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"I need you to get to Culver University and put eyes on Dr. Banner. I got word that General Ross is about to make a move on him."
Nick Fury to Black Widow[src]

Culver University is a university situated in Willowdale, Virginia, with another campus in West Virginia. It has extensive resources devoted to scientific research and has been linked to a number of high profile scientists.

History

Early History

Culver University began publishing the student newspaper Culver University Press in 1857[1] and opened its Research and Development department in 1860.[2]

Investigating Time Travel

Victor Stein and Janet discussing time travel

In the 1990s, students Victor Stein and Janet Stein met one day in class, and discussed the possibility of inventing time travel.[3]

Gamma Incident

In 2005, scientists Bruce Banner and Betty Ross from Culver University were recruited by the United States Armed Forces to develop a top-secret research project called the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project.

The project, initially thought to be researching radiation resistance, had the purpose of duplicating the results of the Project Rebirth developed during World War II, triggering the whole process with the use of Gamma Radiation. General Thaddeus Ross, father of Betty Ross, was the military overseer of the whole project.

Bruce Banner testing Gamma Radiation on himself

Banner, being confident that their research was worthy enough to take the risk and under threat of funding cuts, decided to test a combination of their replica of the Super Soldier Serum and high doses of Gamma Radiation by a Gamma Ray Projector. However, the amount of radiation caused instead a violent non-permanent transformation into a giant, green-skinned, muscle-bound humanoid who went to become known as Hulk, a transformation that would be triggered by anger and emotional stress. Hulk, driven by fits of extreme rage, destroyed the laboratory, killed two scientists and injured both Thaddeus and Betty Ross[2] along several others graduate students.[4] Following an explosion on the campus, Hulk fled the scene and was spotted by students, however those sightings was attributed by officials as possible effects of a chemical released into the air, causing hallucinations.[5]

In the wake of the accident, the military closed the entire lab building for a year, kept the incident a secret and shut down the entire project.[2] Three days after the accident, Ross met Banner in the destroyed lab, offering him to take him to another workplace in Maryland to perfect the serum. Banner refused and blamed himself for all the people he hurt, including Dr. Ross. Banner ran off, hiding inside the janitor's room and using the clothes available for disguise, while prompting Ross to order his own troops to chase after him, only to find that Banner was gone.[4]

Banner became a fugitive of the United States Armed Forces and left the town and his lover, Betty Ross, behind.[2]

Astrophysicists

Jane Foster attended Culver University, where she studied astronomy. During this time, Foster met Erik Selvig, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at Culver. Later, political science student Darcy Lewis became an intern for Selvig.[6]

Battle at Culver University

Culver University in 2010

Bruce Banner eventually returned to Culver University years after his first transformation, to retrieve all data regarding the project in an attempt to cure himself of his conditions. Banner first tried to enter the University, but heavy security measures have been implemented since his departure, so he had to devise a new plan.

While walking through the campus, he could not help approaching the Biological Sciences Building, and check on Betty Ross, watching her hiding behind a Culver University Press newspaper, and realizing she started a new relationship with Leonard Samson. Banner quietly left there without being seen.

Banner disguised himself as a pizza delivery boy from his old friend Stanley Lieber's restaurant, to infiltrate Culver University. Banner attempted to sneak past a security guard to recover his research, claiming that there was somebody upstairs who had ordered a pizza. When the security guard refused to let him pass without clearance, Banner claimed he risked being fired if he did not collect payment and offered the guard a box of pizza he had not been able to collect on, with the guard accepting the pizza and allowing Banner access into the university.

Having made it upstairs, Banner looked inside a room and recalled it once being the same space where they had worked on the Bio-Tech Force Enhancement Project before everything had gone terribly wrong. Entering the room, Banner bribed Roger Harrington with the pizza and logged on to the computer using Dr. Ross' password. Discovering that all the data regarding the project had been deleted, Banner contacted the man who was helping him through his research of a cure, codenamed "Mr. Blue", to inform him of the setback.

Bruce Banner and Betty Ross

Banner spent the night with Ross, who gave him a copy of the investigation, and promised to depart the following morning. Banner realized that they were being observed, and tried to run from a large group of soldiers led by an enhanced Emil Blonsky and commanded by General Ross himself. Banner took advantage of his knowledge of the university, and hid to swallow the USB containing the data about the project, in order to protect it if he was captured.

Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk

Betty tried to convince her father to leave Banner alone, but as they were speaking, Banner was trapped inside an elevated hallway, where the soldiers tried to render him unconscious using gas grenades. Instead, the stress of the situation triggered his transformation into Hulk.[2]

Under Nick Fury's request, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff was undercover in Culver University trying to keep an eye on Banner, and she arrived in time to witness Banner's transformation.[7]

General Ross let his daughter witness Hulk to convince her of the importance of his capture, and a ferocious battle between Hulk and the United States Armed Forces began. Hulk was able to neutralize the heavily armed soldiers and vehicles, resisting their attacks without being harmed.

Students Jack McGee and Jim Wilson arrived at the location and witnessed Hulk's rampage, recording what they could on a cellphone.[2]

Romanoff, startled by Banner's transformation, called Fury to receive orders about how to proceed. Fury simply demanded to not let Ross take Banner, either dead or alive.[7]

Blonsky was ordered to act, approaching Hulk confident that his enhancements with a Super Soldier Serum would help him confront the green giant. Hulk used two pieces of debris to shield himself of the grenades shot by Blonsky. Blonsky was able to evade the attacks and lured his opponent to a pair of Stark Sonic Cannons, that almost subdued him.

Hulk was moved by Betty's pleas and overcame the sonic attacks. Blonsky approached Hulk again, taunting him despite Ross' direct orders, and Hulk defeated him with a single kick that crushed most of Blonsky's bones.

An helicopter opened fire over Hulk while Betty was approaching him, and Hulk protected her from harm, throwing his remaining debris to bring down the helicopter, shielding her again from the ensuing explosion that rendered her unconscious. Hulk escaped with her to the Smoky Mountain National Forest.

The following day, Culver University filled with news reporters from different channels to report the incident, showing Jack McGee's footage in the news.[2]

Reunion

Melinda May meets Professor Andrew Garner at Culver

While at work in Culver University's campus in West Virginia, psychologist and professor Andrew Garner was speaking to a student when he spotted his ex-wife Melinda May waiting for him. She explained that Phil Coulson was now running S.H.I.E.L.D. and they required his help with a newly-powered individual. They also discussed why May did not return his calls during the HYDRA Uprising; she said it was a busy time, to which he frowned, citing that Lian May kept him informed. Garner asked May if she had returned to field work; Garner disapproved when she said she had. Garner made it clear that his responsibility would be to the subject, not to her, not to S.H.I.E.L.D.[8]

A New Psych Student

AndrewGarner-meets-WernerVonStrucker.jpg

"You know why most people take Psych, right? They're trying to figure out families."
"You got me there; you wouldn't believe how messed up mine is."
Andrew Garner and Werner von Strucker[src]

With the new fall semester, Andrew Garner taught Psychology 101 at Culver University. As he was finishing a class, a new student approached him, asking permission to join. Garner told him that he would have to get caught up with his previous lessons; Garner then signed the permission slip. Noting that students join psych 101 to gain insight on their family issues, Garner asked the student why he was joining; Alexander Braun said that he had family issues.[9]

Athletics Records

Culver Students in 2016

In April 2016, Culver University celebrated a record-breaking year in athletics.[10]

State of the Art Library

In May 2016, it was announced that a state-of-the-art library at Culver University would reopen after extensive renovations.[11]

Alternate Universe

Assassination of Bruce Banner

After the mysterious assassination of Tony Stark upon being injected with the antidote Lithium Dioxide, Natasha Romanoff arrived to the Culver University where she approached Betty Ross, asking her for help with the suspicion that there might be some trace of poisoning she could detect.

Ross ran some tests on the antidote ampule but could not find any trace of foreign substances but noted that the antidote did not enter Stark's body in the moment of his death. She told Romanoff that whatever was the cause of Stark's death, it was not biological, as the tip had been shattered by a tiny object. Romanoff was later informed by Fury that the murderer is targeting the Avengers Initiative candidates, as Clint Barton was killed as well, and Bruce Banner. Romanoff found Banner hiding at the university and told him that they need to run away before the murderer finds them.

Hulk fights against the US military

However, Bruce Banner was tracked down by the United States Army battalion, led by Thaddeus Ross. Soldiers surrounded the Culver University, so Natasha tried to stop them from attacking, claiming that Banner was under S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody. While the soldiers were holding them at gunpoint, Yellowjacket entered Banner's body, making it look like he was shot by a sniper. The injury resulted in Banner turning into Hulk and attacking the soldiers who opened fire at him.

As the military launched a full-on attack to take Hulk down, Betty Ross tried to get him to stop, and Black Widow stopped her, saying that Ross was not the one who started it. While Hulk was fighting against the soldiers, Yellowjacket inside his body hit his heart with the Pym Particles Disk, causing it to enlarge. Hulk's body suddenly swells and explodes, much to Ross' horror and distraught.[12]

Academic Staff

Name Course Status
John Alexander Molecular Biology Professor
Bruce Banner Biochemistry and Nuclear Physics Retired
Donald Barrington Neurobiology Professor
Michael Dillen Molecular Biophysics Professor
Robert Dixon Computational Biology Professor
Kenneth Frisson Structural Biology Professor
Marcus Benson Natural Sciences Retired
Andrew Garner Psychology Deceased
David Harp Molecular Biology Professor
Mark Harwood Computational Biology Professor
Lester Kim Cellular Biology Professor
Ewth Lawson Neurobiology Professor
Scott Petersen Structural Biology Professor
Lester Richards Neurobiology Professor
Betty Ross Cellular Biology Professor
Quinn Scott Biotechnology Programs Associate Director
Erik Selvig Theoretical Astrophysics Retired
Morgan Sharp Molecular Biology Professor
Thomas Shaw Structural Biology Professor
Ryan Stanley Computational Biology Professor
Murray Steeles Cellular Biology Professor
Frank Victoria Neurobiology Professor
Leonard Samson Psychology Psychiatrist
Marlo Professor

Students

Name Course Status
Victor Stein Graduated
Janet Stein Gravitational Wave Astronomy Graduated
Rick Jones
Jane Foster Astrophysics Graduated
Roger Harrington Graduated
Jack McGee Journalism
Jim Wilson
Darcy Lewis Political Science Graduated
Alexander Braun Psychology 101 Deceased

Appearances

Appearances for Culver University

In chronological order:

Logos

Trivia

  • The name of the university comes from the Culver Institute, where Banner worked when he became Hulk in the 1978 The Incredible Hulk TV series. The name "Culver" itself is the middle name of series creator and producer, Kenneth Johnson.
  • The university's motto is "Audaces Fortuna Iuvat," which is Latin for "fortune favors the bold."

References

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Culver University.

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