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West Chester University

West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a public university located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles west of Philadelphia. It is one of the 14 state universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.


700 S High St
West Chester
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Golden Ram
Purple Gold

College History


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 Pennsylvania�the 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.

College Specialty


West Chester University, a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, is a public, regional, comprehensive institution committed to providing access and offering high-quality undergraduate education, select post-baccalaureate and graduate programs, and a variety of educational and cultural resources for its students, alumni, and citizens of southeastern Pennsylvania.



Chris Asplen (B.A. 1986) - DNA policy expert Geno Auriemma (B.A. 1981) - University of Connecticut head women's basketball coach Leon Bass - Philadelphia educator Jill Biden (M.Ed. 1981) - American educator and Second Lady of the United States Keith Brion - American classical conductor and band leader Howard J. Buss (B.A. 1972) - classical composer and music publisher Pat Croce - Former president of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team Howard Dodson - Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture director Melissa Dunphy - classical composer John Edelman - Former MLB pitcher Donald Yetter Gardner - songwriter of All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth Pat Kelly - New York Yankees second baseman Albert W. Jefferis - United States Representative from Nebraska Pat Meiser Director of Athletics and Special Assistant to the President at the University of Hartford George N. Parks - University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band director David Roselle (1961) - Served as the ninth President of the University of Kentucky and the 25th President of the University of Delaware. Cathy Rush (B.S. 1968, M.Ed. 1972) - Former Immaculata University head women's basketball coach Ed T. Rush (1964) - Former NBA referee Joe Senser (1979) - Former NFL tight end, Minnesota Vikings Ralph Tamm (B.S. 1988) - Former NFL offensive guard coach Marian Washington (1970) - Former University of Kansas head women's basketball Wayne Curtis Weldon - Former Congressman of the 7th district in southeastern Pennsylvania. Lee Woodall (1993) - Former NFL linebacker, San Francisco 49ers Tom Wright - Television and theater actor Jerry Yeagley (1961) - Coached Indiana University to 6 NCAA Soccer Championships Dick Yoder - Former West Chester, Pennsylvania mayor Asher Roth - musical artist signed to Schoolboy Records, nominated for MTV Video Music Awards



Suburban, 388 acres (1.57�km2)