About GHA

In 1984, Governor John D. Rockefeller, IV, started West Virginia’s first Governor’s School, the West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy (GHA). GHA is a project born of a partnership among education, business, and state government leaders. 

Rockefeller gathered with children outside of a library on Temple Street in Hinton, WV.

Governor Rockefeller gathered with children outside of a library on Temple Street in Hinton, WV.

​​​The West Virginia Governor’s Honors Academy is a three-week, ​summer residential program with a mission to stimulate and support excellence in education for rising high school seniors who are residents of the state of WV. Approximately 175 academically driven students are chosen through a rigorous application process. The program is funded by the State Legislature as requested by the Governor. State funds provide tuition, room, board, and instructional materials for each student on the site of a residential college campus.

As a non-credit program that seeks to create a unique setting for select students, GHA provides an intellectual atmosphere impossible to sustain in ordinary academic settings. The excitement of intellectual and artistic pursuits and the expectation of significant conceptual gains permeate all aspects of the experience.

The curriculum is designed as a unique supplement to the usual high school curriculum. The program is not an acceleration of high school or an expectancy of college curricula. Students are led to explore cutting-edge theories in the arts and sciences and develop a greater understanding of how art, culture, and knowledge change with time. Students are challenged to develop rigorous creative and intellectual skills critical to their placement as productive citizens of our communities.

Through a competitive bidding process, GHA has been hosted at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Shepherd College, Marshall University, Concord University, West Virginia State College, Bethany College, Fairmont State University, and WVU. Fairmont State University will host GHA through 2024.