Bluefield State College
MottoMaking Education Possible
TypePublic, HBCU
PresidentDr. Marsha Krotseng
LocationBluefield, West Virginia, United States
CampusBluefield (main campus), Beckley, Lewisburg, Summersville and Welch, West Virginia
ColorsRoyal blue & gold
AthleticsNCAA Division II
NicknameBig Blues
MascotBig Blue
AffiliationsWest Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

Bluefield State College (BSC) is a historically black college located in Bluefield, West Virginia, United States. It is a part of West Virginia's public education system and offers baccalaureate and associate degrees. The school is not connected in any way with Bluefield College in nearby Bluefield, Virginia. The only non-residential four-year college in the state system, Bluefield State administers the separately accredited New River Community and Technical College, which conducts classes throughout the southeastern part of West Virginia. Bluefield State College is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


History at a glance
Bluefield Colored Institute 1895-1932
Bluefield State Teachers College 1932-1943
Bluefield State College 1943–Present

According to its charter, the school was founded in 1895 as Bluefield Colored Institute and created as a high school for the Negro youth in the nearby area.[1] It later served as a teacher training school in the state's then-segregated system of education.

In the late 1920s, the students and staff of the school referred to it as "Bluefield Institute", but this name was never sanctioned by the West Virginia legislature.[2]

By September 1954, the state-supported colleges in West Virginia were integrated. Three white students (James Ernest Watkins, Joseph Tice and Douglas Ralph Whittaker) in a total body of 354 enrolled at Bluefield State.

By the 1960s, the College had a comprehensive four-year program of teacher education, arts and sciences, and engineering technology. Gradually a variety of two-year technical programs evolved in response to local needs.

During the late 1960s, black students protested that the state was transforming the school from a traditional black college to a white commuter college. One of the allegations made was that black faculty and staff were being fired and replaced by less qualified white personnel. On November 21, 1968, the racial tensions culminated in the bombing of the gymnasium. A $5,000 reward was offered by Governor Hulett C. Smith. Ironically, the administration responded by immediately closing the dormitories, which housed a significant percentage of the college's black student population, hastening the transition to a predominantly white college.[citation needed]

The Alpha House and President's House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

In 2003, the school's two-year programs, except for those in nursing and engineering technology, were separated out from Bluefield State and became the foundation of the newly formed New River Community and Technical College.[4]

Bluefield State College has emerged as a culturally diverse, four-year state supported commuter college serving southeastern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia with a primary thrust in the direction of career and technical two- and four-year programs. The liberal arts offerings of the College are focused to enhance its unique mission.


2009 Student body racial composition[5]

Instructional programs are offered in engineering technologies, business, teacher education, arts and sciences, nursing and health science professions, and a variety of career fields. Students may also complete the non-traditional Regents Bachelor of Arts degree through Bluefield State College. The college is also dedicated to offering a wide variety of off campus courses at centers in Beckley, Lewisburg, Summersville and Welch, West Virginia.

As of 2009, Bluefield's student body is 60.58% female and 39.42% male.[5] Although Bluefield is a historically black college, its student body has the racial composition listed in the table.

Student lifeEdit


Bluefield State's athletic teams, known as the Big Blues, compete in NCAA's Division II as a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in men's and women's basketball, baseball, tennis and cross-country, men's golf and women's volleyball.

The college fielded a football team until 1981. In 1927 and 1928, Bluefield State was voted the Black college football national champion by the Pittsburgh Courier.

There are also several intramural sports including swimming, mixed martial arts, soccer, bowling and flag football.

Greek LifeEdit

Bluefield State College currently host two fraternities (Lambda Chi Omega and Delta Sigma Tau) and three sororities (Delta Chi Omega, Phi Sigma Zeta, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.)

References Edit

  1. Ambler, Charles H. (1951). A History of Education in West Virginia: From Early Colonial Times to 1949. Huntington, W.V.: Standard Printing & Publishing Company.
  2. Sims, R.P. (March 1929). "Bluefield Institute". West Virginia Review (Virginia Law Review) 15 (8): 757. doi:10.2307/1065740. JSTOR 1065740.
  3. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  4. New River Community and Technical College. "College History…". Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Pastel, Ralph (October 15, 2009). "STUDENT PROFILE ANALYSIS FALL 2009 CENSUS". BLUEFIELD STATE COLLEGE. p. 2. Retrieved 2010-01-21.

External linksEdit

Template:Colleges and universities in West Virginia

Template:West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference navbox

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