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West Virginia University

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  • Dr. Charles B. "Chuck" Hennon, Ph.D. (1947 - 2013)
    A former Chewton resident, Dr. Charles B. Hennon, 65, of Hamilton, Ohio passed away on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 after a six year battle with cancer. He was born December 9, 1947 to the late Glenn B. and ...
  • Earl Vandale (1882 - 1952)
    Earl Vandale, oilman and Texana collector, was born on June 28, 1882, in Roane County, West Virginia, the son of John Andrew Adam and Olive A. (Crislip) Vandale. He attended public schools and the Univ...
  • William John Tabar, Sr. (1931 - 2019)
  • Cdr. Laurence Myers Evans (1907 - 1997)
    Ex Attorney Evans Dies At Age 90 Laurence Myers Evans, retired attorney, died Tuesday, March 4, 1997, in Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Glen Dale, Marshall County, West Virginia. He was 90. A resident o...
  • Bantz J. Craddock
    Bantz John Craddock (born August 24, 1949) is a former United States Army general. His last military assignment was as Commander, United States European Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Eu...


West Virginia University (WVU) is a public land grant research university in Morgantown, West Virginia, United States. Its other campuses include the West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Montgomery and Potomac State College of West Virginia University in Keyser; and a second clinical campus for the University's medical and dental schools at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston. WVU Extension Service provides outreach with offices in all of West Virginia's 55 counties. Since 2001, WVU has been governed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors.

Enrollment for the fall 2013 semester was 29,466 for the main campus, while enrollment across all campuses totaled 32,348. WVU offers 191 bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degree programs in 15 colleges.

WVU has produced 24 Rhodes Scholars, including former WVU president David C. Hardesty, Jr. The University also has produced 36 Goldwater Scholars, 22 Truman Scholars, and 5 members of USA Today '​s "All‑USA College Academic First Team

Under the terms of the 1862 Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, the West Virginia Legislature created the Agricultural College of West Virginia on February 7, 1867, and the school officially opened on September 2 of the same year. On December 4, 1868, lawmakers renamed the college West Virginia University to represent a broader range of higher education. The University was built on the grounds of three former academies, the Monongalia Academy of 1814, the Morgantown Female Academy of 1831, and Woodburn Female Seminary of 1858. Upon its founding, the local newspaper claimed that "a place more eligible for the quiet and successful pursuit of science and literature is nowhere to be found".

The first campus building was constructed in 1870 as University Hall, and was renamed Martin Hall in 1889 in honor of West Virginia University's first president, the Rev. Alexander Martin of Scotland. After the Woodburn Seminary building was destroyed by fire in 1873, the centerpiece of what is now Woodburn Hall was completed in 1876, under the name New Hall. The name was changed to University Building in 1878, when the College of Law was founded as the first professional school in the state of West Virginia. The precursor to Woodburn Circle was finished in 1893 when Chitwood Hall (then Science Hall) was constructed on the bluff's north side. In 1909 a north wing was added to University Building, and the facility was renamed Woodburn Hall. Throughout the next decade, Woodburn Hall underwent several renovations and additions, including the construction of the south wing and east tower (in 1930) housing the Seth Thomas clock. The three Woodburn Circle buildings were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. In 1899, the Vance Farm was acquired for the West Virginia University Experiment Station.

WVU was required to have a Cadet Corps under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1862, which allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges. The United States Department of War—a predecessor of the U.S. Department of Defense—offered military equipment to the university at no charge, forming the basis of the school's Military Tactics department. The heavy military influence led to opposition of female enrollment that lasted through the first decade of the university. The trend changed in 1889, when ten women were allowed to enroll and seek degrees at the university. In June 1891, Harriet Lyon became the first woman to receive a degree from West Virginia University, finishing first in the class ahead of all male students. Lyon's academic success supported the acceptance of women in the university as students and educators.

West Virginia University's first football team, formed in 1891 During the University's early years, daily chapel services and roll call for all students were mandatory, limiting time for student recreation. Following the removal of these obligations, students became active in extracurricular activities and established many of the school's first athletic and student organizations. The first edition of the student newspaper known as the Athenaeum, now The Daily Athenaeum, was published in 1887, and the West Virginia Law Review became the fourth-oldest law review in the United States when it was founded in 1894. Phi Kappa Psi was the first fraternity on campus, founded May 23, 1890, while Kappa Delta, the first sorority at WVU, was established in 1899. The first football team was formed in 1891, and the first basketball team appeared in 1903.

Early 20th century

Boyd "Slim" Arnold, the first Mountaineer mascot to don the traditional buckskin uniform. His selection in 1937 marked the beginning of an official process to name the mascot annually. The University's outlook at the turn of the 20th century was optimistic, as the school constructed the first library in present-day Stewart Hall in 1902. The campus welcomed U.S. President William Howard Taft to campus for WVU President Thomas Hodges's inauguration in 1911. On November 2, 1911, President Taft delivered the address "World Wide Speech", from the front porch of Purinton House. However, the University's efforts to attract more qualified educators, increase enrollment, and expand the campus was hindered during a period that saw two World Wars and the Great Depression. With a heavy military influence in the University, many students left college to join the army during World War I, and the local ROTC was organized in 1916. Women's involvement in the war efforts at home led to the creation of Women's Hall dormitory, now Stalnaker Hall, in 1918.

Despite its wartime struggles, the University was able to establish the disciplines of biology, medicine, journalism, pharmacy, and the first mining program in the nation. In 1918, Oglebay Hall was built to house the expanded agriculture and forestry programs. Additionally, the first dedicated sports facilities were constructed including "The Ark" for basketball in 1918, and the original Mountaineer Field in 1925. Stansbury Hall was built in 1928 and included a new basketball arena named "The Fieldhouse" that held 6,000 spectators. Elizabeth Moore Hall, the woman's physical education building, was also completed in 1928. Men's Hall, the first dormitory built for men on campus, was built in 1935, and was funded in part by the Works Progress Administration. The Mountaineer mascot was adopted during the late 1920s, with an unofficial process to select the Mountaineer through 1936. An official selection process began naming the mascot annually in 1937, with Boyd "Slim" Arnold becoming the first Mountaineer to wear the buckskin uniform.

As male students left for World War II in 1939, women became more prominent in the University and surpassed the number of males on campus for the first time in 1943. Soldiers returning from the war qualified for the G.I. Bill and helped increase enrollment to over 8,000 students for the first time, but the University's facilities were becoming inadequate to accommodate the surging student population.