University description (as per official university website)
HISTORY OF WILEY COLLEGE
Named in honor of Bishop Isaac T. Wiley, an outstanding minister, medical missionary and educator, Wiley College was founded in 1873 during turbulent times for Blacks in America. Wiley College opened its doors just south of Marshall with two frame buildings and an overwhelming desire to succeed in a climate fraught with racism and Jim Crow laws. So entrenched was their desire to succeed that in 1880, rather than moving Wiley College farther out of town, the founders of the College moved nearer to Marshall on 55 acres of wooded land where the College stands today. Land was cleared and four additional buildings were constructed as student enrollment soared to 160 students with seven full-time faculty members. Wiley College had effectively become the first Black college west of the Mississippi River.
Among the visionaries of that era were presidents revered in Wiley College history. Individuals who persevered in a climate of hostility in the South and in the face of great personal sacrifice were Wiley’s first presidents: Rev. F. C. Moore (1873-1876), Rev. W. H. Davis (1876-1885), Rev. N. D. Clifford (1885-1888), Rev. Dr. George Whitaker (1888-1889), and Rev. Dr. P. A. Pool (1889-1893). It was their strength of character in the face of hardship and acrimony that forged the early foundations of this bastion of academic excellence. Their labors were rewarded in 1888 when the first graduate of Wiley University (for so it was called at the time) was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree. Mr. H.B. Pemberton would lead the way for generations of Wiley College graduates to come.
Reverend Isaiah B. Scott (1893-1896) was appointed as the sixth president of Wiley College in 1893. His appointment was significant because he was the first Negro president of Wiley. The Freedman’s Aid Society departed from its traditional administration of the school and boldly placed Reverend Scott in the lead role for the fledgling school. Twenty-three years had passed since the founding of Wiley College when Reverend Scott retired in 1896. Two years later, the General Conference of 1896 elected Dr. Scott to the editorship of the Southwestern Christian Advocate. A new generation of students then greeted a new president of the College.
Founded in 1873 in Marshall, Texas by the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Wiley College is an historically black, primarily liberal arts, residential, co-educational, baccalaureate degree-granting institution affiliated with The United Methodist Church.
The College employs a faculty committed to excellence in teaching, advising, scholarship and service and provides a challenging curriculum, administered in an atmosphere of academic freedom with its corollary obligations, that prepares graduates for work, professional or graduate studies and viable careers in selected fields. The College also fosters an intellectually stimulating environment that encourages and supports spiritual, ethical and moral development, an appreciation for the arts, global awareness and concern for the common good in the global society in which it exists. Achievement of these superordinate goals will result in demonstrated student competence in various forms of communication and critical/analytical thinking, and exhibited confidence and facileness functioning in a technological environment.
Committed to the principles of educational access and opportunity, the College serves traditional and non-traditional students of diverse academic, social, geographic, economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds who demonstrate a desire and potential for learning in a Christian environment that is sensitive to the myriad of student needs. In recognition of its covenant relationship with The United Methodist Church, the College affirms the ideal of social responsibility and seeks to contribute to the welfare and revitalization of the community in which it is located.
Wiley College is committed to shared governance, fiscal soundness and exemplary stewardship of its resources. The College utilizes innovative techniques and strategic planning in all its administrative processes, modern pedagogy and employs cutting-edge technology in the delivery of services to its clientele.