History

A History of WVU Parkersburg

WVU Parkersburg was founded in 1961 as the Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University. In 1971, it became Parkersburg Community College, one of the state’s first comprehensive community colleges. Three years later, the college established its Jackson County Center in Ripley. The institution was renamed West Virginia University at Parkersburg in 1989 and rejoined WVU as a regional campus. State legislation created a statewide network of independently-accredited community and technical colleges in 2008. This allowed WVU Parkersburg to become an independent institution while maintaining affiliation with WVU. Today, WVU Parkersburg enrolls 2,600 students annually in credit classes and serves the community with non-credit classes, seminars, workforce development training and workshops.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg Timeline

1961
1965
1966
1969
1971
1975
1989
1991
1999
2001
2004
2006
2008
2010
2012

1961

The Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University opens in an abandoned elementary school; 104 students enroll in classes.

1965

Wood County citizens pass bond issue that, with matching federal funds, provides $3.6 million to build an educational complex on land provided by the Wood County Court.

1966

The college’s name is changed to West Virginia University-Parkersburg Center.

1969

Construction is completed on campus complex on Route 47.

1971

The institution becomes Parkersburg Community College following legislative action to create a comprehensive community college system for West Virginia of two free-standing community colleges.

1975

The Jackson County Center opens in Ripley to serve Jackson, Mason and Roane counties.

1989

The West Virginia Legislature establishes the college as West Virginia University at Parkersburg, a regional campus of West Virginia University.

1991

WVU Parkersburg is accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees in Business Administration and Elementary Education; becomes only state community college accredited to offer bachelor’s degrees.

1999

The Caperton Center for Applied Technology opens, featuring a unique partnership of public and higher education.

2001

WVU Parkersburg begins offering a Bachelor of Applied Technology degree, the first in the state.

2004

The College’s first female president and the sixth leader of the institution is selected.

2006

WVU Parkersburg cited for its affordability with second lowest in-state tuition in the country.

2008

WV legislation establishes new governance structure for state’s community colleges; WVU Parkersburg continues an association with WVU.

2010

The Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University opens in an abandoned elementary school; 104 students enroll in classes.

2012

The Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University opens in an abandoned elementary school; 104 students enroll in classes.

College Bell

The college bell is originally from the Emerson Avenue school building where the Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia was established in the fall of 1961. However, the college bell was cast in 1902 by the Meneely Bell Company of Troy, New York. The bell was discovered in a campus storage area and restored to its original condition. It now makes its home in the main campus hallway and is used at campus ceremonies, including Commencement. The college bell is also the center component of WVU Parkersburg’s official seal.

Philosophy

West Virginia University at Parkersburg faculty and staff individually and collectively hold the responsibility of providing educational and cultural opportunities in the college’s service community based on the following principles

Education holds a central position in the creation, development, and nurturing of a society.

Education functions under the realization that equal opportunity to access and to benefit from teaching and learning must be afforded to all persons.

Education holds as a sacred trust its responsibility to assist persons in their quest for a fulfilling life and for responsible citizenship in a world characterized by change.

Education should be constantly cognizant of the fact that all persons are individuals of worth and are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.

Education provides the opportunity for all citizens in a democratic society to explore, to discover, and to develop their special aptitudes and interests.

Education holds a central position in the creation, development, and nurturing of a society.

Education should be constantly cognizant of the fact that all persons are individuals of worth and are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect.

Education functions under the realization that equal opportunity to access and to benefit from teaching and learning must be afforded to all persons.

Education provides the opportunity for all citizens in a democratic society to explore, to discover, and to develop their special aptitudes and interests.

Education holds as a sacred trust its responsibility to assist persons in their quest for a fulfilling life and for responsible citizenship in a world characterized by change.

EO/AA

West Virginia University at Parkersburg is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, religion, color, ancestry, or national origin in admission, employment, educational programs or activities; nor does it discriminate on the basis of genetic information in employment or employee health benefits. Further, faculty, staff, students, and applicants are protected from retaliation for filing complaints or assisting in an investigation of discrimination. Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies may be directed to: Debbie Richards, Special Assistant to the President, 304-424-8201, WVU Parkersburg, 300 Campus Drive, Parkersburg, WV 26104.

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