WGU's 20th Anniversary

In the summer of 1997, 19 U.S. governors signed our articles of incorporation and Western Governors University was born. WGU launched with the goal of providing thousands of students access to education that was neither limited by place nor measured by time.

A history of student obsession.

In just two decades, a university that started as an idea—to reinvent higher education with the powerhouse combo of internet technology and competency-based education—has grown to one of the nation’s largest institutions of higher learning. From 19 governors daring to ask “what if?” to more than 85,000 inspiring success stories—and counting!—the WGU story is one of the most exciting in higher education history. And it’s just getting started.

WGU History Bytes

The WGU History Bytes are a collection of images from the WGU Archive and brought to you by our 20th Anniversary Celebration committee.

Technology Leaders Back WGU

In 1998, AT&T awarded WGU a $500,000 grant, demonstrating their commitment to innovation in higher education.

AT&T check being presented to WGU representatives

The First Online Teachers College

In March 2003, WGU launched the Teachers College, addressing a critical shortage of qualified teachers across the nation.

WGU and government officials at the launch of the WGU Teachers College

Demo the 1996 WGU Experience

In 1996, Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer presented the slick, new WGU website at the Western Governors' Association meeting.

Jim Geringer, Governor of Wyoming (1995–2003)

Education Without Boundaries

This image, from a 1998 WGU brochure, is a whimsical visualization for how WGU leveraged technology and enabled students to learn.

Image from a 1998 WGU brochure
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