And her husband spent an hour trying to persuade them she is the ''change-maker'' who deserves their vote, the person who will make critical decisions to reshape the nation within her first few years in office.
''There is a huge difference between good intentions and real changes in your life,'' Bill Clinton told more than 1,000 people - most of them students taking time out from finals week - who had waited for hours in a chilly morning rain for his nearly hour-long speech on historic Woodburn Circle.
''Everything I know about the presidency, and its possibilities as well as its difficulties ... . tells me that we have profoundly significant decisions that have to be made by the next president within the first year or so of taking office and we have got to get this show on the road,'' the former president said.
''She's the best qualified person I've ever had a chance to support,'' he said. ''I would be here for Hillary even if we'd never married because she's the best change-maker I've ever seen.''
Clinton laid out dozens of reasons young people should help elect his wife, from promises of universal health care and a meaningful job-creation plan to her ideas for cutting gasoline prices and fighting global warming.
But Clinton drew the loudest, most sustained applause when outlining his wife's plans to make college more affordable and prevent students from dropping out under financial pressure.
''She knows that every young American should be able to go to college, stay there and finish, and go as far as you can,'' he said, explaining her plan to raise Pell grants, more than double tuition tax credits and crack down the abuses of private student loan companies charging outrageous interest rates.
Some students gasped and muttered, ''Wow,'' when Clinton said he borrowed college money at a 2 percent interest rate and assured them affordable education is a personal issue for the couple.
''The difference between our situation and yours was profound because we lived in an era where the president and the Congress, without regard to party, understood that we had a moral obligation to give our kids a chance to get educated and an economic necessity to do so.''
Obama's campaign said he would create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable for all Americans.
''This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university,'' Obama's campaign said in a statement.
Obama also picked up an endorsement Thursday from state Auditor Glen B. Gainer III, who said the Illinois senator would protect working-class families in West Virginia. Gainer also criticized Hillary Clinton's proposed summer-long national gas tax holiday to combat rising gas prices.
''Senator Obama understands that we can't accept gimmicks that will take money from our road funds and cost West Virginians jobs. The gas tax idea would be anything but a holiday for West Virginia road workers - they would be spending three months in the unemployment line,'' Gainer said in a statement.
Among the sea of students who attended Bill Clinton's speech were some adults, including Kathleen Frederico, a computer support specialist from Point Marion, Pa. She carried a ''Disgruntled Republicans for Hillary'' sign, even though she changed her party affiliation to Democrat after the Reagan era.
''She was already in the White House for eight years. She knows her way around, and she could get things going on Day One,'' Frederico said.
Eric Pennington, a 20-year-old political science and economics major from Winfield, said that among the WVU student body, Obama appears to have more support than Clinton.
Data from exit polls of voters in 22 states found that Obama gets six in 10 votes of people under age 30. Clinton received nearly the same proportion of those 65 and up.
Wendy Alke, a 57-year-old Morgantown attorney, doesn't fit in either of those categories but says she's followed Clinton's career long before she was first lady.
''She's always exhibited caring and compassion for those who are in need, including children,'' said Alke, who dismissed critics who say Clinton is difficult to like.
''Because she's a woman, she has different hurdles she has to overcome,'' she said, adding that Clinton has to be careful at times to not be perceived as weak.
About 40 miles southwest of Morgantown, Anne Sedlock enthusiastically shouted ''woman power.'' She was among a crowd of several hundred who gathered around a home on Mulberry Street in Clarksburg, its front porch draped with red, white and blue bunting.
''I'm here for Hillary,'' said Clarksburg area resident Mary Jo Short, who was holding a small American flag. She says she wants a president committed to ending the war in Iraq and doing something about the economy.
In Clarksburg, Clinton contrasted his wife's appeal to working-class people with the elitists he says support Obama. He made the same comparison two months when he last campaigned in West Virginia, calling his wife's critics in the party ''glitterati'' and ''elites.''
''The great divide in this country is not by race or even income, it's by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules,'' he said in Clarksburg. ''In West Virginia and Arkansas, we know that when we see it.''
Clinton said his wife's primary challenger has ''got so much money and it's a different electorate. It's a little more upscale and modern ... than those poor people in Texas and Ohio.''
He said an unnamed Obama supporter suggested the former president was being sent to small towns where he couldn't do any damage and was going to bring ''Wal-Mart greeters to the polls.''
''He thought he was insulting me, but I think he gave me a darn good idea.''
Clinton stumped for his wife in Parkersburg, Chesapeake and Beckley in March and spoke at the Democrats' annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Charleston in October.
Both Hillary Clinton and Obama made campaign stops in West Virginia in March.
West Virginia's primary is May 13.
Associated Press Writer Tom Breen contributed to this report from Clarksburg, W.Va.