When West Virginia University took the local campus out of Montgomery five years ago, it took more from the rural town than just a college.
Suddenly, 1,500 students were gone. More than 100 staff and faculty moved out. The bar and the car dealership closed. The grocery store, too. And it was only going to get worse, locals knew.
The residents of Montgomery feel abandoned by the state’s powerful flagship university, which also has become the state’s largest healthcare provider and employer.