West Virginia University was chartered by an act of the Legislature on February 7, 1867 and was called the "Agricultural College of West Virginia." In 1868, the name was changed to "West Virginia University." As early as 1867, the liberal arts and the sciences were important elements of a university education.
In 1895, the University was reorganized and the College of Arts and Sciences was created. Eleven students received degrees in 1896. In 1910, the West Virginia Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national collegiate honor society, was established within the College. During the 1992-93 academic year, more than 1,000 students received degrees from the College.
In recognition of the distinguished tradition of academic excellence and history of the achievement by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Eberly Family Charitable Trust and the Eberly Foundation of Uniontown, Pennsylvania established an endowment which provides funds for student scholarships, endowed professorships, and faculty and program development. On July 1, 1993, the College was renamed the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences to recognize and commemorate the generosity of the Eberly family, the Eberly Family Charitable Trust, and the Eberly Foundation.