Department of Communication & Theatre Arts
This honorary organization is the first national collegiate drama fraternity to be founded in the East, and was organized at Fairmont State College in 1925 with Dr. Paul Opp as its founder. Now with over 550 chapters, Alpha Psi Omega is the largest national honor society in America. The Alpha Chapter is active in community service and educational outreach.
Theatre production has a celebrated history at Fairmont State. The first theatrical organization, “The Drama Club,” was founded in 1921 by a group of students inspired by a love of theatre and headed by George H. Turley. In 1923, with Dr. Paul F. Opp as advisor, the students changed the name of the group to Masquers, and elected Lawrence A. Wallman as the organization’s first president. Today, the students in Masquers work on the four main stage productions in the academic season as actors, technicians, and designers under the supervision of the faculty from the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts. They also use their talents to serve the community through projects such as the Halloween Food Drive and the Christmas Hat and Glove Tree. In addition, Masquers sponsors the annual awards ceremony dubbed “The Pappy’s” in honor of its first president and long time Fairmont State faculty member Lawrence “Pappy” Wallman. Part Oscars, part comedy roast, The Pappy’s is a fun-filled evening that celebrates theatre on the Fairmont State campus.