Mountain State celebrates 125 years

PARKERSBURG – Mountain State College celebrated its 125th anniversary on Saturday with a gathering of former students, staff and teachers at the school at 16th and Spring streets in Parkersburg.

Karen Pierce, chairman of the anniversary event and admissions officer with the college, said the goal of Saturday’s event was to invite the public and the community to celebrate with the college.

“We just wanted to celebrate with the public,” she said.

Pierce said the college doesn’t have an alumni program and it can sometimes be difficult to reach out to previous students, but they did have graduates attend the event Saturday from as far back as the 1960s.

Current students were also in attendance and helped take visitors on tours of the campus buildings and enjoy live entertainment.

Mineral Wells native Matt Enik took the stage Saturday with his Nashville-based country band to entertain the crowd. Enik said he was glad to have come back to his home state to perform for a good cause. Sam Forshey, another member of the band, is from Parkersburg, Enik said. After moving to Nashville, Enik began attending Belmont University in Tennessee where he is studying the music business.

During the tours, visitors could walk through all three of MSC’s buildings to showcase changes and updates to the facilities.

College employee Roger McCune works in the library at Mountain State and was giving tours of the new space on Saturday. McCune said he has been with the college for several years after retiring from the Wood County Schools system. He said the renovations to the building have made it more enjoyable and easier for students to have access to a great education.

Mountain State College was founded in 1888 as the first in Parkersburg. Having survived the Roaring 20s, two world wars and the Great Depression, the first students came to classes on horseback. For the next 72 years, the college remained the only in Parkersburg.

In the fall of 1888, located on Market Street, it moved to its second location on the second and third floors of a Camden Avenue building in 1901. In 1929, the college moved to its current location at the corner of 16th and Spring streets, where it remains today.

The college was founded by Albert Grant Sine.