March 2021 marks 100-years of publication for The Trumpet

Depicts editorial staff note: no pictures

The Trumpet officially turns 100-years old this March! Volume 1, March 1921 marked the first documented issue of “The Normal Trumpet” (now known as “The Trumpet”) which was the original name of the newspaper because West Liberty University (WLU) was once known as “West Liberty State Normal School”. WLU’s Dean of college of arts and communication Dr. Matthew Harder said, “The Trumpet is the oldest student organization on campus.”

Unlike the present day Trumpet newspapers, the very first issue contained zero pictures and was only six pages long versus the current Trumpet issues varying between 15 to 16 pages long. Also, the first documented issue of “The Normal Trumpet” was not organized in any particular section such as today’s issues which are news, culture, opinion and sports. However, like current Trumpet publications, page one was home to all of the hard news stories for each issue and page two included editorial staff names. The second page was home to editorials, and this printed text regarding publication times can be seen in the top left corner: “Published monthly by the Students and Faculty of the West Liberty Normal School. Subscription — $0.75 per year”. Page three contained a page long article titled, “Henry’s Biography” and page four contained another page long article titled “The White Heather”. Finishing off this issue in pages five and six were articles pertaining to alumni updates, clubs on campus, and introductions as to how the summer quarter of 1921 was scheduled to proceed.

Although The Normal Trumpet reported the newspaper was printed every month, unknown causes have left issues of The Normal Trumpet/The Trumpet missing from documentation throughout the past 100 years of publication. As of right now, the only issues the university still has access to from 1921 include the March, July, August, and December issues.

As previously stated, the most important stories appeared on page one of the Volume 1, March 1921 issue. This page included reports on men’s and women’s’ basketball, professor impressions, superintendent meetings, and a poem titled “A Bird”.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams were reported on with an article titled, “Did West Liberty Shine”? Another snippet on page one tilted “Mr. Koon’s first impressions of some of the members of his American History class” listed eleven students with Mr. Koon’s first impressions of them to the right of their names. “The Spring Quarter” reported the spring enrollment numbers for the 1921 spring semester. According to the article, the spring quarter was “larger” than it had been in several years and reports of the normal school expanding educational opportunities was underway. “Echoes from meeting of the dept. of superintendents” covered meeting notes from the National Council of Normal School Presidents in Washington between Feb. 24-25. According to the above article, “West Virginia had 100% representation of her Normal school presidents…”.

In January of 2020, West Liberty’s head of learning resources, Katy Zane, began the process of converting each Trumpet issue Elbin Library had on file to high-definition PDFs that are available anytime and anywhere. The 100-years of the student run newspaper is available via two Google Drives, which are organized from 1921 to 1990 and 1990 to 2017. Be sure to use your West Liberty email accounts to view the PDF documents within these links.

At the beginning of August 2020, The Trumpet underwent a media convergence process and has switched to a completely digital publishing platform. To view certain issues of past Trumpets and all the newest ones, please visit

West Liberty’s director of media relations, Maureen Zambito, wrote a press release on Monday, March 1, 2021 and discusses The Trumpet turning 100 years old. Celebrations for the centennial include production of a documentary and a coffee table book. For more information regarding the history of The Trumpet, how to join the current staff or general questions, please email Annalise Murphy at [email protected].