Please join us on the Hilltop for “Aspirations,” a week-long celebration from April 4-10, 2024 marking the inauguration of President Tim Borchers. Together, we explore the virtues of aspirations: Imagination, celebration, wellness, community, wonder, legacy, and impact.

Meet the President

Dr. Tim Borchers Biography

Inaugural Events

Inaugural events will be held April 4-10. A complete list of events can be found here.

Inauguration Ceremony

The Inauguration Ceremony will be held on Friday, April 5th at 2 p.m.


Visitor Information & Accommodations

Information about hotels, parking, and other accommodations will be available soon.

West Liberty History

Learn about the 188 year history of West Liberty University.

Topper Day of Giving

The West Liberty University Foundation’s 8th Annual 24-hour day of giving event is Wednesday, April 10. 

Dr. Tim Borchers Biography

Dr. Tim Borchers assumed the presidency of West Liberty University on July 1, 2023, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a commitment to student success, community engagement, and experiential learning. Prior to his tenure at West Liberty, Dr. Borchers distinguished himself as a transformative leader in higher education, serving in key administrative and faculty roles at public regional institutions.

During his time as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Peru State College in Nebraska and as Dean and Faculty at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), Dr. Borchers demonstrated a dedication to personalized student support and experiential learning. Inspired by his own undergraduate experience at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he benefited from close mentorship and guidance, Dr. Borchers has made it his mission to ensure that every student receives the same level of personalized support and mentorship that he once received.

Recognizing the importance of improving student success outcomes, Dr. Borchers championed initiatives such as the Peru Academic Liaison (PAL) program at Peru State College, offering tailored support to new students, and expanded career development opportunities. He has also been a leader in assessment of student learning and accreditation processes for institutions he has served.

His commitment to experiential learning is exemplified by his initiation of the Research and Creativity Expo at Peru State College, providing students with a platform to showcase their scholarly and creative endeavors. As a faculty member at MSUM, he actively engaged in mentoring student research and served as a speech coach, nurturing the talents and aspirations of future leaders and professionals.

Recognizing the pivotal role of community outreach in higher education, Dr. Borchers has been a driving force behind numerous initiatives aimed at strengthening ties between academic institutions and their surrounding communities. Under his leadership, innovative partnerships were created, such as the Corrections Leadership Program, which earned acclaim from the Nebraska Department of Corrections Services. As Dean, he pursued collaborative partnerships with organizations such as Forum Communications and the James Sewell Ballet, which created invaluable applied learning experiences for students.

In his role as President of West Liberty University, Dr. Borchers has wasted no time in implementing strategic initiatives to propel the institution forward. From leading comprehensive strategic planning efforts to enhancing the university’s marketing endeavors, he has advanced the university’s mission while fostering a culture of transparency and communication within the campus community.

Beyond his leadership within academia, Dr. Borchers is engaged in the broader community, serving on the governing boards of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Economic Development (RED) Partnership, and Wheeling Hospital. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Mountain East Conference.

He is the author of the book Persuasion in the Media Age, which is in its fourth edition and co-author of Rhetorical Theory: An Introduction, now in its second edition. 

Borchers holds a Ph.D. in Communication from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. He also holds a Master’s degree in Communication from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Dr. Borchers resides on the West Liberty campus with his spouse, Dr. Susanne Williams, in the historic President’s residence, Colonial Heights. They enjoy welcoming students, employees, alumni, and retirees into their home. They have one adult son, Oliver. Together, Dr. Borchers and Dr. Williams look forward to immersing themselves in the “wild and wonderful” landscapes of West Virginia, while continuing to promote West Liberty University as a beacon of academic excellence and community engagement.

Inaugural Events

The schedule of events is subject to change. Please check back for updates.

Thursday, April 4: Imagination               

Center for Arts and Education 10th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon
11:30am – 1:00pm
R. Emmett Boyle Conference Center in ASRC
Register here

Zoo Science Open House
Thursday, April 4, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Arnett Hall

Art Exhibition Opening in the Nutting Gallery
Thursday, April 4, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Celebrating the work of local artist Cheryl Harshman and filmmaker Vivian Silvera.
The Nutting Gallery in the Fine Arts Building

Hughes Lecture Featuring Silas House
Thursday, April 4, 4:00 p.m.
The annual Hughes Lecture Series presents award-winning Silas House, a New York Times bestselling author, executive producer, music journalist, and National Endowment for the Humanities Chair at Berea College.
Free and Open to the Public
R. Emmett Boyle Conference Center in ASRC

Thursday, April 4, 7:30 p.m.
The West Liberty Hilltop Players present the opening night performance of “Puffs.”
Kelly Theatre, Fine Arts Building

Friday, April 5: Celebration

Campus Tours
Friday, April 5, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Enjoy a tour of campus with a West Liberty student. Tours will depart every half hour.
Shaw Hall Visitors Center

Presidential Inauguration: Investiture Ceremony and Reception
Friday, April 5, 2:00 p.m.
Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members are invited to attend the formal investiture ceremonies for Dr. Tim Borchers. Reception follows in College Union ballroom.
Academic, Sports, and Recreation Complex
View Program

Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m. 
The West Liberty Hilltop Players present “Puffs.”
Kelly Theatre, Fine Arts Building

Saturday, April 6: Wellness

5K Fun Run/Walk
Saturday, April 6, 10:00 a.m.
West Liberty University Campus

Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Belmont Savings Bank Softball Complex
Join us to break ground on West Liberty’s new softball facility. Following the ceremony, the Hilltoppers will play a doubleheader against Glenville State University at 2 and 4 p.m.
Saturday, April 6, 12:00 noon
Belmont Savings Bank Softball Complex

Sunday, April 7: Community

Organ Invitational and Reception
Organists from around the area will be performing alongside WLU faculty and students. Reception follows in the College Union ballroom.
Sunday, April 7, 3:00 p.m.
Interfaith Chapel, West Liberty University

Monday, April 8: Wonder

Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing and Science Panel Narration
Join us to view the partial solar eclipse. A limited number of special glasses will be available.
Monday, April 8, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
West Liberty University Quad

Ecliptic Trivia Night
Monday, April 8, 6:30 p.m.
Come join in a fun trivia challenge and see if you can eclipse your fellow staff, employees and students.  All are welcome. Entry is $5 per person and tables will be set for up to teams of 6.  For any questions or to register a team, please contact Dr. Jason Metz,
R. Emmett Boyle Conference Center in ASRC

Tuesday, April 9: Legacy

Student Success Center Opening Celebration
Tuesday, April 9, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Student Success Center is celebrating its opening in the Paul N. Elbin Library. Please stop by during this time to see all that the Center has to offer.
Paul N. Elbin Library

West Liberty University Blood Drive
Tuesday, April 9, 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
R. Emmett Boyle Conference Center in ASRC

Historical Reflections with Dr. Clyde Campbell and Dr. John McCullough
Tuesday, April 9, 2:00 p.m.
Kelly Theatre, Fine Arts Building

Ohio Valley Alumni Reunion
Meet and mingle with fellow alumni and meet President Tim Borchers. Get the latest University updates and discover what’s happening on the Hilltop. Whether you graduated recently or years ago, we’d love to catch up with you!
Tuesday, April 9, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Brew Keepers, 2245 Market St. in Wheeling, WV

Wednesday, April 10: Impact 

Topper Day Of Giving
The West Liberty University Foundation’s 8th Annual 24-hour online giving event is Wednesday, April 10.

Give today!

REsearch, Creative Activity and Performance (RECAP) Awards Presentation

RECAP is an annual Symposium and Competition for students of West Liberty University with the goal of recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievement in scholarly Research, Creative Activity, and Performance. RECAP is open to all West Liberty students both undergraduate and graduate. Scholarly research, creative activities, and performances that were submitted to Mad Festival, Alpha Chi, Ampersand, etc., may also be submitted to RECAP. Learn more at this link.
Wednesday, April 10, 3:00 p.m.
College Hall

Inauguration Ceremony

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members are invited to attend the Inauguration Ceremony for Dr. Borchers. The ceremony will feature performances by the Hilltop Harmonic Collective and University Concert Band.  A reception will follow the ceremony.

The program for the Inauguration Ceremony is available here.

Read the Inaugural Address by Dr. Tim Borchers.

The Investiture Ceremony will be livestreamed on TopperStation.

View Program     Inaugural Address

Visitor Information and Accommodations

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Wheeling Hampton Inn. Reserve your room at this link.

Reserve your room

Directions to West Liberty and Campus Map (

West Liberty University History and Traditions

What is now known as West Liberty University was founded in 1837 as West Liberty Academy, making the school the oldest institution of higher education in West Virginia. In 1870, the school became West Liberty State Normal School and came under state control. With a strong history of teacher education training, the school was renamed West Liberty State Teachers College in 1931. Under the leadership of President Paul Elbin, the school’s mission grew beyond teacher training, and in 1943 its name was changed to West Liberty State College. The school became West Liberty University on May 3, 2009.

The University Seal

The West Liberty University Seal The college seal was designed in 1965 by Roy Everson, an art and speech major, for an assignment in a class taught by Professor William T. Martin (Schramm, 2001) . The previous seal was that of the State of West Virginia with “State of West Virginia” replaced by “West Liberty State College.” The new seal was officially approved for use that same year. The ionic column symbolizes classic civilization, and the book is a symbol of knowledge. The torch is a symbol of the quest for learning, and 1837 is the year the college was founded. The seal was updated to “West Liberty University” following its change in status in 2009.

The Mace

In 1996, the Faculty Senate wished to obtain an official mace for the college to be used at graduation ceremonies (Schramm, 2001). Professor McCorkle agreed to donate the funds necessary to have a mace constructed. It was presented to the college in honor of Dr. Talley, a former academic dean and longtime friend of Professor McCorkle. The mace features the University’s seal.

"Topper," the Mascot

The college mascot was chosen by popular vote of the student body from a list of proposed mascots in a 1963 Trumpet poll (Schramm, 2001). A black bear, the official animal of West Virginia, won and was named “Topper” after, of course, the “Hilltoppers.”

West Liberty Presidents

Nathan Shotwell, 1838-1854
A. F. Ross, 1857-1861
James Tyler Bradbury, 1862-1863
John Allen Brown, 1864-1867
John Creighton Frazier, 1867-1870
F. H. Crago, 1870-1873
James E. Morrow, 1873-1875
J. Clinton Gwynne, 1875-1879
Robert McPheeters, 1879-1881
Daniel T. Williams, 1881-1884
J. A. Cox, 1884-1886
Robert Allen Armstrong, 1886-1893
J. N. Deahl, 1893-1898
W. B. Cutright, 1898-1899
J. M. Skinner, 1899-1901
W. L. McCowan, 1901-1903
Lorain Fortney, 1903-1908
John C. Shaw, 1908-1919
Clinton T. Bogus (Acting), 1919-1920
Howard J. McGinnis, 1920-1925
Earl C. Bowman (Acting), 1925-1926
John S. Bonar, 1926-1933
John C. Shreve, 1933-1935
Paul N. Elbin, 1935-1970
James L. Chapman, 1970-1984
L. H. Talley (Interim), 1984
Clyde D. Campbell, 1984-1995
Donald Darnton (Interim), 1995-1996
Ronald M. Zaccari, 1996-2001
John P. McCullough (Interim), 2001
Richard H. Owens, 2002-2005
John P. McCullough (Interim), 2005-2007
Robin C. Capehart, 2007-2015
John P. McCullough (Interim), 2015
Stephen G. Greiner, 2016-2020
W. Franklin Evans, 2021-2022
Cathy Monteroso (Interim), 2023
Tim Borchers, 2023-

The Alma Mater

The University’s alma mater was created by Dr. and Mrs. Paul N. Elbin. They took a European hymn entitled “Father in Heaven,” written by Friedrich Flemming, and wrote lyrics for it that expressed their feelings for the college and, hopefully, those of the students. The song was officially accepted in 1935 (Shramm, 2001).

Sing of our college, old West Liberty,
High in the hills she stands;
Higher still her standards.
Pride of the young and old;
Worthy our devotion.
Hail to West Liberty!

Many thy sons and daughters
Who have carried,
Thy name to greater heights
In the fields of service.
May we uphold thy cause
As have those before us.
Hail to West Liberty!

Though we must leave thee, 
We shall e’er be loyal – 
True to thy high ideals 
And the bonds of friendship, 
Striving to serve thee 
In thy great endeavor, 
Dear old West Liberty!