West Chester University

West Chester University
Type Public coeducational
Established 1871
Endowment $33.2 million As of 2015.[1]
President Christopher Fiorentino
Provost R. Lorraine Bernotsky
Academic staff
685 full-time; 277 part-time
Students 16,426[1]
Undergraduates 14,148[1]
Postgraduates 2,278[1]
Location West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.
39°57′08″N 75°36′00″W / 39.95219°N 75.60010°W / 39.95219; -75.60010Coordinates: 39°57′08″N 75°36′00″W / 39.95219°N 75.60010°W / 39.95219; -75.60010
Campus Suburban, 388 acres (1.57 km2)
Colors Purple and Gold
Athletics NCAA Division IIPennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Sports 23 varsity teams
(9 men's & 14 women's)
Nickname Golden Rams
Mascot Rammy
Website WCUPA.edu

West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) is a public university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia. It is one of the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).[2] West Chester was ranked 69th in the Master's Universities (North) category by U.S. News & World Report for 2009.[3] The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).[4]


Old Main Building, reconstructed on High Street opening onto the Quadrangle

The university traces its roots to the private, state-aided school that existed from 1812 to 1869. As the state began to take increasing responsibility for public education, the academy was transformed into West Chester Normal School, still privately owned and state certified. The normal school admitted its first class, consisting of 160 students, on September 25, 1871. In 1913, West Chester became the first of the normal schools to be owned outright by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

West Chester became West Chester State Teachers College in 1927 when Pennsylvania initiated a four-year program of teacher education. In 1960, as the Commonwealth paved the way for liberal arts programs in its college system, West Chester was renamed West Chester State College, and two years later introduced the liberal arts program that turned the one-time academy into a comprehensive college.

In 1981 the West Chester State College Quadrangle Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings included in this historic district are Philips Memorial Building, Ruby Jones Hall, Recitation Hall and the Old Library. Except for Philips, these buildings are all constructed of native Chester County serpentine stone.

With passage of the State System of Higher Education bill, West Chester became one of the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education on July 1, 1983. Along with its new name West Chester University of Pennsylvaniathe institution acquired a new system of governance and the opportunity to expand its degree programs.

West Chester has received growing recognition as the nation's center for formal poetry. Its annual conference on form and narrative in poetry began in 1995 and is now the nation's only conference devoted to New Formalism. It has established a poetry center that sponsors readings and an annual book competition oriented toward formal poetry. It has also established Iris Spencer awards recognizing undergraduate achievement in formal poetry.


At the undergraduate level, the university offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Music degrees. Paraprofessional studies are available in law, medicine, and theology. In cooperation with the Pennsylvania State University and Philadelphia University, West Chester University offers a 3-2 dual-degree program combining liberal arts, physics, and engineering. Also available are early admission assurance programs with Drexel School of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Temple University School of Medicine. The university provides special admission opportunities and scholarships to the Widener School of Law–Harrisburg Campus. Certification programs are available in health and physical education teacher certification, driver education and safe living, and outdoor recreation. Interdisciplinary areas of study with transcript recognition include American studies, ethnic studies, Latin American studies, Russian studies, peace and conflict studies, women's studies, and linguistics. At the graduate level, West Chester University of Pennsylvania offers graduate study leading to the M.A., M.B.A., M.Ed., M.M., M.P.H., M.S., M.S.W., M.S.N., and M.S.A. degrees.

Institute for Women

The Institute for Women is an independent body designed to represent the interests of women on the campus. It serves as the parent organization for the Women's Center, the Women's Studies Program, and the Title IX and Sex Discrimination Board. The institute is headed by a director and a board of directors.

Off-campus programs

West Chester University opened an International Programs office to aide in sending students abroad.[5] West Chester sponsors a number of annual courses, which include study abroad during spring, summer, and winter breaks.

West Chester University participates in the National Student Exchange Program, in which students spend up to a year at any one of more than 170 member schools across the United States. Transfer of credit is a part of this program.[6]

Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium

The Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium supports West Chester University by providing a grant for the Summer Space Program and through the support of two academic scholarships for West Chester University students enrolled in Mathematics and Science degree programs. Each academic year, applications from qualified students for these scholarships are reviewed by a committee of three faculty members (Geography/Planning, Mathematics, Geology/Astronomy departments).

Marching band

The West Chester University "Incomparable" Golden Rams Marching Band, which has over 300 members, performs pre-game, halftime, or post-game at all home and select away WCU football games in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and in Delaware. The band performs in parades and high school marching band competitions. The Golden Rams have performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade, Philadelphia Eagles games, Pittsburgh Steelers games, and the annual Collegiate Marching Band Festival in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In 2009, the band attended the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, an honor given to only two college bands in the United States each year.


West Chester University athletic logo

The athletic teams at West Chester University of Pennsylvania are named the Golden Rams. Students participate in NCAA Division II athletics in the PSAC and the ECAC. West Chester University has won national championships in women's basketball, women's lacrosse, women's swimming (the team was the DGWS champion in 1972), women's field hockey (including four AIAW titles from 1975–78), and men's soccer. West Chester won the first ever women's basketball national championship in 1969 and was on the losing end in the final game each of the following three years.[7][8]

In 1961, the men's soccer team won the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship.[9] Jerry Yeagley was a player on West Chester's championship team before going on to win six NCAA Championships and six National Coach of the Year Awards as the men's soccer coach at Indiana University. In addition, prior to the NCAA instituting a tournament format to decide the champion in 1959, the Golden Rams were voted the National Soccer Champions in 1950 by the Intercollegiate Soccer Football Association.[10]

In 1977, 1979, and 1982 the boxing team won the National Collegiate Boxing Association national championship. In 1976, Edward Skalamera claimed the national title for his 147 lb. weight class while Joe Gery took the top position in the nation for his 180 lb. class.[11]

West Chester University's football program has won 20 PSAC East championships (1960, 1961, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2007, 2008), has appeared in the NCAA Division II playoffs 9 times (5-9 record) (1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008), and was the ECAC team of the year in 2006 and 2007.

The West Chester Men's and Women's swimming teams are noted for dominating the PSAC in recent years; the Men have not lost the conference title since 1998 and hold a total of 25 PSAC championships, the most out of any school in the conference. 2008 was a particularly successful year for the Men's team; finishing 3rd at NCAA's and fielding an 800-yard freestyle relay team that took the national title. The women's swim team has remained undefeated in the PSAC since 2007 and hold a combined total of 10 championships. West Chester graduate Jackie Borkowski ('10) competed in the 2012 Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. in the 50m freestyle ultimately coming in 86th place. She won 3 individual national titles during her tenure with the Golden Rams.

In 2008, West Chester defeated C.W. Post College 13-12 to win the Division II women's lacrosse title. It was the second national title in the women’s program history. West Chester played in the NCAA tournament in 2010 (2nd place), 2011 (4th place), and 2012 (2nd place). The 2013 team was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Champions. Ginny Martino’s winning percentage is 80% over the last 17 years as head coach (250-60).[12]

In 2012, the Men's Baseball Team claimed West Chester's First NCAA Division II College Baseball National Championship.[13] The Gold Rams shut-out Delta State 9-0 in Cary, North Carolina. West Chester becomes the first team from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) to win the national championship and just the third northern school to walk away with the title.

West Chester's Women's Field Hockey team won the NCAA Division II championship in 2011 and 2012.

Campus Recreation: The Women's Ice Hockey Club won the division two national championship in 2013. The Men's Lacrosse Club won the division two national championship in 2013 and 2015.

Notable alumni


  1. 1 2 3 4 "What's new on campus". philly.com. PHILADELPHIA MEDIA NETWORK (DIGITAL), LLC. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  2. PASSHE Universities. passhe.edu. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  3. USNews.com: America's Best Colleges 2009: Master's Universities (North) Rankings
  4. Institution Directory. msche.org. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  5. International Programs
  6. National Student Exchange - Office of the Registrar - West Chester University Relations
  7. West Chester University athletics Retrieved on December 8, 2008
  8. "Pre-NCAA Statistical Leaders and AIAW Results" (PDF). NCAA. Retrieved 3 May 2013.
  9. Sullivan, Liz (29 August 2015). "'61 soccer squad still a team". Daily Local News. Daily Local News. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  11. National Collegiate Boxing Association
  12. Women’s Lacrosse, NCAA. "NCAA DII Women's Lacrosse Coaching Records" (PDF). NCAA. NCAA. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  13. West Chester Athletics (3 June 2012). "West Chester earns first national title". NCAA.com. NCAA. West Chester Athletics. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  14. Geno Auriemma biography: Geno Auriemma Camp
  15. "Pat Croce Official Web Site - West Chester University". Patcroce.com. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  16. "JEFFERIS, Albert Webb - Biographical Information". Bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  17. "Keynote Speaker Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Cathy Rush". Cathyrush.com. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
  18. "Ed T. Rush, Sr". Ed Rush & Associates. Retrieved 8 Dec 2012.
  19. http://www.hitrunscore.com/marian-washington-biography.html

External links

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