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Timeline

WVU’s history spans three centuries — from the aftermath of the Civil War to the age of the Internet.

1866
Women outside Ladies Seminary building

Property offered for new college

Senator William Price of Monongalia County introduces a bill offering properties of Monongalia Academy and Woodburn Seminary for a new college.

1867

State Legislature votes

Legislature establishes Agricultural College of West Virginia on February 7.

1867
Alexander Martin

First president inaugurated; College opens

Reverend Alexander Martin, a Methodist minister born in Scotland, is formally inaugurated as the first president of the Agricultural College of West Virginia on June 27, and the College opens to students the following September.

Read the Morgantown Weekly Post's account of the College's offerings.

1867

Founding of today’s Davis College


1868

Name changed to West Virginia University

On January 24, President Alexander Martin writes to West Virginia Governor Arthur I. Boreman requesting a name change for the new college. The Legislature passes an act on December 4, renaming the institution West Virginia University.

1870
Marmaduke Dent drawing

Marmaduke Dent becomes first graduate


1868

Legislature appropriates funding for WVU

The Legislature makes its first contribution: $10,000 for the University's endowment and $6,000 for current expenses.

1870

Martin Hall completed

Martin Hall, located beside Woodburn Seminary, opens as University Hall. It's renamed Martin Hall in 1889 in honor of WVU's first president, Alexander Martin.

1873

WVU Alumni Association founded

Marmaduke Dent serves as the group's first president.

1873
Martin Hall and burned College Hall

Legislature levies tax to replace College Hall

To raise money to replace College Hall, which had burned, the Legislature levies a tax of 5 cents on every $100 of taxable property.

1876
Center section of Woodburn Hall

Woodburn Hall center section completed

WVU completes construction of the original section of New Hall (now Woodburn Hall) at a cost of $41,000.

1878
Law library in Woodburn Hall

College of Law established

The College of Law opens and is the University's first professional school. Law classes are held in New Hall (Woodburn Hall).

1878
Hugh Brock portrait

First medical courses

Dr. Hugh W. Brock teaches the University's first medical courses.

1882
Church

Compulsory chapel requirements eased

1887
1887 issue of The Athenaeum

First issue of The Athenaeum

1887
1899 Engineering class group photo

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources formed

1887
Hick House

Hick House constructed

West Virginia’s first medical school building, the Hick House, is constructed in Falling Run Hollow below Woodburn Hall.

1889

Women officially admitted

Nine years after first being proposed, the Board of Regents votes to admit women to all but the "Preparatory Department," and the first 10 women arrive to study with 198 men.

1889
N.J. Giddings, bacteriologist, spraying plants in Agricultural Experiment Station greenhouse

Agricultural Experiment Station opens

1890
fraternity members with goat

First permanent fraternity

Columbian Literary Society members become charter members of Phi Kappa Psi, the first permanent fraternity on campus.

1891
Harriet Lyon

First woman graduates

Harriet Lyon graduates first in her class, becoming the first woman to earn a WVU degree.

1891
group photo of first football team

First football team

WVU loses 72-0 in its first game against Washington and Jefferson.

1893
Cadet Corps in front of Chitwood

Chitwood Hall completed

1894

West Virginia Law Review founded

1895

Eberly College of Arts and Sciences formed

1896
Stack of Monticolas

First Monticola published

1897

WVU Tech opens

WVU Tech, called the WVU Preparatory School, opens in Montgomery.

1899

First Agricultural Experiment Farm acquired

1901
Woodburn center section and first wing

Woodburn Hall north wing added

1901
Print by Blanche Lazzell housed in WVU Art Collection

Blanche Lazzell enrolls

Lazzell, a West Virginia native, enters WVU in 1901 to study fine art. She becomes a pioneering early modernist and abstract painter, printmaker and designer known especially for her woodcuts. The WVU Art Collection holds the largest public collection of Lazzell's art.

1901

First marching band

WVU's first marching band forms as an all-male ROTC band of eight members.

1902
Library in Stewart Hall

First library opens

The University's first separate library building opens in Stewart Hall.
1902

School of Medicine established

Two-year School of Medicine opens.
1902

Potomac State College of WVU opens

WVU Preparatory School (today's Potomac State College) opens its doors to students in October. The Legislature created the institution the previous year at the urging of Mineral County Delegate Francis M. Reynolds.
1904
Purinton House

Purinton House built

It's later named Purinton House in honor of Daniel Boardman Purinton, the first president to live there.
1904
Charles Brooke

First Rhodes Scholar

Charles Frederick Tucker Brooke is among first group of Rhodes Scholars. Brooke, who graduated from WVU with an A.B. in 1901 and an M.A. in 1902, studies at St. John's as a Rhodes Scholar and earns B.A. and B.Litt. degrees from the University of Oxford in 1906.

1911

Woodburn south wing added

WVU completes construction of Woodburn Hall's south wing. The Seth Thomas clock originally part of Martin Hall is moved to Woodburn.

1911
President Taft speaking

President William Howard Taft visits

Taft delivers his "World Wide Speech" from the porch of Purinton House on November 1 at the inauguration of WVU President Thomas E. Hodges.

1912

WVU Extension Service established

1914
Early group photo of pharmacy students

School of Pharmacy founded

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
1914

Enrollment exceeds 1,000

1914
Mining safety day at Jackson's Mill

Mining extension established

WVU establishes the nation’s first mining extension program to train coal miners.

1915

First county 4-H camp

In July 1915, Randolph County Extension Agent J. Verus Shipman holds the first county 4-H camp on the Jackson Crouch farm.

1916

Reserve Officer Training Corps organized

1918
building Oglebay Hall

Oglebay Hall completed

Oglebay Hall opens, housing the College of Agriculture.
1918

Student governing body created

It's now called the Student Government Association.
1918
Boy doing crafts at 4-H camp

County 4-H camps expand

Extension holds 17 county 4-H camps throughout West Virginia.

1918

Influenza pandemic

WVU suspends operations temporarily in the fall of 1918 during the influenza pandemic.

1919
Exterior of Stalnaker Hall

Stalnaker Hall opens

Woman's Hall (now Stalnaker Hall) opens as the University's first residence hall.

1921
Group photo of early 4-H camp at Jackson's Mill

Jackson's Mill opens; first state 4-H camp held

WVU establishes the Engineering Experiment Station and state 4-H camp at Jackson's Mill in Lewis County. The first statewide 4-H camp in the nation is held at Jackson's Mill that year.

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries

1923
Exterior of Colson Hall and main entrance

College of Law accredited; Colson Hall completed

American Bar Associate accredits the College of Law. During the same year, the College's new building (Colson Hall) opens.

1925
building old Mountaineer Field in the 1920s

Old Mountaineer Field completed

1925

Clark Hall completed

1927

College of Education becomes independent

1928
Exterior of E. Moore Hall

E. Moore Hall dedicated

Elizabeth Moore Hall opens as a physical education building for women.

1929
Basketball game in Field House

Stansbury Hall completed

Stansbury Hall opens as the WVU Field House, home of the Mountaineer basketball team.

1930

Graduate school established

1931

Wise Library completed

Original section of Wise Library opens on the Downtown campus.

1932
Faculty and three students

College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences established

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
1933

The Athenaeum becomes The Daily Athenaeum

1934-35
Lawson Hill

First Mountaineer mascot

Lawson Hill, the first official Mountaineer mascot, appears at sports events.

1935

Boreman South completed

Boreman South opens as the University's first residence hall for men.
1935

University High School completed

University High School opens at the top of North Price Street and serves as a "laboratory school" for the College of Education.

1937
Boyd "Slim" Arnold

First Mountaineer to wear buckskins

Boyd “Slim” Arnold is the first Mountaineer mascot to wear the traditional buckskin uniform.

1939
journalism students at typewriters

Reed College of Media established

1942

White Hall opens

1942

Dadisman Hall completed

Known as Terrace Hall, the building serves temporarily as a mess hall for 300 men of the 48th College Training Detachment who are living, training and studying on WVU’s campus during World War II.

1945
Victorine Louistall

Victorine Louistall earns M.Ed.

Victorine Louistall is the first-known black woman to earn a WVU graduate degree. In 1966, she returns to WVU to teach library science, becoming the first-known black faculty member.

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries

1948

Land purchased for Evansdale campus; enrollment exceeds 8,000

1948

Core Arboretum established

1948
Don Knotts

Don Knotts graduates

Comedian, performer and star of the “Andy Griffith Show,” Don Knotts is still known as one of the greatest TV actors of all time. Born in Morgantown, he attended WVU after returning from the service in World War II.

1951
map of proposed  medical center

WVU selected as site of state’s new medical center

1951

College of Business and Economics established

1951

Brooks Hall completed

1952

Hodges Hall completed

1954

WVU Foundation incorporated

WVU Foundation officially incorporates on December 3, 1954.
1954

Jack Hodge earns B.S.

Jack Hodge, from McDowell County, graduates with a B.S. in journalism, becoming the first-known black undergraduate student to receive a WVU degree.

1954

John Reuben Sheeler earns Ph.D.

John Reuben Sheeler is the first known black graduate student to earn a Ph.D.
1954

Eiesland Hall completed

1956
Sam Huff in WVU uniform

Sam Huff graduates

Football legend Robert Lee "Sam" Huff leads WVU to a combined four-year mark of 31-7. He goes on to play 12 years in the NFL and is inducted into both the college and pro football halls of fame.
1957
Dental faculty works on patient as students look on

School of Dentistry created

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
1957
Annette Chandler-Broome, right, with two other women

Annette Chandler-Broome graduates

Graduating with a Home Economics and Nutrition degree, Chandler-Broome (right) of Morgantown is the first-known black woman to earn an undergraduate degree.

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
1957
Hot Rod Hundley playing against Pitt

Hot Rod Hundley goes to NBA

Legendary two-time first-team All American Rodney Clark "Hot Rod" Hundley is the first pick in the NBA draft and goes on to play for the Lakers from 1958 to 1963. He graduates from WVU in 2000, 43 years after leaving for the NBA.

1957

Basic Sciences Building completed

Basic Sciences Building opens at WVU's new Medical Center.
1957

Arnold Hall completed

1959

WVU plays in NCAA Championship game

Jerry West leads the WVU basketball team to the NCAA Championship game, where they lose to California, 71-70.
1959

Boreman North completed

1960
Medical Center aerial 1967

University Hospital completed

1960

School of Nursing founded

1960

Arnold Apartments completed

1960
Blaney House exterior

Blaney House acquired

1961
John Russo in front of tombstone

John Russo graduates

Soon after graduating from WVU, Russo co-authors the 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead." His brilliant — and perhaps twisted — imagination laid the foundation for some of our most iconic horror films. He's written, produced or directed more than 20 films and authored more than 20 books.

1961
Dental hygiene students working with patients

First dentistry degrees awarded; Dental Hygiene program created

School of Dentistry awards first degrees and the nation's first four-year Dental Hygiene program is created.

Photo courtesy of West Virginia and Regional History Center, WVU Libraries
1961
Aerial view of Evansdale construction showing Engineering and Agricultural Sciences

Three Evansdale buildings completed: Engineering, Agricultural Sciences and Agricultural Sciences Annex

1962

First open heart surgery in West Virginia

WVU’s Dr. Herbert Warden performs the state's first open heart surgery.

1962

Parkersburg Center established

Parkersburg Center, first community college in West Virginia, established.

1962
Medical student examining child

First M.D. degrees awarded

1963
Charles M. Vest

Charles M. Vest graduates

Vest graduates with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He goes on to serve as the president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1990 to 2004.

1964

First computer installed

1964

WVU Press established

1965
Structural steel of last two towers beside two completed towers

First two Towers open

1965
Percival and Allen Halls

Percival Hall erected

1965

College of Education and Human Services organized

1966

Voluntary giving tops $1 million for the first time

1967
WVU presidents exhibit

100th birthday

Enrollment is 13,455 as WVU celebrates its centennial.
1968

Mountainlair opens

1968
Jay Chattaway playing piano

Jay Chattaway graduates

Chattaway earns a bachelor's degree from the School of Music. He goes on to get a master's degree from WVU and compose scores for the Star Trek television series.

1968
Ray Lane

Raymond J. Lane graduates

Lane earns a mathematics degree from WVU holds positions with IBM, Electronic Data Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton before rising to the top of the American business scene as president and chief operating officer of Oracle Corporation.
1968
Stephen Coonts

Stephen Coonts graduates

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science, Coonts writes 36 books, including 16 New York Times bestsellers.
1969
Orchesis dancers

College of Creative Arts formed; Creative Arts Center dedicated

1969
Early exterior photo of Allen Hall

Allen Hall completed

1969
Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. graduates from Potomac State College

1970

Coliseum opens

1970
Police use tear gas to disperse crowd in front of Mountainlair

Anti-war demonstrations

The Kent State tragedy sparks demonstrations and counter-demonstrations that shut down University Avenue. State Police use tear gas to restore order.
1970
Construction of PRT track on Evansdale

PRT construction begins

1971
dedication ceremony outside Mountainlair

Mountaineer statue dedicated

1972
Band marching at Old Mountaineer Field

Marching band becomes co-ed

1973

Dress codes and curfews for female students abolished

1973
1975 women's tennis team

Proposal for women’s intercollegiate athletic teams approved

1974
Exterior of Law Center in 1975

Law Center completed

1974
John T. Chambers

John T. Chambers graduates from College of Law

After completing a bachelor's degree in economics from the College of Business and Economics, Chambers graduates with a law degree and goes on to serve CEO and executive chair of Cisco Systems.

1975
Swimming in the Natatorium

Natatorium opens

1976

Knapp Hall acquired

1977

Charleston Division of Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center dedicated

1979
Irene Berger at WVU Commencement

Irene Berger graduates from College of Law

In 2009, Berger becomes the first African-American woman to hold a federal judgeship in West Virginia. She also holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from WVU.

1979

PRT completed

1979
Aerial of Old Mountaineer Field

Last game at old football stadium (WVU vs. Pitt)

1980
Irene Keeley

Irene Keeley graduates from College of Law

In 1992, Keeley becomes the first female federal judge in West Virginia when President George H.W. Bush appoints her U.S. District Judge for the Northern District.

1980
John Denver singing Country Roads at Mountaineer Field

New Mountaineer Field opens

Mountaineer Field opens and John Denver sings “Country Roads” before the game.

1981
Evansdale Library at night

Evansdale Library opens

1981
Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard

Rouzbeh Yassini-Fard graduates

He later invents the cable modem, which fosters the multibillion-dollar cable modem broadband industry. He graduated from WVU with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering.
1982

WWVU goes on the air

1982

First WVU All-American in a women’s sport

Gymnast Shari Retton is WVU's first women's sport All-American, earning first-team honors in the all-around, floor exercise, uneven bars and vault at the 1982 AIAW national gymnastics championships in Memphis.

1984
Georgeann Wells dunking basketball

Georgeann Wells dunks basketball during game

On December 21, 1984, Wells makes history as the first woman to dunk during a game.

1984

Pi Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity for African Americans, established

1985
Barbara Schamberger

First WVU female Rhodes Scholar

Barbara Schamberger is the first WVU woman to earn a Rhodes Scholarship. She studies international relations and politics at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford.

1987
Choral group singing

Center for Black Culture and Research established

1988

Ruby Memorial Hospital opens

1988
Scoreboard after last game of perfect regular season in 1988

Undefeated season

Mountaineer football team is unbeaten in the regular season and plays for a national championship in the 1989 Fiesta Bowl.
1989
Healthnet helicopter

State's first Level 1 trauma center opens at Ruby

1990
Natalie Tennant in Mountaineer buckskins

First female Mountaineer mascot – Natalie Tennant

1990

College of Engineering and Mineral Resources opens new building

1990
Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center sign and building exterior

Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center opens

1990
Physician Office Center main entrance

Physician Office Center opens

1990

Mountainview Rehabilitation Hospital opens

1992
Patrice Harris and American Medical Association logo

Dr. Patrice Harris graduates from School of Medicine

Harris is the first African-American woman elected chair of the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees.
1992
Coal Forum slide

National Research Center of Coal and Energy construction begins

1993

College of Arts and Sciences named Eberly College

1993
Aerial view of Health Sciences

Health Sciences Center named Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center

1995

Mountaineer Parents Club founded

1997
Spectator seating and playing field

Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium opens

1998
Indoor turf field

Caperton Indoor Practice Facility dedicated

1998

WVUp All Night starts

2000

Doctoral/Research University designation

2000
Crime scene with footprints marked

First crime scene house opens

2000
Don Nehlen on sidelines in 2000

Don Nehlen retires

2000
BRNI exterior

Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute opens

2000

Streets renamed in honor of Jerry West and Don Knotts

2001

Student Recreation Center opens

2001
Students processes fingerprint on window

First undergraduate degrees in forensic science awarded

2001
Eye Institute entrance

WVU Eye Institute opens

2001

College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences named Davis College

2002
Night view of Downtown Library

Renovated Downtown Library opens

2002
Life Sciences exterior

Life Sciences Building opens

Life Sciences Building opens as the new home of the Departments of Biology and Psychology.

2002

Eastern Division of Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center established in Martinsburg

2005
Crowd listens to speech in front of Woodburn Hall

President George W. Bush delivers Fourth of July address at WVU, in Woodburn Circle

2007

WVU Chabad Jewish Center established

2008
Bill Stewart raises gold Fiesta Bowl football

Mountaineers upset Oklahoma in Fiesta Bowl

Interim head coach Bill Stewart leads the Mountaineer football team to a surprise 48-28 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma. A day later, Stewart is named the permanent head coach.

2008
Erickson Alumni Center exterior

New Erickson Alumni Center opens

2008
Exterior of Biomedical Research Center

Biomedical Research Center dedicated

2008
WVU President Mike Garrison shakes hands with FBI official

FBI names WVU lead academic partner in biometrics research

2010
Team celebrates with 2010 Big East Championship trophy

Men’s basketball wins first Big East championship and advances to NCAA Final Four

2011

Renovated White Hall reopens as home to the Department of Physics and Astronomy

2011
Exterior of Vandalia Hall buildings

Vandalia Hall purchased

2011
Scientist in laboratory

WVU ranked in the top 20 Best Places to Work in Academia by The Scientist

WVU is one of only two land-grant institutions on the list.

2011
Nailing boards at home build site

Carnegie Foundation selects WVU for Community Engagement Classification

2012
Dana Holgorsen and Geno Smith accept trophy

Mountaineers win Orange Bowl

The Mountaineers roll over Clemson, 70-33, in a record-setting day at Sun Life Stadium.

2012
Public Health graduates in decorated mortar boards

School of Public Health founded

The School is the first of its kind in West Virginia.
2012
Exterior of University Place building

Plans for University Place development in Sunnyside announced

2012

WVU joins Big 12 Conference

2012
Ben Statler portrait

To honor a $34-million gift, the College of Engineering renamed Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

2013
Groundbreaking shovel - October 17, 2013

Ground broken for Mon County Ballpark, home of WVU baseball

2014
Students in College Park apartment

College Park complex opens

2014
Health and Education Building exterior

Health and Education Building opens as new home of CPASS

2014

Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission continued

2014
Jay Rockefeller and E. Gordon Gee

WVU Libraries becomes permanent home of the John D. Rockefeller IV Senatorial Archives

2014

Rosenbaum Family House opens new location

2015

Mon Hills Records student-run record label founded

2015

Physics Frontiers Center created

2015
Ribbon cutting at University Park and Oakland Hall

University Park apartments/Oakland Hall residence hall complex opens

2015
WVU Tech banner in Beckley

WVU purchases campus in Beckley for new home of WVU Tech

2015
CAFEE team accepting Disruptor of the Year Award

Center for Alternative Fuel Engines and Emissions breaks emissions scandal about Volkswagen

2015
Art Museum exterior

WVU Art Museum opens

2016
Flying WV on exterior of Evansdale Crossing

Evansdale Crossing opens

2016

R1 – highest research activity – designation

2016
WVU officials hold Johnson's framed honorary degree

Katherine G. Johnson, inspiration for the film Hidden Figures, presented Presidential Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from WVU

2016
Margie Mason

Margie Mason wins Pulitzer Prize

A 1997 Journalism graduate, Mason and three Associated Press colleagues earn the award for their investigation of slavery and labor abuses tied to the seafood industry. Over 2,000 slaves were freed as a result of their work.

2016
Ginny Thrasher with medal and US flag

Ginny Thrasher wins first gold medal of Rio Olympics

Rifle team member Ginny Thrasher wins first gold medal of Rio Olympics. Women's soccer players Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence win bronze with Canada’s women’s soccer team.
2016
Robotics competition

WVU team wins NASA Robot Return Challenge

2016
President Gee hugs center director Cris Mayo

LGBTQ+ Center opens

2016
Cutting ribbon at Agricultural Sciences

New Agriculture Sciences Building dedicated

2016

State of Minds capital campaign reaches $1 billion goal

2016
Macy's Thanksgiving Day banner on WVU drum

Pride of West Virginia leads Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

2016
Players huddle at College Cup

Women’s Soccer plays for national championship in NCAA College Cup Final

2016
June and Bob Huggins

Coach Bob Huggins wins 800th basketball game

Huggins is only the 10th coach in NCAA Division I history to reach 800 career wins.
2016
two staff members at microscopes in medical laboratory

WVU Medicine is state’s largest employer and named job creator of year

2016
Kadeisha Buchanan holds Hermann Trophy, a glass soccer bowl

Women’s soccer player Kadeisha Buchanan wins Hermann Trophy

2017

Floors open in the Southeast Tower of Ruby Memorial Hospital

2017
Cupcakes in front of 150 anniversary sign

150th birthday, February 7