150 Years of Excellence!

Wiley College marks its 150th year with celebrations and recognitions from August 23, 2022 to March 23, 2023.

Welcome to the Wiley College Sesquicentennial Information Page, your hub for the 150th-anniversary calendar of events and information! Our Sesquicentennial is a time of celebration and reflection on the historical significance of Wiley College. 

A. Give 


As we increase the legacy of Wiley College for 150 more years, we need you as we make history again. A generous gift to the Increasing the Legacy: Wiley College Sesquicentennial Campaign is an opportunity to commemorate and continue the tradition of excellence. Your generous gift will support a state-of-the-art student-athlete complex and programs that increase the student and student-athlete experience. Support Wiley Wildcats Today!

Make An Impact

Since its inception in 1873, Wiley College has dominated the higher education landscape. With 150 years of excellence, our legacy is rich and storied. Wiley College has a long legacy of impact as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions. Whether it has been through our scholars, activists, debaters, leaders, musicians, or athletes, Wiley College is synonymous with excellence. As the home of the Great Debaters, we have demonstrated our commitment to excellence and are positioned in the annals of history. As “one of the top ten Exemplary Academic Stewardship Colleges or Universities,” we are still steadfastly the guardians of our founders’ vision. Wiley College has not just made history with its academic program recognition but also with our scholar-athletes who have dominated on and off the field as national champions.

Today, we honor the past and present space held by Wiley College as a place of dominant scholar-athletes who are exceptional on and off the field. As we celebrate our 150th Anniversary, give to the Increasing the Legacy: Wiley College Sesquicentennial Campaign and be a part of our history.

Make your contribution to our $3.4 Million goal today!

01. Give through our secure online gift portal

02. Give via Cashapp 

03. Give through a check to:
Wiley College
c/o Institutional Advancement 
711 Wiley Avenue, Marshall, Texas 75670

B. History 

In 1873, the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church founded Wiley College near Marshall, Texas, to allow Negro youth the opportunity to pursue higher learning in the arts, sciences, and other professions. Named in honor of Bishop Isaac William Wiley, an outstanding minister, medical missionary, and educator, Wiley College was founded during turbulent times for Blacks in America.

As the nation’s first HBCU west of the Mississippi River, Wiley College has been home to great alumni such as Mr. James Farmer, Mr. Heman Sweatt, and Ms. Opal Lee. The College is currently organized into two degree-granting divisions: the School of Business and Social Science and the School of Education and Sciences. The latter division, although not degree-granting, is responsible for the College’s general education and interdisciplinary studies.

There is an unyielding conviction among the faculty and administration today that learning occurs best in an academically challenging and supportive environment and embraces the principles of academic freedom and shared governance. Overall, Wiley College remains a viable force in the academic community. The institution continues to be a leader in innovation. It was the first “Thinkpad College” west of the Mississippi River. This initiative allowed all students to use a laptop for their daily classwork. For almost 150 years, Wiley College has offered educational opportunities to the citizens of Texas, the nation, and the world. The Wiley College spirit remains vibrant in the face of remarkable social change, global terrorism, economic strife, and adversity. The beacon of light that is Wiley College will shine forth unsullied for generations to come. The insightful vision of years past that made Wiley College a preeminent Black college in the south is alive and well.

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C. Wiley College Sesquicentennial Calendar of Events

Sesquicentennial Events and Celebration

Tuesday  01/31/ 2023

150 Years of Excellence: Storytelling for Our Future, 6:00 PM, at Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel

Tuesday  02/21/ 2023

Athletic Glory Over The Years, 6:00 PM, Hayes Auditorium

Monday 3/13/2023

Oral History Project & Reception, 4:30 PM, at Thomas Cole Library

 Sesquicentennial Founders’ Week Events

Tuesday 3/14/2023

Sesquicentennial Chapel Service, 11:00 AM,  at Julius. Scott, Sr. Chapel

Thursday 3/16/2023

Freedom Film Premiere, 7:00 PM, Hayes Auditorium  

Friday  3/17/2023

Sesquicentennial Convocation, 11:00 AM, Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel

Celebration Under the Stars, 7:30 PM, Heman Sweatt Plaza

Saturday 3/18/2023

Fireside Chat with Ms. Opal Lee & President Herman J. Felton Jr., 2:00 PM, Julius S. Scott, Sr. Chapel

Sesquicentennial Gala, 6:00 PM, Fred T. Long Student Union Bldg.,Ticket Price: Individual – $100 Reserved Table – $900

Purchase Sesquicentennial Gala Tickets Here


The Wildcat Sesquicentennial Box is an opportunity to honor the legacy of Wiley College through commemorative gear!  This once-in-a-lifetime purchase contributes to the Increasing The Legacy Sesquicentennial Campaign!  

Purchase by January 31, 2023 ,  in order to be eligible to receive before Founders’ week.

Purchase Now — Wildcat Sesquicentennial Box