The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

Flashback: The Mountaineer statue at 50


What is now an enduring symbol of the spirit of West Virginia University stands 50 years after its creation outside the Mountainlair — after more than 20 years of planning and being nearly derailed multiple times by controversy and other obstacles. The twists and turns of the story are documented in “The Mountaineer Statue,” by Gordon Thorn, BSA ’53, MSA ’55 and Scott Rubin, BS ’05. 
The original idea for the statue was first floated in September 1938 — envisioned as a piece with a lamp to be lit annually in memory of graduates who had died. Largely because of World War II, the idea for a statue was dropped and did not resurface until February 1950 when future West Virginia Governor Arch Moore, a law student at the time, suggested a statue for the top of the new downtown library addition, marking the official start of what became known as the Mountaineer Statue Project, which was ultimately a gift from the Mountain Honorary. 

Read more: