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Free “birthday” cupcakes were just one part of the 149th anniversary celebration at Glenville State College on Friday, February 19. / Photo courtesy GSC

Glenville State College celebrates 149 years

GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State College (GSC) edged another year closer to its sesquicentennial celebration on Friday, February 19, 2021 as the institution celebrated 149 years.

In February 1872, the passage of West Virginia Senate Bill 52 allowed for a branch of the state normal school to be established at Glenville. The Glenville Branch of the West Virginia State Normal School was originally founded in order to serve the educational needs of West Virginia citizens by preparing teachers to serve in classrooms across the state.

Throughout the years, Glenville State has expanded its mission and now prepares students for careers in teaching, business, land resources, criminal justice, music and art, science and mathematics, the social sciences, and more.

Members of the Glenville State College Acrobatics and Tumbling team with a generous donation to their organization as part of the Day of Giving that took place on Friday, February 19.

A loyal base of alumni spanning the state, nation, and globe proudly call themselves Pioneers.

“We are ecstatic to be celebrating 149 years of Glenville State College,” said President Dr. Mark Manchin. “This institution means so much, not only to me, but to its student body, faculty and staff, alumni, and the surrounding Gilmer County community. Today we look back and remember our storied past while also imagining an even brighter future with the renewed optimism that milestones like this bring to mind.”

In recognition of the 2021 anniversary, the West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution on Friday that recognized Glenville State College’s 149th year. Senators David Stover (R-9th District), Patricia Rucker (R-16th District), and Mike Romano (D-12th District) all took the opportunity to speak in support of the resolution and of Glenville State College. Stover is a 1977 Glenville State graduate.

Coinciding with GSC’s Founders Day, the Glenville State College Advancement Office also organized its annual Day of Giving. The event allows for celebration and fundraising for a variety of projects that support student scholarships, academic departments, athletic programs, and more. The fundraising goal was $149,000 in recognition of 149 years.

Faculty, staff, and students also enjoyed cupcakes and a display of historic documents and photos from the GSC Archives as part of the day’s celebration.

The history exhibit, in part, included an excerpt from an 1873 correspondence to the Weston Democrat.

The writer said, “No place on earth could have been found more suitable for the establishment of the State Normal School than Glenville. The place is retired, healthy, and possesses every qualification requisite for a place of study and thought. The inhabitants are civil, moral, refined, religious, and generous to a fault. The landscape around Glenville beggars description: the beautiful verdant hills, with ragged rocks jutting out in some places as though it was the hand-work of some skillful artist, the innumerable birds various plumage warbling forth their many songs; gurgling brooks, whose ever flowing streams are babbling over the varieties of rock which form their beds; the roar of the mighty waters of the Little Kanawha River as it tumbles over the massive dam which obstructs is passage; together with the sweet music which is discoursed by the Glenville Band on a bright, moonlight night…”

With only slight updates, what was written those many years ago could be written again in 2021. Glenville State College has never wavered from its mission to serve the people of central West Virginia. The Lighthouse on the Hill remains a beacon for those seeking to continue their education, to better themselves and their families, and to contribute to the greater good.

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