The Atlanta university's Board of Trustees has adopted a formal statement acknowledging the campus' involvement with slavery after its founding in 1836. Officials say Emory founders used slaves to build and support the college in its early days.
Emory's founders also were influential in driving the North-South schism in the Methodist Episcopal Church leading up the Civil War. Emory President Jim Wagner said it was important to recognize the university's "painful" history.
Emory will hold a national conference next month focusing on slavery's role in American colleges, featuring Brown University President Ruth Simmons.