History of ֱ

Founded in 1872 to serve the higher education needs of Central West Virginia, ֱ is West Virginia’s only centrally located public university.

In an 1873 letter to the editor of the Weston Democrat a writer said, "No place on earth could have been found more suitable for the establishment of the State Normal School than ֱ. The place is retired, healthy and possesses every qualification requisite for a place of study and thought. The inhabitants are civil, moral, refined, religious, and generous to a fault."

In the early years, ֱ Normal School was obliged to devote resources almost exclusively to secondary studies because of the absence of high schools in the area. Later, as high schools became more numerous, secondary offerings were gradually reduced, and more college-level courses were developed.

On May 1, 1930, the State Board of Education authorized the school to award the Bachelor of Arts in Education Degree, and on March 4, 1931, the Legislature changed the school’s name to ֱ State Teachers College.

The name of the school was changed to ֱ State College in 1943. Subsequent revisions of the curriculum provided for an increased emphasis on teacher preparation and pre-professional courses. The rapid growth in enrollment in the post-World War II years spurred an accelerated building program.

In February 2022, the Legislature changed the name of the institution once more, this time to ֱ. The new name reflects ֱ State’s authorization to offer advanced degrees.

Over the years, the campus became known as the "Lighthouse on the Hill" for both the quality of the teaching and the quality of its graduates. Today, ֱ still maintains a focus on teacher preparation, while offering additional degree programs in business, human services, land resources, and more.

Throughout history, ֱ State has maintained a tradition of teaching excellence by professors who care about each student as an individual, who take the time to get to know each student’s goals, and who are committed to helping students get an education that will prepare them for a successful career. Professors are very approachable and willing to give personal support to help students succeed.