West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
WVU Parkersburg to celebrate 45th anniversary and community's commitment to higher education.
CONTACT: Connie Dziagwa, Institutional Advancement, 304-424-8203.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Forty-five years ago this fall, 104 area students began attending a college branch in an abandoned elementary schoolhouse on Emerson Avenue.
Today, that branch has evolved into West Virginia University at Parkersburg, a regional campus of WVU with more than 3,800 students enrolled in certificate, associate and baccalaureate programs. Located on a 128-acre campus on the outskirts of Parkersburg, the college serves a seven-county service area.
WVU Parkersburg will observe it 45th anniversary with a series of activities during the week of October 1. Theme of the anniversary is "Celebrating the Community’s Commitment."
"This community should be proud of the promise it has made to public higher education," noted Marie Foster Gnage, president of WVU Parkersburg.
"Because of that commitment, the institution has grown to become the sixth largest public college in West Virginia, thousands of Mid-Ohio Valley residents have pursued college educations here and WVU Parkersburg is continuing to deliver quality, affordable higher education opportunities, " she added.
Each weekday morning during the week of Oct. 1, community, business, alumni and educational representatives will ring the campus bell from the original facility at 8:30 a.m. as part of the festivities.
The college will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a series of events, including a Mountain Stage concert at 6 p.m., Oct. 1; a Founders Luncheon on Oct. 2 featuring WVU President David C. Hardesty., Jr., as keynote speaker; a presentation by WV Secretary of State Betty Ireland on Oct. 3 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the college’s WVU at Parkersburg Foundation and a visit by WV First Lady Gayle Manchin to celebrate the establishment of the college’s Center for Teaching Excellence, and a free concert, open to the public, at 1 p.m., Oct. 7, by Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys.
The week will conclude with a Presidential Gala, the college's annual fundraiser for campus improvement, at the Parkersburg Art Center at 7 p.m., Oct. 7.
State-supported higher education began in Parkersburg in 1961 with the development of the Parkersburg branch of WVU. As a result of efforts by area residents, the college became - and remains - the only state-supported institution in West Virginia funded by a local initiative. A $3.6 million bond issue, with matching federal funds, was passed by Wood County voters in 1965 to build a new educational complex, on Route 47 on land provided by the Wood County Court. The institution evolved to a free-standing community college (Parkersburg Community College) in 1971. As WVU Parkersburg, it has come full circle as a regional campus of the University since 1989.
Additional information about the anniversary celebration and regarding ticketed events may be obtained by contacting the college.