One hundred and twenty-five years after the bill that established Bluefield State College was penned, Governor Jim Justice today signed the legislation during an event at the West Virginia capitol.
Justice made the ceremonial gesture alongside college administrators, staff, students, and alumni on hand at the Governor’s Reception Room in Charleston, West Virginia.
Penned in 1895, Senate Bill 122, which established what was first known as Bluefield Colored Institute at Bluefield, West Virginia, was passed by the West Virginia Legislature 125 years ago.
However, the bill was not signed by then-governor William A. MacCorkle, and it became law without his signature.
“When it came to my attention that this bill was just sitting, unsigned, for 125 years, I knew that signing it was the right thing to do,” Justice said.
“To tell you the truth, it’s something that should have been done the first time around.”
Today, in celebration of Bluefield State College’s 125th anniversary, Justice signed the bill in honor of the institution’s contributions to West Virginia and in honor of alumni who have made an impact on West Virginia and the world.
“You’ll never make me believe there wasn’t some sort of ulterior reason for why a governor just refused to sign it, but that’s not in my DNA,” Justice said.
“I’m very proud to finally get this bill signed, once and for all, in honor of all the great stuff going on at Bluefield State.”
In August, Justice pledged $1 million in funding to help build Bluefield State College’s first on-campus housing complex in more than 50 years and for additional work on the college’s student union facility.