Our History: Points of Pride

West Virginia State University was founded under the Second Morrill Act of 1890 and is a proud historically black college university (HBCU). Our student body is racially integrated and multigenerational, representing a vibrant and diverse community reflective of America today. In our 125th year, we remain committed to our mission of meeting the higher education and economic development needs of our state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.


A Storied Past …

  • WVSU’s extensive history includes being named one of 19 land-grant institutions authorized by Congress and designated by the states to provide for the education of African American citizens in agriculture and the mechanical arts in 1890.
  • In 1939, West Virginia State College became the first of six historically black colleges authorized by the Civil Aeronautics Authority to establish an aviation program. Graduates went on to serve in the Tuskegee Airmen unit, in both command and support positions.
  • WVSU’s U.S. Army ROTC Yellow Jacket Battalion has produced more than 900 Officers, including 15 Generals. Two WVSU alums were recently inducted into the inaugural class of the U.S. Army’s ROTC Hall of Fame in June 2016. In addition, more than 100 of our alumni have achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or higher; these distinguished Yellow Jackets are recognized in our ROTC Hall of Fame.

… An Exciting Future

  • WVSU has earned distinction as one of Great Value Colleges’ 2015 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges East of the Mississippi. Our university was ranked fourth most affordable out of 100 institutions of higher education. Our Bachelor of Science in Business Administration ranked third of the 50 Best Value Small Colleges for a Business Administration Degree 2015, demonstrating our commitment to providing affordable, quality education to our students.
  • Our university is recognized by Tree Campus USA, a national program created by the Arbor Day Foundation. This designation recognizes WVSU’s achievement for effective campus forest management and our campus community’s commitment to conservation and decreasing our environmental footprint.
  • We have an extensive national alumni base who, through active engagement and unequaled participation in the university’s well-being, serves as a source of unwavering support that ensures the future success of our great university.
  • WVSU has more than 200 full- and part-time award-winning faculty members spanning 21 academic degree programs, many of whom have achieved national recognition and distinction within their fields of study.

Apply today to become a part of the State family as we grow and innovate, continuing our commitment to student-centeredness, excellence, accountability and service. For more on our rich history, click here.