January 29th, 2004
CONTACTS: John Cuthbert, West Virginia and Regional History Collection, 304-293-3536 ext. 1318
David Master, WVU Dining Services, 304-293-2096 ext. 5
Come Feb. 7, don’t forget to sing a few bars of “Happy Birthday to U.”
That’s right: West Virginia University is turning 137 years old.
WVU Libraries will mark the occasion with a month-long exhibit featuring memorabilia from the school’s bygone days when homework was done with pencil and paper and a mouse was something that scurried across the floor. WVU’s Dining Services, meanwhile, will treat students to cupcakes and cookies on the actual birthday, which falls on a Saturday.
The library exhibit, “Some West Virginia University Firsts,” opens Monday, Feb. 2, in the J. Horner Davis Gallery 2 of the West Virginia and Regional History Collection and will remain on display throughout the month, curator John Cuthbert said. The collection is on the sixth floor of the renovated Charles C. Wise Jr. Library.
The display will include the deed to Woodburn Circle, upon which WVU was located; the first diploma issued by WVU; photographs of assorted first graduates; an oil painting of the Rev. Alexander Martin, WVU’s first president, and a copy of his inaugural speech. Also included are photos of WVU’s first buildings; a montage of early facilities no longer in existence; and mementos from the University’s early swing at sports.
“One of my personal favorites,” Cuthbert said, “is an amateur photo of an early football game on what was likely the first WVU football field, located where the Mountainlair parking garage and plaza are today. If you look really closely, you can see what may have been the first WVU Marching Band – a handful of musicians seated in the stands.”
And what is a birthday party without a cake, of sorts?
Dining Services will celebrate the University’s sweet success with cupcakes and cookies for students, said David Master, assistant director. Staff will prepare 2,200 “Flying WV” cookies and 1,400 blue-and-gold cupcakes for the dining rooms at Boreman Hall and Towers residence halls.
It will take about 32 hours to make the sweet treats, Master added.
WVU came into existence Feb. 7, 1867, by an act of the West Virginia Legislature. The school was founded under the Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862, which offered grants of 30,000 acres of federally owned land to states that agreed to establish colleges to teach agriculture and the mechanical arts (engineering).
© WVU News and Information Services – Division of Institutional Advancement
Post Office Box 6688, 200 Clark Hall – Morgantown, WV 26506-6688