Throughout the state of Virginia, there are literally dozens of different colleges and universities for students to choose from. The state is complete with large public universities, tiny specialty schools, private universities and even historical colleges. The oldest college in Virginia is The College of William and Mary. The College of William and Mary was founded as a private university in 1693, making it the second-oldest university in the country. It is located in Colonial Williamsburg, and is now a public university that offers several academic programs, many of which focus on the arts and sciences. It is well known for having many important historical alumni, including three United States Presidents - Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler and James Monroe. More modern alumni from The College of William and Mary include TV show host Jon Stewart and actress Glenn Close, proving that this institution is a timeless piece of American culture.
Another well known university in Virginia is the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which is commonly referred to as Virginia Tech. This public research university is a land-grand institution that is located in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1872 and remains one of the largest universities in Virginia today. As a polytechnic school, Virginia Tech is committed to educating its students in the fields of technical arts and applied sciences. There are only a few polytechnic schools in the United States. Virginia Tech is also a minority in the fact that it is one of the few public American universities to have its own cadet corps. Virginia Tech has become known worldwide for the deadly student massacre that occurred there in 2007. Notable alumni from Virginia Tech include author Homer Hickman, Today Show Anchor Hoda Kotb and dozens of professional football players in the United States.
Liberty University is also a popular school in Virginia, with a student body of more than 90,000 students. However, most of the students who attend Liberty University do so through online classes. It is one of the largest online education systems in Virginia. The actual campus is located in Lynchburg, and the university was founded in 1972. It is a private school with Christian affiliations, and because of the significant online enrollment numbers, it is considered to be the largest Evangelical Christian university in the country. It is also technically the school with the largest enrollment in Virginia.