West Virginia State University was founded as a historically black public university in Institute, West Virginia, United States. In the Charleston-metro area, the school is usually referred to simply as "State" or "West Virginia State". It was one of the original group of African American land-grant colleges established by the second Morrill Act of 1890 and is the smallest land-grant institution in the country. African-American students currently comprise the minority of attending students. The University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.