West Virginia University (WVU) is a public land grant research university in Morgantown, West Virginia. Under the terms of the 1862 Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, the West Virginia Legislature created the Agricultural College of West Virginia on February 7, 1867, and the school officially opened on September 2 of the same year. West Virginia University is organized into 15 degree-granting colleges or schools and also offers an Honors College. Investigative Science is a nationally recognized program at WVU, originally created through a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The program is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is the official library holdings repository for the International Association for Identification. The University maintains four libraries on its campuses. These include the Downtown Campus Library, Evansdale Library, Health Sciences Library, and the Law Library. Collections include the Appalachian Collection, Digital Collections, Government Documents, Map Collection, Myers Collection, Patent and Trademarks, Rare Books Collections, and Theses and Dissertations. West Virginia University libraries contain nearly 1.5 million printed volumes, 2.3 million microforms, more than 10,000 electronic journals, and computers with high speed Internet access.
WVU's campus has been ranked one of the safest in the country by Reader's Digest. Fall Fest welcomes students to the University by providing an evening of entertainment and musical performances after the first day of classes at the Mountainlair Student Union. The event was established in 1995 to provide a safe alternative to partying and has since become one of the largest University-sponsored events, typically drawing crowds of 15,000 or more. The celebration has been highlighted by a series of evening concerts performed by renowned artists on the Mountainlair green, including Akon, The Black Eyed Peas, Common, Cypress Hill, Dave Mathews Band, Dashboard Confessional, Daughtry, Fuel, John Legend, Kanye West, Kris Allen, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Mos Def, O.A.R., The Roots, Staind, Third Eye Blind, Wyclef Jean, and 3 Doors Down. A dance party, film festival, comedy show, and several indoor musical performances are traditionally featured as well.
West Virginia University offers more than 300 student-run organizations and clubs. Many of the organizations are associated with academia, religion, culture, military service, politics, recreation, or sports. New student groups may be formed by submitting a constitution and petition to become recognized as a student organization.
Student Government Association (SGA) serves as the voice of the student body and is the direct liaison to the University administration. SGA members represent the student interest in University affairs, enacting resolutions to improve student and campus life at WVU. The organization leadership is composed of the President and Vice President acting as an executive body, the Board of Governors representing a legislative branch, and the Athletic Council. Other positions include the Attorney General, Treasurer, Secretary, Off-Campus Housing Director, Public Relations Chair, and Elections Chair. All leadership positions are selected from an open, campus-wide election every spring semester.
Approximately 10 percent of West Virginia's students are involved in Greek life. There are 16 fraternities and 8 sororities recognized by WVU. Fraternities belonging to the Inter-Fraternity Council and the National Panhellenic Conference include Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Alpha Order, Phi Iota Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Sigma Kappa, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Theta Chi. Sororities belonging to the National Panhellenic Conference include Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, and Sigma Kappa.
The Student Center of Health, also known under the label "WellWVU", provides services related to student health, disease prevention, and awareness. The Carruth Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Services offers therapy to any WVU student. The Robert C. Byrd Health Science Center and the associated West Virginia University Hospitals, located on the Health Science Campus, serve as West Virginia's largest healthcare institution.
The hospitals provide a comprehensive set of healthcare needs for local and regional patients. WVU students are provided with full access to the healthcare resources, which are accessible from the PRT medical station.
WVU Arts&Entertainment (A&E) sponsors entertainment events for students throughout the academic year. The department organizes the annual FallFest event, which features popular musicians, comedians, and other performers. WVU A&E annually hosts several concerts at the WVU Coliseum and Creative Arts Center, with past performances by Akon, The All-American Rejects, The Fray, Kelly Clarkson, Ludacris, Maroon 5, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, and 50 Cent among others.
The school's sports teams are called the Mountaineers and compete in the NCAA's Division I. The school has teams in 17 college sports and has won several national championships, including 16 NCAA Rifle Championships as of 2014. West Virginia men's basketball has competed in three basketball championship final matches: the 1959 NCAA final, the 1942 NIT final (at that time, the NIT was considered more prestigious than the NCAA), and the 2007 NIT Championship. Women's soccer team won the Big 12 championship in their first year in the league in 2012. Wvu's women's soccer team won their second big 12 regular season championship and won big 12 tourney championship in the same year in 2013. The Big 12 does not have men's soccer.
West Virginia University is an institution steeped in tradition, and Mountaineer pride forms an intangible link connecting past, present, and future. WVU’s shared values are passed on to each graduating class—like a ring that comes full circle.
The college ring is more than a piece of jewelry; it is the embodiment of a proud tradition. Designed by WVU students, the official class ring shows the most recognizable images of the university—the flying WV logo, the Mountaineer statue, Woodburn Hall, and the school seal. The date of our founding, 1867, is on one side, along with the graduation year of the wearer. The other side shows the degree received and the Mountaineer statue.