Fairmont State University

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Fairmont State University
Fairmont State University wordmark.svg
Type Public, Coed
Established 1865
Endowment US $20 million
President Mirta Martin
Provost Christina Lavorata
Academic staff
597
Administrative staff
450
Students 4,200
Undergraduates Approx. 4,100
Postgraduates Approx. 500
Location Fairmont, West Virginia, U.S.
Campus Urban – 120 acres (0.49 km2)
Colors Maroon and White[1]
         
Nicknames Fighting Falcons
Lady Falcons
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIMountain East
Website www.fairmontstate.edu

Fairmont State University is a public university in Fairmont, West Virginia. It has regional campuses in nearby Harrison County, the Gaston Caperton Center in Clarksburg, and the Robert C. Byrd National Aerospace Education Center in Bridgeport.[2]

History[edit]

Fairmont State University’s roots reach back to the formation of public education in the state of West Virginia. The first private normal school in West Virginia was established to train teachers in Fairmont in 1865 by John N. Boyd, the school’s first principal. It was known as the West Virginia Normal School at Fairmont.

On February 27, 1867, it was purchased by the State from the Regency of the West Virginia Normal School (formed as a joint stock company in 1866) and became a branch of the State Normal School of Marshall College. Construction began on a brick building on the northwest corner of Adams and Quincy streets later that year.

From 1867 to 1892 the school was known variously as Fairmont Normal School, the Fairmont Branch of the West Virginia Normal School, the Branch of the West Virginia Normal School at Fairmont, a branch of the West Virginia State Normal School of Marshall College, but most commonly as Fairmont State Normal School (FSNS). By 1892 the designation of "branch" had fallen into disuse by FSNS.

In 1893, the school moved into a new building at Second Street and Fairmont Avenue and, in 1917, to its current location in the building (now known as Hardway Hall in honor of former president Wendell G. Hardway) which sits on a hill overlooking Locust Avenue.

Hardway Hall, originally known as Fairmont Normal School Administration Building, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.[3]

In 1923, Fairmont State Normal School first offered a four-year bachelor's degree program in education, making the school a college. It was renamed Fairmont State Teachers College in 1931 and Fairmont State College in 1943. On April 7, 2004, Governor Bob Wise signed legislation changing its name to Fairmont State University.[4]

Today, with an enrollment of 4,200, Fairmont State offers more than 80 baccalaureate degrees in business, education, engineering and technology, fine arts, liberal arts, and nursing and allied health administration with graduate programs in architecture, education, teaching, business, and criminal justice.

Community and Technical College[edit]

In 1974, a community college component was founded. This became independently accredited as Fairmont State Community and Technical College in 2003. In 2006, Fairmont State was given direction by the State of West Virginia to split with the community and technical college, which then became known as Pierpont Community and Technical College. While both institutions still operate on the Fairmont campus, since 2008, they are recognized as independent institutions and offer completely separate degree programs; Pierpont focuses more on two-year technical associate's programs, while Fairmont State's main focus is on four-year baccalaureate degrees and masters programs.

Athletics[edit]

Fairmont State's athletic teams, known as the Falcons (alternately as Fighting Falcons, or Lady Falcons for women's teams), compete in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and field teams in 16 sports including football, men's and women's basketball, women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's golf, acrobatics and tumbling, baseball, softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, and men's and women's cross country.

The Fighting falcons football team finished the 2016 season with a 10–2 record, clinching an NCAA playoff berth. In 2017, they finished the season 8–3 and 2nd in the MEC.

In 2017, the men's basketball team was ranked #3 in the final NABC Coaches Poll. In post-season play, the Falcons captured the NCAA Atlantic Region title and earned the top-seed in the NCAA Elite Eight tournament eventually losing to Northwest Missouri State in the tournament final on March 25, 2017 by a score of 71–61.[5]

Traditions[edit]

The Victory Bell

In 1940, the Letterman's Association (now the Fairmont State Athletic Association) presented the college with a "Victory Bell" from a Monongahela oil barge. Nicknamed "Old Boaz" – in honor of Boaz Fleming, the founding father of Fairmont – students would ring the bell after athletic team victories.

During World War II, the Victory Bell was declared silent and was not rung again until Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) on May 8, 1945. It was rung for that victory and for the Americans still fighting in the South Pacific.

The exact date unknown (likely the late 1960s), the tradition shifted from ringing to painting the bell by various fraternities, sororities, and other campus organizations – its clapper and handle removed.

Originally located adjacent to Hardway Hall, the bell now stands in front of the Education Building.

Honor societies[edit]

Social organizations[edit]

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was chartered at Fairmont State University on April 13, 2018. Becoming the first African American sorority on campus.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "University Brand | About Fairmont State University". June 13, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2018. 
  2. ^ Turner, Dr. William P., "A Centennial History of Fairmont State College", Fairmont State College, Fairmont, WV, 1970
  3. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "Marion County Architecture". Marion County Historical Society & Museum. Retrieved May 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ "DII basketball: Northwest Missouri State handles Fairmont State to win first championship". March 27, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°29′09″N 80°09′47″W / 39.485798°N 80.163019°W / 39.485798; -80.163019