Mountaineer Week, West Virginia University’s annual celebration of Appalachian heritage and culture, gives students, faculty, staff, the Morgantown community and people from all over the state an opportunity to learn about and celebrate Appalachian heritage.

This year’s theme is Women of Appalachia, inspired by the 125th anniversary of WVU’s first woman graduate, Harriet Lyon.

Events throughout the week showcase the state’s unique culture and talent.

Opening ceremonies at noon, Oct. 28 will feature Jennifer Orlikoff, interim president of Potomac State College, as the keynote speaker and WVU alumna Jackie Riggleman, assistant general manager for the West Virginia Black Bears. Mountaineer Idol finalists Bethanie Aylor, Erika Baselice and Brooke Cottrill will perform.

Other events include:

• The annual Craft Fair and Quilt Show begins at noon Oct. 28 on the second floor of the Mountainlair Student Union. The event ends at 4 p.m. Oct. 30.

• The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies will rebury the Centenary Time Capsule Nov. 2. The time capsule, first buried in 1991 to commemorate Lyons’ graduation, was unearthed in April.

• The exhibit “West Virginia University Women: Celebrating 125 Years, 1891-2016” will be on display throughout the week at the Evansdale Library.

• A presentation by Kelly Doyle, WVU’s Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity on Nov. 1. Doyle will also host Wikipedia Edit-a-thons on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.

More than 60 artisans will display and sell their handmade work at the Craft Fair and Quilt Show.

“Quilting is a long-standing tradition and an important part of history in West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region,” said Kayla Poling, quilt show advisor. “The show is a wonderful opportunity for students and the community to learn more about the art of quilting.”

Visitors can also purchase bath and body products, jewelry, woodwork or, for the first time this year, leather. The event also features photography, pottery, textiles and gourmet food items.

“Showcasing handmade work fits with the spirit of Mountaineer Week because it remembers the history of Appalachia,” said Erin Blake, the craft fair’s advisor. “It fits in with the idea of Mountaineer Week by highlighting and remembering things that your ancestors or individuals did throughout Appalachia.”

Mountaineer Week has been a WVU tradition for 69 years. In 1947, then-student body president Arch Moore started an event to honor school spirit on WVU’s campus. That one-day event has since turned into a more than week-long celebration of West Virginia and Appalachia.

“Our number one priority is to educate our students about the culture and history of West Virginia,” said Sonja Wilson, Mountaineer Week advisor. “We want our students to know about the vibrant culture that West Virginia has. That’s why we do these crazy things like beard shaving competitions or clogging competitions.”

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the PRT Cram from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 outside the Mountainlair.

The Beard Growing Finals, hosted by Mountaineer Troy Clemons, will be held at noon Nov. 2. At the grand staircase in the Mountainlair.

In addition, a new feature, Mountaineer Week Extended, will give those on the WVU Health Sciences Center campus an opportunity to enjoy some unique events Friday, Nov. 4. A PRT cram is planned at 12:15 p.m., plus kettle corn and Appalachian music.

Also new, Safety Town sponsored by WVU Medicine, which will teach strategies for injury and disease prevention.

For the complete Mountaineer Week schedule of events, visit



CONTACT: Sonja Wilson, Mountainlair Administrative Office,

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