West Virginia State University To Celebrate 120 Years


Some of the events include:

March 16

The Aubrey Stewart Project  - 7 p.m.  Fannin S. Belcher Theater of the Davis Fine Arts Building

Mr. Stewart, who grew up in Piedmont WV, was a soldier in the all-black 333rd Field Artillery Battalion during WW II.  Learn why Aubrey Stewart and his fellow soldiers are honored in an annual celebration in the town of Wereth, Belgium.  The event is made possible with cooperation and funding from the WV Humanities Council.

March 17

Founders Day Convocation - 11 a.m., P.A. Williams Auditorium, Ferrell Hall

Judge Damon J. Keith will be the featured speaker.  Judge Keith, a native of Detroit, is an alumnus of West Virginia State University ('43) who went on to study law at Howard University and Wayne State University.   He has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit since 1977.  In one of his most well-known cases, United States v. Sinclair (1971), Keith ruled that the federal government had no power to tap wires in domestic cases without a warrant. This ruling, which impacted the Nixon administration, is also known as "The Keith Decision."

The "Marching Toward Justice Exhibit" that is a part of the Damon Keith Collection of African American Legal History is on display in the gallery of the Davis Fine Arts Building until April 15.

12:30 p.m.  120th Birthday Party, Wilson University Union

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will join President Hazo W. Carter, Jr. and Judge Keith for the cutting of the birthday cake as they celebrate the 120th birthday of WVSU.

7:30 WVSU Yellow Jacket Alumni All Star Jazz Concert - Fannin S. Belcher Theater,
Davis Fine Arts Building

A very special one-time-only performance by "State" grads including professional jazz musician Bob Thompson.

March 18

7:30 p.m.  "Black Eagles", Fannin S. Belcher Theatre, Davis Fine Arts Building

This drama about the Tuskegee Airmen is a student reader's theater project.  As the aging WWII pilots reminisce, they are joined by their younger selves and the story of this brave company is told.

Virginia State was founded on March 17, 1891 by an act of the West Virginia Legislature.  With the name of The West Virginia Colored Institute, its purpose was to provide an education for freed slaves and their descendants at a time when segregation was the law of the land.  The Institute was one of 17 land-grant institutions founded by states following the mandate of the Federal Second Morrill Act of 1890.  

From humble beginnings with one building on a 30 acre campus, a staff of three, and 20 students in the first class, the school has prospered to become the dynamic, progressive University of today.  West Virginia State University is proud of its record of continuous accreditation since 1927 as verification of its standard of excellence in education and service to its students and the community.  Under the leadership of President Hazo W. Carter, Jr.  the former college became West Virginia State University in 2004.

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