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Fall 2015

West Virginia's University

Branded building

WVU Beckley, a new campus on the site of the former Mountain State University, will be enrolling students in fall 2016. The following year, the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, currently located in Montgomery, W.Va., will move operations to the Beckley campus in an effort to efficiently serve the state’s students. In addition to Tech’s programs, Beckley is aiming to offer programs in the areas of tourism and hospitality, culinary arts, nursing and allied health, adventure recreation leadership and management, entrepreneurship, information technology and construction management.

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On the Red Carpet

College Television Awards

WVU News, the Reed College of Media’s student-produced television newscast, won a first place College Television Award, handed out by the Television Academy Foundation, which awards the Emmys. It’s the first time the show has won at the competition. The special edition episode recognized, “All Things Social Media,” was produced by Cory Sanchez, BS ’14.

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WVU Medicine

WVU Healthcare is now WVU Medicine, and has a gold-and-blue visual identity. It’s a move to differentiate the University among academic medical centers and more closely align the medical enterprise with WVU as a whole.

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New Digs


Elizabeth Roth

This fall, University Park opened, a public-private housing partnership that can accommodate 1,300 students, faculty and staff. The complex, located in the area between the Erickson Alumni Center and the College of Law, also includes space for dining and retail. Also opening this fall is Evansdale Crossing, a hub at the engineering PRT station that will include classrooms, restaurants, a Barnes & Noble, student services and the Reed College of Media’s new Innovation Center.

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Rebuilding Harpers Ferry

After a fire destroyed 30 percent of the business district in historic Harpers Ferry, W.Va., this summer, the University asked, “How can we help?” As the town that sees 10,000 tourists a week rebuilds, it has support in strategic development, policy guidance, structural engineering, streetscape designs and marketing and clerical support from groups that include the Reed College of Media, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, College of Law and WVU Extension Service. 

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Day in Court

Woman and Man

Photo Provided

When the U.S. Supreme Court heard the landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges, alumna Jaci Gonzales Martin, JD ’10, was there as part of the legal team for the plaintiffs (Jim Obergefell, right). The court ruled in their favor that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry violated the U.S. Constitution. “I got to be there in the room with the nine Supreme Court justices, which was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “... It really was kind of a magical time. We were all optimistic but not being overly optimistic, just in case.”

With Honors


The WVU Honors College is booming. This year alone, enrollment increased by about 27 percent. Newly named Honors College Dean Kenneth Blemings attributes the growth in part to targeted recruitment efforts and the partnership between the Office of Admissions and the college. 

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The Force Awakens

Storm Trooper and Boba Fett

Scott Lituchy

It may be force-fever before the opening of this winter’s movie, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” But we think the new Star Wars Club on campus would exist either way. 

Build a Better Horse Farm

Girl with horse

Brian Persinger

The study of horses is getting more prominent as the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design upgrades the Reedsville Experiment Farm into the Hazel Ruby McQuain Equine Education and Resource Center and J.W. Ruby Research Farm. A $6.7 million gift from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust will transform the equine facilities, with phase one expected to be completed by the end of 2019. The project will include improved arenas, classrooms, housing and meeting spaces.

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Someone to Lean On

Girl in dress

Raymond Thompson Jr

When child development senior Bethany Lojewski meets people in her beauty pageant crown and sash, she asks, “What does a diabetic look like?” A lot like her. When diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 12, Lojewski said she was scared and could have used someone who could tell her what it was like to live with the disease. Now she has already become that person to the children she serves. 

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Forged in Fire

Student playing with fire

Raymond Thompson Jr

In a scorching-hot room, a handful of students took hammer to anvil in the College of Creative Arts’ first blacksmithing class. It’s one more step forward in the sculpture program that includes iron pours and casting in bronze and aluminum.

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I Survived (Reading About) the Zombie War


Brad Stalnaker

This year’s incoming students all have at least one thing in common: they know what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse. “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” by Max Brooks was the book used in the University’s first Common Read program to be read by all incoming students and faculty. It’s an effort to get students thinking about big ideas from the start of college, such as fear, politics, education, change, prejudice and human nature, as well as promote connections between first-year students and professors.

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See Me Smoke-Free

Man holding phone

M.G. Ellis

It’s usually harder for women to quit smoking. Fortunately there’s an app for that. Associate professor in the College of Physical and Sport Sciences and School of Public Health Peter Giacobbi and his colleagues developed an Android app that uses visualization techniques to encourage women to stick to their goal of quitting smoking. The app “See Me Smoke-Free,” available online at the Google Play store, includes a tracking calendar, estimate of money saved, goals list and trophy awards as the user progresses.

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Quote Solo


Brad Stalnaker

“That’s like saying, ‘I used to eat 10 Oreos, but now I eat eight.’”
— Melissa Blank, WVU assistant professor of psychology

There’s a popular idea that removing a layer of tobacco from cigarillos — small cigars — makes them healthier. Often called hyping, the technique does reduce the amount of carbon monoxide inhaled, but not the exposure to nicotine. Blank, following her research into the claim, compared the healthfulness of hyping to eating slightly fewer cookies. It turns out neither is going to win you points with your doctor.

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The nostalgia you feel when looking through Mountaineer photo albums is online, too. See what the new kids are doing and view campus scenes new and old. Go to and share your own WVU photos on the app using the hashtag #InstaWVU.

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Across the Finish Line!

Travis Braden

M.G. Ellis

If you look close enough at the nation’s auto races, you’ll see a gold and blue Chevy emblazoned with the Flying WV. The car’s driver is mechanical and aerospace engineering senior Travis Braden, and he won his first start in the Automobile Racing Club of America Racing Series this summer. This year’s goals: conquering a few more races and graduating. 

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Let's Have a Mountaineer Parade

WVU Band

Brian Persinger

There’s going to be a miracle on 34th Street next year for Mountaineer band fans when the Pride of West Virginia marches in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time. About 3.5 million people will be watching from Manhattan’s streets as the Mountaineer Marching Band joins in with “Let’s Have a Parade.” Another 50 million will be watching the parade on TV as they baste the bird (or the Tofurky). The band members will be spiffed and shiny for the event in their new uniforms. Learn how you can support them online:

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Matter of Fact Archive

Fall 2014

From the new art museum to acupuncture to shoe research, there’s a lot happening at WVU.

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Fall 2015

The WVU Beckley campus opened, an alumna took a case to the U.S. Supreme Court and new students prepared for zombie wars. Catch these and so much more in Matter of Fact.

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Fall 2016

WVU surpassed $1 billion in its State of Minds campaign and the robotics team was again the only team to win NASA's competition.

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Fall 2017

One alumna beat the pros in the Food Network show "Cooks vs. Cons" and another alumnus was on flights measuring Hurricane Irma. See what else is cookin' among WVU faculty, staff, students and alumni.

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Spring 2015

A 94-year-old grad. An artificial hand that works like a real one. A tree from Isaac Newton’s backyard. Learn about these and more.

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Spring 2016

This issue, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute prepares to open, a professor takes cameras into classrooms and Morgantown breaks ground on a new $30-million swimming, diving and track complex.

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Spring 2017

We bid farewell to Arnold Hall, "meet the press" and applaud WVU's online grad program in software engineering.

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Summer 2016

Mountaineers went first in assisting with flood relief efforts in West Virginia this summer.

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Summer 2017

An ice drilling team took home top honors in a NASA competition, the sports management graduate program is ranked 10th in the U.S., and an alumna wrote the book on pepperoni rolls.

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