West Virginia University (WVU) is a public, land-grant, space-grant, research-intensive university. Its main campus in Morgantown, West Virginia consists of three adjacent sub-campuses. Its other campuses are those of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology in Beckley, 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. WVU is governed by the West Virginia University Board of Governors.|
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 a fire destroyed the Woodburn Seminary building 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.
Despite its wartime struggles, the University established 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.
WVU is designated as an "R1" Research University (Very High Research Activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Funding from external sources for total sponsored programs is $174 million. WVU is affiliated with the Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute, dedicated to the study of Alzheimer's and other diseases that affect the brain. WVU is also a leader in biometric technology research and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's lead academic partner in biometrics research.
The Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center is on West Virginia University's Evansdale Campus and houses the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy. These schools grant doctoral and professional degrees in 16 different fields, as well as a variety of other Master's and Bachelor's degrees. For 2012 U.S. News and World Report ranked WVU's Medical School ninth in the United States for rural medicine.
The system has 8.7 miles (14.0 km) of guideway track and five stations: Walnut, Beechurst, Engineering, Towers, and Medical/Health Sciences. The vehicles are rubber-tired, but the cars have constant contact with a separate electrified rail. Steam heating keeps the elevated guideway free of snow and ice. Although most students use the PRT, this technology has not been replicated at other sites for various reasons, including the high cost of maintaining the heated track system in winter.
The Evansdale Library supports the academic programs and research centered on the Evansdale Campus. The library holds materials in the disciplines of agriculture, art, computer science, education, engineering, forestry, landscape architecture, mineral resources, music, physical education, and theater. In addition to the collections, Evansdale Library is home to da Vinci's Cafe, an Information Technology Services Big Prints! poster printing lab, and the Academic Innovation Teaching and Learning Commons Sandbox.
The West Virginia University Police Department (UPD) is the largest campus police department in the state and the only campus law enforcement agency in the state, and one of a few in the region, to be awarded accreditation by The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators. Additionally, the department has also been ranked in Security Magazine's Top 500 picks in the security industry, placing 17th among higher education institutions in the rankings.
The Lighting of Woodburn Hall is an annual University ceremony held in early December to light historic Woodburn Hall for the holiday season. The event began in 1987 and is open to the public. Christmas carols are typically sung, and donations are taken at the event to support community organizations. Patients from WVU's Children's hospital are often selected to light the Hall.
The Mountaineer Adventure Program (MAP) offers several activities including Adventure WV, Challenge Course, and International Trips. Adventure WV is focused on providing guidance to freshmen and sophomores through various outdoor orientation expeditions. The Challenge Course program uses a recreational facility designed to teach teamwork and problem solving skills through physical interaction. International Trips offers worldwide recreational opportunities to places like Fiji and Peru, as well as study abroad credit courses. Several of the MAP programs provide University-accepted credit hours.
WVU Arts&Entertainment (A&E) sponsors entertainment events for students throughout the academic year. The department organizes the annual FallFest event, which features popular musicians, comedians, and other performers. WVU A&E annually hosts several concerts at the WVU Coliseum and Creative Arts Center, with past performances by Akon, The All-American Rejects, The Fray, Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, and 50 Cent among others.
In 2015, West Virginia reached the Sweet Sixteen of the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. They were eliminated from the tournament after losing to Kentucky. In 2018, West Virginia again reached the Sweet Sixteen of the 2018 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. They were eliminated from the tournament after losing in the fourth round to #1 seed and eventual champion Villanova.