West Virginia University

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West Virginia University

Established 1867
School type Public university
President David C. Hardesty
Location Morgantown, WV
Enrollment 26,051
Faculty 1,071
Faculty to Student Ratio 19:1
Campuses Urban and Suburban
Sports teams The Mountaineers
Mascot The Mountaineer
Homepage www.wvu.edu
WVU Mountaineer Mascot statue in front of the Mountainlair Student Union.

West Virginia University is an institute of higher learning based in Morgantown, West Virginia, with off-site campuses in Parkersburg, Montgomery, Keyser and Charleston, West Virginia. WVU was founded in 1867 as a land-grant university with the help of the Morrill Act, and was originally called the "Agricultural College of West Virginia." The university gained its current name in 1868. Enrollment for Fall semester of 2005 was 26,051 with school projections estimating enrollment reaching 30,000 before the year 2010.

The university offers 170 different majors in 13 different colleges. These colleges are the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry, & Consumer Sciences; the College of Business & Economics, the College of Creative Arts; the School of Dentistry; the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences; the School of Social Work & Public Administration; the College of Engineering & Mineral Resources, the Office of Academic Affairs; the College of Law; the College of Human Resources & Education; the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism; the School of Physical Education; the School of Medicine; the School of Dentistry; the School of Nursing; and the School of Pharmacy. Some of these programs, especially Nursing, Pharmacy, Engineering and Education, have almost 100% job placement rates after graduation. WVU also has one of the most respected forensic science programs in the United States.

Since the school's formation, 25 Rhodes Scholars, including current WVU president David C. Hardesty, have been chosen from WVU. There are only 6 other public universities with more. The university has also produced 26 Goldwater Scholars, 16 Truman Scholars, 5 members of USA Today's All-USA College Academic First Team, and 2 Udall Scholarship winners.

Institutional Advancements

In addition to the high technological advancements the university has made, the Health Sciences division and university spending currently has over 800 million dollars in new construction including a joint venture between the Johns Hopkins University; The Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences InstituteBRNI. The BRNI is the only institute of its kind in the world, and is dedicated to the sole study of human memory. Construction on the 87 million dollar facility is already underway, and is scheduled for completion in late 2006.

The University has receieved growing national recognition for its Forensic Science and engineering programs. Upcoming projects include an engineering research park, advancements to the NASA/WVU IV&V Facility, as well as combined research with the Institute for Scientific Research [1], who is building its national research headquarters within 20 miles of WVU's Morgantown campus in Fairmont, WV (A move from the University of California, at Berkeley).

PRT System

Because the Morgantown campus is split into three campuses (Downtown, Evansdale, Health Sciences) one of the major icons at the school is a Personal rapid transit system to link them.

In 1974, Boeing began construction of the first major PRT project in Morgantown, West Virginia, designed to shuttle students between WVU's three campuses. The Downtown and Evansdale campuses, both located in the valley of the Monongahela River, were already fully developed. Because it proved impossible to develop any more valley land, WVU expanded to a separate parcel a couple of miles away on the other side of a ridge.

The WVU PRT has been in continuous operation since 1975, with about 15,000 riders per day (as of 2003). The system uses about 70 vehicles, with an advertised capacity of 20 people each (although the real number is more like 15). The system has five stations (Walnut, Beechurst, Engineering, Towers, and Medical) and a 4 mile (6 km) track. The vehicles are rubber-tired and run along electrified rails. Steam heating keeps the elevated guideway free of snow and ice. Most students habitually use it. This system was not sold to other sites because the heated track has proven too expensive. The system will occasionally break down, yet it is usually only for about ten minutes. Otherwise, it is reliable to transportation students between Downtown, Evansdale and Health Sciences.

The PRT has also been the recipient of favorable recognition. The National Society of Professional Engineers named the PRT one of the top 10 engineering achievements of 1972, and in 1998 The New Electric Railway Journal picked the WVU PRT over Disney World's monorail as the greatest people mover.


The school's sports teams are called the Mountaineers and compete in the Big East Conference, a member of the NCAA's Division I. The school has teams in a variety of sports and has won several national championships.

Mountaineer sports were started in 1891 when a group of students organized the first football game at the school in a cow pasture. Since then, each sport at WVU has adhered to NCAA rules and regulations. See below for a list of sports offered as well as other information (as of 2004):


Playing Facility: Hawley Field
Head Coach: Greg Van Zant
Most Victories: 40 in 1994
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 12
Last NCAA Appearance: 1996
All-Americans: 7
Drafted Players: 53
Players In The Majors: 19
Website: http://www.wvubaseball.com

Men's Basketball

Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum
Head Coach: John Beilein
Most Victories: 29 in 1959
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 19
NIT Appearances: 14
Last NCAA Appearance: 2005
All-Americans: 13
Drafted Players: 28
Players In The NBA: 11

Women's Basketball

Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum
Head Coach: Mike Carey
Most Victories: 26 in 1992
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 3
WNIT Appearances: 2
Last NCAA Appearance: 2004
All-Americans: 3
Drafted Players: 2
Players In The WNBA: 1

Cross Country

Head Coach: Jeff Huntoon
NCAA Appearances: 2
Last NCAA Appearance: 2000
All-Americans: 2


Playing Facility: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium
Head Coach: Rich Rodriguez
Most Victories: 11 in 1988 and 1993
Bowl Game Appearances: 25
Last Bowl Game Appearance: 2005 Gator Bowl
All-Americans: 9
Drafted Players: 150
Players Currently In The NFL: 19
All-Time NFL Players: 132
Pro Football Hall of Famers: 2
Couches Burnt during last game: 117


Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum
Head Coach: Linda Burdette
Most Victories: 26 in 1992
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 3
AIAW Appearances: 1
Last NCAA Appearance: 2000
All-Americans: 4


Playing Facility: WVU Shell Building
Head Coach: Marsha Beasley
Most Victories: 19 in 1964
NCAA Appearances: 24
NCAA Team Championships: 13
National Individual Champions: 20
NCAA All-Americans: 65
Olympians: 12

Men's Soccer

Playing Facility: Mountaineer Soccer Complex
Head Coach: Mike Seabolt
Most Victories: 13 in 1966 and 1999
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 7
Last NCAA Appearance: 1992
All-Americans: 4
Mountaineer Professionals: 12

Women's Soccer

Playing Facility: Mountaineer Soccer Complex
Head Coach: Nikki Izzo-Brown
Most Victories: 18 in 2002
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 4
Last NCAA Appearance: 2003
All-Americans: 3
Academic All-American: 4
Mountaineer Professionals: 2

Men's Swimming

Playing Facility: WVU Natatorium
Head Coach: Sergio Lopez
Most Victories: 11 in 1966
NCAA Qualifiers: 19
NCAA All-Americans: 2
Olympians: 1

Women's Swimming

Playing Facility: WVU Natatorium
Head Coach: Sergio Lopez
Most Victories: 9 in 1990
NCAA Qualifiers: 9
NCAA All-Americans: 4
Olympians: 1

Women's Tennis

Playing Facility: Mountaineer Tennis Courts
Head Coach: Dan Silverstein
Most Victories: 21 in 1990

Women's Track

Head Coach: Jeff Huntoon
Olympians: 2
NCAA National Champions: 2
NCAA All-Americans: 13

Women's Volleyball

Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum
Head Coach: Veronica Hammersmith
Most Victories: 35 in 1979
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 0
Last NCAA Appearance: NA
NIT Appearances: 1
All-Americans: 0
All-East: 2


Playing Facility: WVU Coliseum
Head Coach: Craig Turnbull
Most Victories: 14 in 1976 and 1990
NCAA Individual Appearances: 67
Best NCAA Finish: 6th in 1991
All-Americans: 16
National Champions: 3
EWL Champions: 18

School Traditions

One of the reasons WVU has such a strong history in athletics is perhaps because of the many traditions at the university. Several of the school traditions and icons are listed below:

Burning Couches

After a football game, regardless of a win or loss, students often take to the streets with their couches and set them on fire. Recently, Morgantown officials began citing students who had any "indoor" furniture on their porch in hopes of curbing this tradition.

Flying WV

The logo of the university is known as the "Flying WV," which is one of the most popular items to emerge from the Don Nehlen era of Mountaineer football. The logo was quickly adopted as the official university logo.

The Mountaineer

The Mountaineer was adopted in 1890 as the official school mascot. A new Mountaineer is selected every year by the school's senior honorary, The Mountain. The new Mountaineer is given a custom tailored outfit and carries a traditional rifle which is fired to mark the opening of sporting events. Male Mountaineers traditionally grow a beard and wear a coonskin cap.

Take Me Home, Country Roads

The John Denver song Take Me Home, Country Roads, which has become a de facto anthem for the state, has also been adopted by WVU as its unofficial theme song. It is commonly played at most home sporting events as well as other occasions on campus. John Denver himself showed up in 1980 to help dedicate the new Mountaineer Field, now called Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, and lead the crowd in Take Me Home, Country Roads. It is now part of a new tradition: After a victory, fans are encouraged to stay in the stands and sing "Take Me Home, Country Roads" along with the football team.

The Pride of West Virginia

The WVU Marching Band, nicknamed the Pride of West Virginia, was formed in 1901 as an all-male ROTC band. They perform at every home football game and make many other appearances on and off campus throughout the year. During their pre-game performance, they traditionally form an outline of the state of West Virginia as well as the Flying WV, while playing Country Roads, Hail West Virginia, and Fight Mountaineers.

Notable Alumni

WVU students staged a riot against the National Guard in the spring of 1970, shortly after the shootings at Kent State.

In early August 2005, Jessica Lynch, a rescued prisoner of war in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, announced that she would be attending West Virginia University; she received a full scholarship.

See also

External links

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