As part of its recent ‘Returning to Our Roots’ homecoming celebration, Wiley College announced its plans to rebrand as Wiley University. Additionally, three new Master’s degree programs were introduced, including a Master of Business Administration, a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration.


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Dr. Herman J. Felton Jr., Ph.D., JD, President and CEO of Wiley University, said this change merges the past and future of the university. The institution bears the name of a medical leader, Bishop Dr. Isaac William Wiley, according to Marshall News Messenger. The opening of the four-year university opened as a place for Black students to study higher education in the arts and sciences.

“Becoming Wiley University is not simply an exercise and a name change; it is an exercise in our ability to embrace our past and see the future,” Felton said. “The past 150 years have been a testimony to our faith in what is possible. We stand proudly today and return to our roots, symbolically as Wiley University, and literally as we embrace the next chapter of excellence.”

“We’re on the cusp of yet another defining moment for the nation through Wiley College,” Felton said. “With the unwavering support of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff, we’re setting the stage for the next phase of the Wiley legacy.”

According to the Marshall News Messenger, the HBCU was founded 1873 as Wiley University. Wiley’s operating officer and vice president for administration, Tina Bradley, told Marshall News Messenger the institution once was a place for ‘enslaved’ who ‘had a vision and dream’ that they too could have access to education.”

“And so, in the 21st Century, the bold and audacious vision continues that tradition, but inspires us and asks us to really focus on how we can achieve that as an institution. It also asks what we can be radical with regards to providing an accessible education and affordable education during these times to any student who would want it at Wiley University,” Bradley added.

As part of its efforts to clear student debt, the Student Government Association also sent checks to the university. Elijah Strong, the president of the student-led organization, presented a check for $1,873. Additionally, Wiley University’s staff presented two checks totaling $1,929 and $2,2023 supporting their 1929 campaign. Lastly, the university was given $9.5 million in grants and services from partnerships and the building of the Transformation Center and the Kenny Ponder Welcome Center.