Marshall University

Marshall University

Coordinates: 38°25′30″N 82°25′14″W / 38.42508°N 82.42046°W / 38.42508; -82.42046

Marshall University
Motto Owning the Opportunity,
We Are Marshall
Established Maple Grove, West Virginia (then Virginia)
1837 (founded as Marshall Academy)
1838 (chartered by Virginia as Marshall College)
1867 (rechartered by West Virginia)
1961 (granted university status)
Type Public
Endowment $71.4 million[1]
President Stephen Kopp
Admin. staff 735
Undergraduates 9,692
Postgraduates 4,084
Location Huntington, West Virginia
Campus urban, 60 acres (240,000 m²)
Colors Kelly Green & White         
Athletics NCAA Division I
Nickname The Thundering Herd
Mascot Marco
Marshall Logo

Marshall University is a coeducational public research university in Huntington, West Virginia founded in 1837, and named after John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States.

The university is composed of eight undergraduate colleges and schools: the College of Liberal Arts (COLA), the College of Fine Arts (COFA), the College of Education and Human Services (COEHS), the College of Information Technology and Engineering (CITE), the Elizabeth McDowell Lewis College of Business (LCOB), the College of Science (COS), the College of Health Professions (COHP), and the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC). The University is also home to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, a regional center for cancer research which has a national reputation for its programs in rural health care delivery, and the general Graduate College and the Graduate College of Education and Professional Development. The forensic science graduate program is one of a small number of post-graduate-level academic programs in the United States accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and considered by many to be an acceptable Forensic Science program in the United States. The Elizabeth McDowell Lewis College of Business has achieved AACSB accreditation.

Marshall University has a non-residential branch campus, focused on graduate education, in South Charleston, the Marshall University - South Charleston Campus, which also offers classes throughout the southern half of the state, including at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beckley. It also offers undergraduate courses, under three "centers", the Southern Mountain Center, operating on the campuses of the Southern West Virginia Community College in Logan and Williamson and at the YMCA in Gilbert; the Mid-Ohio Valley Center in Point Pleasant and the Teays Valley Center in Hurricane. Marshall University also operates the Robert C. Byrd Institute, with operations on both the Huntington and South Charleston campuses, as well as in Fairmont, West Virginia, and Rocket Center, West Virginia. The goal of the Institute is the transfer of technology from the academic departments to private industry to support job development in the region.



Marshall University was founded in 1837 as a private subscription school by residents of Guyandotte and the surrounding area. The landmark Old Main, which now serves as the primary administrative building for the university, was built on land known as Maple Grove, at the time the home of the Mount Hebron Church in what was then the state of Virginia.[2] John Laidley, a local attorney, hosted the meeting which led to the founding of Marshall Academy, which was named after Laidley's friend, the eminent John Marshall[2] who had served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States from January 1801 to July 1835.

On March 30, 1838, the institution was formally dedicated by the Virginia General Assembly as Marshall Academy, however this institution was not a college level institution as that was understood at that time.[3] In 1858, the Virginia General Assembly changed the name to Marshall College.[4] but this change still did not reflect its status as a true college. The Civil War closed the often financially-challenged school for much of the 1860s.[5]

Old Main is the oldest building on campus and home to many of the university's administrative offices.
Marshall University's John Deaver Drinko Library, which opened in 1998.

On June 20, 1863, Cabell County, Virginia, was one of the 50 counties separated from Virginia at the height of the American Civil War to form the State of West Virginia, and the college fell within the new state of. In 1867, the West Virginia Legislature resurrected the institution as a teacher training facility and renamed it State Normal School of Marshall College.[5][6] This began the history of the college as a state supported institution at the collegiate level.

20th century

With the exception of the Old Main building, expansion of the facilities and the college itself did not begin until 1907, when the Board of Regents of West Virginia changed the title of the head from "principal" to "president" and allowed the creation of new college-level departments.[4] At that time, enrollment surpassed 1,000 students.[5] Thirteen years after that, the school began offering four-year Bachelor Degrees for the first time in 1920.

In 1937, the college suffered through a devastating flooding by the Ohio River.[7] Numerous structures, such as Northcott Hall and the James E. Morrow Library were extensively flooded. Much of Huntington was also heavily damaged, and as a result, a floodwall was constructed around much of the town to prevent future occurrences.

The West Virginia Board of Education authorized Marshall College in 1938 to offer the master's degree in six programs: chemistry, education, history, political science, psychology, and sociology, as the institution underwent another expansion. In that year the school was accredited as a "university level institution"; however, the renaming of the school would remain a contentious political issue for decades to come. Further expansion accelerated after World War II.[8]

In 1960, John F. Kennedy spoke at the college during his cross-country campaign for the presidency.

On March 2, 1961, Marshall College became Marshall University as the West Virginia Legislature approved university status for the institution and the legislation was signed by Governor W. W. Barron.[9] The student newspaper, The Parthenon, prepared two front pages for the day, depending on the outcome of the legislature's vote. Also in 1961, WMUL-FM began operations as the first public radio station in West Virginia. The station, which began in the Science Building at 10 watts of power, now broadcasts from the Communications Building with 1,150 watts.

In 1969, the university's athletic program, facing a number of scandals, fired both its football and basketball coaches and was suspended from the Mid-American Conference and from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The university rebuilt its athletic program back to respectability, and in 1977, the university joined the Southern Conference.

1970 Football team airplane crash

Inscription at the burial site for the unidentified victims of the 1970 plane crash.

On the evening of November 14, 1970, the Thundering Herd football team, along with coaches and fans, was returning home to Huntington from Kinston, North Carolina. The team had just lost a game 17–14 against the East Carolina University Pirates at Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina. The chartered Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed on approach to the Tri-State Airport after clipping trees just west of the runway and impacting nose-first into a hollow. All seventy-five people on board were killed, including 37 players and 5 coaches. 13 players who were not on the plane survived, along with the members of the freshman football team, who were not eligible to play varsity under the rules of that time and were not on the plane.

The team was rebuilt with Jack Lengyel as the new head coach. The leaders of the "Young Thundering Herd" (to which the team officially changed its name for the 1971 season) were the few players who didn't make the trip due to injury or disciplinary action. There were 15 sophomores on the team from the previous year's freshman team, and the bulk of the team was composed of freshmen players who were allowed to play on the varsity squad due to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, college football's governing body, waiving a rule prohibiting it. Three years later, it would waive the rule for all schools. Rounding out the squad were players from other Marshall sports programs. They would win only two games that year. Their first win was an emotional 15–13 victory against Xavier University in the home opener. Their second win, in their homecoming game, was against a better, ranked team: the Bowling Green State University Falcons.

The plaza at the center of the school has a fountain dedicated to the seventy-five victims. The water does not flow from November 14 until the first day of spring football practice the following year. The tragedy and its aftermath were the subject of several documentaries, including the award-winning Marshall University: Ashes to Glory. The tragedy and the rebuilding efforts were dramatized in the 2006 Warner Brothers feature, We Are Marshall which opened in Huntington a week before its national release date. Many scenes in the movie were filmed on the campus and throughout Huntington.

From 1970

In 1971 the Williamson and Logan campuses of Marshall University were combined by the West Virginia Legislature to form Southern West Virginia Community College (now Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College).[10]

In 1977 the university founded its School of Medicine, the first professional school and the first doctoral program. Over the next 20 years the school would add doctoral programs in many fields. Twenty years later, in 1997, the West Virginia Graduate College became the graduate college of Marshall University. Its campus is located in South Charleston, West Virginia. In 1998, the John Deaver Drinko Library opened on campus. The center includes a 24-hour study center and a coffee shop, and has both wired and wireless networking throughout the building. John Deaver Drinko graduated from the university in 1942.

In 1997, Marshall merged with the University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies (COGS),[11] with the latter being renamed Marshall University Graduate College.[12] In 2010 the university was authorized to begin offering undergraduate classes in South Charleston and renamed the facility Marshall University - South Charleston Campus.

Marshall's enrollment was 16,500 in 2004. In addition to the main campus in Huntington and the branch campus in South Charleston, West Virginia, the school maintains undergraduate centers in Gilbert, Point Pleasant, and Hurricane, West Virginia. In 1989, Marshall was governed by the University of West Virginia Board of Trustees, but this ended in 2000.

In July 2005, Dr. Stephen J. Kopp took over as Marshall University's president and Dr. Gayle Ormiston serves as the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The eight college deans are Dr. David J. Pittenger (COLA), Mr. Don Van Horn (COFA), Dr. Robert Bookwalter (Interim) (COEHS), Betsy Dulin, JD (CITE), Dr. Chong Kim (LCOB), Dr. Chuck Somerville (COS), Dr. Michael Prewitt (COHP), and Dr. Corley Dennison (SOJMC). Dr. Charles McKown is the Dean of the School of Medicine.

21st century

Marshall University Recreational Center complete with indoor pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, exercise equipment, hanging indoor track, and artificial rock climbing wall (2009)

Several new facilities have been recently completed all around the Huntington campus. These buildings include two new first-year student residence halls, a health and recreation center, an engineering lab facility, softball field, and an artificial turf practice field that is open to the public. The Marshall University Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center, is the most recent building to be completed on campus.


The scholarship and achievements of Marshall's faculty are also bringing more attention to the University. Dr. Jackie Agesa and Dr. Richard Agesa are among the top 20 black economists in the nation. Dr. Jean Edward Smith, known for his works Grant and John Marshall: Definer of a Nation, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography. The Higher Education for Learning Problems (H.E.L.P.) program founded by Dr. Barbara Guyer assists students with learning disabilities and related disorders complete their college education.

Marshall offers two prestigious and academically rigorous scholarship programs: the John Marshall Scholars and the Society of Yeager Scholars program.

The University maintains major involvement in the arts for the cultural benefit of the surrounding Appalachian region. The Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts center is a state-of-the-art, 530-seat facility for studies in the fields of music, art, and theatre. The Jomie Jazz Center is a $2.6 million facility that houses the University's study program in jazz.

In April 2007, the Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine was ranked fifth in the nation in producing family physicians, according to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

In 2005, Marshall alum and Chicago Tribune reporter Julia Keller won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. CNN White House correspondent Joe Johns also is a Marshall alum.

In 2009, Marshall's Forensic Science Graduate Program ranked #1 in the nation based upon scores on the Forensic Science Assessment Test (FSAT), which is a qualifying test offered by the American Board of Criminalistics.

The school's general engineering program was closed in 1970, but was reborn with a graduate program in 1993, and a general engineering undergraduate program in 2006. MU also allows students to complete the first two years of a specific engineering degree and then transfer to one of the two campuses of West Virginia University. MU has a goal of developing specific engineering programs of its own. [13]

MU has granted the Master's degree since 1938. Building on the School of Medicine, the school began granting other doctoral degrees in 1994. Previously students would complete work at Marshall, but the degrees would be awarded by West Virginia University. MU now offers a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, an EdD in two specialites, and first professional doctortes in Nurse Anesthesia, Psychology, and Physical Therapy. [14]

The university has announced plans to develop a Pharmacy School, starting in 2012, with first class graduating in 2016. [15]


Marshall University's official athletics logo, featuring Marco the Buffalo

Marshall's sports teams are known as the Thundering Herd. The school colors are kelly green and white. Marshall participates in NCAA Division I (FBS for football) as a member of Conference USA. The name Thundering Herd came from a Zane Gray novel released in 1925, and a silent movie of the same two years later. Marshall teams were originally known as the Indians, and the green-white colors came in 1903, replacing black and blue. The Herald-Dispatch sports editor Carl "Duke" Ridgley tagged the team with the Thundering Herd name, but many other nicknames were suggested over the next thirty years, including Boogercats, Big Green, Green Gobblers, Rams, Judges and others. In 1965, students, alums and faculty settled on Thundering Herd in a vote, and Big Green was given to the athletic department's fund-raising wing.

Sports at the school include women's softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field; men's football, baseball; and teams for both genders in basketball cross country, golf, and soccer.[16] Marshall also fields club teams, not affiliated with the MU Athletic Department, in rugby union for both women and men, and a men's lacrosse team.

Joan C. Edwards Stadium at dusk.

From 1964 to 1983, Marshall's football program suffered a dismal streak of losing seasons and was suspended by the Mid-American Conference in 1969 for 144 alleged recruiting violations in 1968–69 in football and basketball. While the NCAA issued a one-year probation, the MAC would not take the program back as late as 1972. This was exacerbated by the 1970 plane crash that killed nearly all of the team's coaches and players. Marshall had the worst record of any major college playing football in the 1970s, winning only 23 games and losing 83 over that ten-year period. Marshall joined the Southern Conference for all sports in 1977, but football was 0–26–1 in the first five years. MU's only non-loss came on a 59-yard field goal with no time left by freshman Barry Childers at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., for a 13–13 tie. In 1981, Marshall won its first SC game by beating Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., 17–14, and the celebration included a 30-mile police escort and a crowd estimated at 3,000 met the team when they unloaded at Gullickson Hall on the MU campus.

Beginning in 1984, Marshall football experienced a remarkable turnaround as Stan Parrish's first team nailed down a 6–5 mark with a 31–28 win at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn., inside the Memorial Center or "Mini-Dome," the Buccaneers 12,000-seat indoor football facility. The Thundering Herd posted 21 straight winning seasons, winning the SC in 1988, 1994 and 1996, before going 4–7 in 2005 under first-year head coach Mark Snyder, a former Herd All-American defensive back and native of nearby South Point, Ohio, who played for the Herd in 1987 after leading the Ironton (Ohio) Tigers to the state championship game as a quarterback.

Crash Memorial located on the front of Marshall's Joan C. Edwards Stadium

Despite past conference titles and three appearances in the NCAA Tournament, men's basketball at the University has been in a state of relative mediocrity since advancing to the NIT in 1988. Marshall finished as runner-up in its final Southern Conference tournament in 1997, losing on a last second shot by UT-Chattanooga, and made one trip to the Mid-American Conference semi-finals in 2000 before falling to Miami, Ohio.

Marshall's biggest rivalries out of conference are with Ohio University, Miami University and West Virginia University, while East Carolina University and University of Central Florida have been the biggest rivals in Conference USA so far. Tulane University and the Herd baseball team now seem to be bitter rivals as MU was 3–1–1 against the Green Wave in 2008, winning its first game ever back in April in New Orleans. Marshall returned to the "Big Easy" in May and knocked Tulane out of the C-USA Tournament on the Green Wave home field, Turchin Stadium, in the C-USA Tournament, 10–5 and 8–7. Yeager stole a league-record five bases against TU in the opening win, while Jeff Rowley scored the winning run in game two on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth.

Student life

Residence halls

There are eight residence halls, all of which are located on the main campus.

Name Location Notes
Buskirk Hall Central campus All female dormitory.
Hodges Hall (currently used for office space) Central campus Male and female dormitory.
Twin Towers East Central campus Male and female dormitory.
Twin Towers West Central campus Male and female dormitory.
Holderby Hall Central campus Male and female dormitory.
Laidley Hall (closed after 2007–2008 school year) Central campus Male and female dormitory.
Marshall Commons Central campus Male and female dormitories.
Freshman North & South Residence Halls Central campus Male, female and co-ed dormitory. Freshmen only.

Alumni clubs

The Marshall University Alumni Association has more than 35,000 alumni. This is a list of the nationwide alumni clubs.

  • Southern California[17] Club
  • Central Florida[18] Club
  • Jacksonville, Florida Club
  • Palm Beach, Florida Club
  • Sarasota/Bradenton Club
  • South Florida Club
  • Southwest Florida Club
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg Club
New York
  • New York[21] City Game Watching Club

See also



External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Marshall University — ▪ university, Huntington, West Virginia, United States       public, coeducational institution of higher learning, with its main campus in Huntington, West Virginia, U.S., and a graduate college in South Charleston. Marshall University offers… …   Universalium

  • Marshall University — Old Main, das älteste Gebäude auf dem Campus der Marshall University, dessen Turm als Symbol der Universität gilt Die Marshall University ist eine staatliche Universität mit Sitz in Huntington im amerikanischen Bundesstaat West Virginia. Sie ist… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Marshall University: Ashes to Glory — Directed by Deborah Novak Produced by John Witek Written by Deborah Novak Joe Witek Music by Jay Flippin …   Wikipedia

  • Marshall University Graduate College — is a branch of Marshall University located in South Charleston, West Virginia. Unlike Marshall University and West Virginia University (the other post graduate degree institutions in West Virginia, Marshall University Graduate College has no… …   Wikipedia

  • Marshall Commons (Marshall University) — Marshall Commons is a collection of dormitories, as well as a dining facility, on the south central campus of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, USA[1]. Completed in the fall of 2003, Marshall Commons consists of Gibson, Wellman,… …   Wikipedia

  • Marshall University Forensic Science Graduate Program — The Forensic Science Graduate Program at Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia) is a two year academic program leading to a master of science degree in forensic science. The program is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic… …   Wikipedia

  • Marshall University Rural Health Clinic — The Marshall University Rural Health Clinic also called the MU Rural Health Center is a division of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine of Marshall University. It is located in Chapmanville, West Virginia. The purpose of the medical school is… …   Wikipedia

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  • Old Main (Marshall University) — Old Main is the oldest structure at Marshall University. Old Main is a collection of five buildings joined together at central campus of Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia [1]. It is located at the junction of Hal Greer Boulevard… …   Wikipedia

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