery took over the school and it became the Lewisburg Female Institute; although primarily an upper school, it served the very young girls of the area. In 1911, the name was changed to the Lewisburg Seminary or the Lewisburg Seminary and Music Conservative. The 1914-15 catalog reports that one-third of the faculty were in the music department. In 1923, it became Greenbrier College for Women, chartered by an independent group of citizens and later became a “junior college” offering the last two years of high school and the first two years of college. It maintained a fine academic reputation with students coming from across the United States and abroad. Always small, it provided personal attention and instruction and a haven for developing friendships. The College closed in 1972.
Greenbrier College Alumnae Association (GCAA)
The Alumnae Association was organized in 1894 “for the purpose of fostering and maintaining interest in each other and in their alma mater.” (1914-15 Catalogue). It remained active until the closing of the College. An alumnae luncheon was held near Commencement, most often in the College’s dining room. After the College closed, the association became dormant until 1982 when Greenbrier Military School asked if GCW Alums would like to join them at their reunion. At that time GCAA became active again---supporting the renovation of Greenbrier Hall and furnishing its alumnae room there, producing a newsletter, having luncheons and bi-annual reunions. And, the purpose is much the same as in 1894, but with new ways to maintain that interest. Technology is great way to communicate, but meeting college friends at the next reunion in 2022 will be even better. We hope to see you in Lewisburg for a large celebration--40 years of GCAA and 50 years since the college closed as well as the Memorial Grove dedication.