Blue and Gold Spring | Summer 2021 Volume 2 • Issue 1 - Page 5

The school that became Bluefield State College has overcome hurdle after hurdle- legal , political , economic - from its first days .
It ’ s a fact that we owe our birth to the system of segregated education that dominated the nation ’ s history for nearly two hundred years .
( A special moment was when future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall spoke here two months after the landmark Brown v . Board of Education decision where he ’ d argued , successfully , for an end to “ separate but equal ” education .)
“ We ’ ve fought off numerous attempts to close or consolidate . Fifteen years ago , nearly half of our student body was swept away through the creation of a nearby community college . More recently , ‘ closure ’ was on the lips of many legislators .”
As a public institution , we have been heavily dependent on state and , later , federal funding . These have been steady , if underfunded , sources of revenue . For example , Hamilton Hatter didn ’ t see another penny from the West Virginia legislature for several years .
We ’ ve fought off numerous attempts to close or consolidate . Fifteen years ago , nearly half of our student body was swept away through the creation of a nearby community college . More recently , “ closure ” was on the lips of many legislators .
Thanks to fierce advocacy from the community , administrators and faculty , Bluefield State stood fast and continued to fulfill its mission .
Today , however , things have changed . Dramatically .
“ We brought an entrepreneurial mindset that put a businesslike focus on the school ’ s finances . As a result , Bluefield State went from the state ’ s worst to the second highest Financial Stability Index ( FSI ).”
We came two years ago determined to put this campus on a forward footing for the first time in decades .
We brought an entrepreneurial mindset that put a businesslike focus on the school ’ s finances . As a result , Bluefield State went from the state ’ s worst to the second-highest Financial Stability Index ( FSI ).
This same determination carried over to our number one priority : Increasing enrollment .
We launched a number of programs aimed at delivering classes to our students however and whenever they needed them . We saw early results .
“ I am pleased to report , however , that because of quick-thinking and fast-acting on the part of our faculty and administration , we ’ ve weathered this unprecedented storm far better than nearly all of our peers .”
Then COVID hit .
As you may be aware , this pandemic devastated college attendance nationwide .
I am pleased to report , however , that because of quick-thinking and fast-acting on the part
SPRING | SUMMER 2021
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