Martin Hall, home of the Perley Isaac School of Journalism since 1953, was completed in 1870, three years after West Virginia University was chartered. The Reverend Alexander Martin, the University's first president, had an office in the building from 1870 to 1875. The WVU Alumni Association was founded in the "Chapel" in Martin Hall in 1873.
Perley Isaac Reed began teaching journalism in the Department of English in 1920 and established a Department of Journalism in 1927. The Board of Governors of West Virginia University authorized the autonomous School of Journalism, one of only six in the country, in 1939. Reed was the director of the School until 1958, and the School was named for him in 1977.
The School, one of 92 accredited journalism schools in the nation, granted 186 degrees in 1992-93 to the largest class ever, bringing the total number of graduates during the School's 54-year history to 4,000.
This plaque acknowledges the legacy of Perley Isaac Reed and the accomplishments of the faculty, alumni and friends of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism.