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*On this date 1891, West Virginia State University was founded. It is among over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in America.
From its beginning, West Virginia State College (its original title) attained national prominence as an institution of higher education for Blacks. It continues to serve as a center for Black culture, among other specialties. Voluntary desegregation 1954 attracted a racially and culturally diverse student body, faculty, and staff. The College cherishes its unique history and reputation for safeguarding academic freedom, being innovative in its scholastic programs, and removing barriers to education and leadership for women, minorities, and the handicapped.
West Virginia State College, located in the State’s center of government, industry, business, and population, is the largest institution of higher education in the Kanawha Valley and is a major resource center for the metropolitan area. The College provides a broad spectrum of undergraduate degree programs, both baccalaureate and associate, for residential and commuting students and offers a comprehensive schedule of classes to an exceptionally large population of evening students.
The College’s primary mission focuses on strong baccalaureate and associate degree programs in the arts and sciences and professional studies. The institution continuously strives to meet its service area's special education and training needs. The needs are met through comprehensive transfer programs, career-technical programs, employee training, continuing education, developmental education, and community service activities. A distinguished accreditation record testifies to the College’s concern for quality in its academic and co-curricular programs.
With its general education core, the College develops in its students a high level of competence in English and mathematics. WVSU focuses on an increased appreciation of the liberal arts and expanded awareness and respect for the contributions of women and minorities to society. To prepare its students for the nation’s future, the College’s curriculum also emphasizes contemporary technology and its roots in modern science. Co-curricular activities foster cultural, social, and ethical growth by complementing formal learning in the classroom. The objectives for West Virginia State College graduates include the ability to earn a living and the ability to learn to live in multi-faceted environments. On April 7, 2004, the West Virginia Legislature changed the name to West Virginia State University.
With an acknowledged role in the economic and social development of the Greater Kanawha Valley, West Virginia State University is committed to cooperative planning with business, labor, governmental, educational, and social organizations in the region. Special importance is placed on increasing opportunities for the professional development of the faculty and staff and exploring cooperative arrangements with other educational institutions at all levels. Notable Alumni include Wendell Smith, Carter G. Woodson, Earl Lloyd, and Katherine Johnson.