INSTITUTE, W.Va. — Homecoming festivities at West Virginia State University are officially underway and according to university President Anthony L. Jenkins, the vibe could not be stronger.

Jenkins highlighted why he says its a great a time to be a West Virginia State (WVSU) Yellow Jacket Thursday afternoon during his State of the University Address, an event that officially kicked off homecoming weekend.

“There are just so many great things going on at State,” Jenkins told the media after his speech. “Our student population is very excited, our faculty are continuing to do groundbreaking research. I can go on and on about all the wonderful things going on at West Virginia State University.”

West Virginia State University

Anthony Jenkins

Among the highlights on the academic side of the university includes the introduction of a Bachelor’s in Nursing program.  The institution secured clinical sites at Charleston Area Medical Center and have partnerships with Thomas Health System, Family Care Health Center, Highland Hospital, Stonerise Healthcare, and West Virginia Health Right.

A dedication ceremony took place in September for the Fred D. Thomas Jr., Learning Center. The space will be used by students in the education department with new high tech software and equipment.

In the Spring of this year, WVSU opened its Integrated Research and Extension Building. The facility offers the university’s research faculty and graduate research assistants laboratory space to conduct research, as WVSU attempts to reach its goal of $20 million annually by 2023.

On the athletics side, Jenkins said the Yellow Jackets department is on another level. In his speech, he highlighted the accomplishments of many teams including the football team’s 3-0 start, the women’s tennis team capturing its fifth straight Mountain East Conference (MEC) title, the volleyball team picking up 25 wins, and the softball team hosting the NCAA regional event after winning the MEC.

“Our softball, tennis, football, and volleyball teams are all winning at a high and consistent rate. I don’t know as a university president if I could be any happier,” Jenkins said.

“The athletes in every sport have a cumulative 3.3 GPA and for the second consecutive year, they have an overall GPA higher than 3.1. That’s a high for the university and our athletic department.”

Jenkins received a standing ovation inside Ferrell Hall at the end of his speech as excitement was in the air for homecoming. The weekend of festivities includes a Young Alumni Mixer on Thursday night, Homecoming Coronation Ceremony on Friday night, and a football game against West Liberty University on Saturday afternoon.

“All of our wonderful alums get to come home,” Jenkins said of his excitement for the weekend. “They can interact with friends they haven’t seen in a year or two, they get interact with students, they get to see our beautiful campus.”