Bluefield State College
Public University|Historically Black
About Our College
The Bluefield Colored Institute was founded in 1895 as a "high graded school" for African-American youth in the nearby area; at that time, the West Virginia Constitution prohibited "racial" integration in publicly supported schools, and until 1891, when West Virginia Colored Institute was founded, there was no education at the college level for African Americans in West Virginia (except at the private Storer College). It was located on a 4-acre (0.016 km2) site in Bluefield, a city within 100 miles of 70% of West Virginia's Black citizens. The school began with 40 pupils under the supervision of Principal Hamilton Hatter. Nathan Cook Brackett, an abolitionist who led Storer College, served as president of the Board of Regents. Hatter oversaw the construction of Mahood Hall, the administrative building, as well as Lewis Hall and West Hall dormitories. Hatter built the foundation of the college. He faced enormous challenges, running the institution with no legislative appropriations whatsoever for two years.