On October 11, West Virginia State University (WVSU) President Brian O. Hemphill announced an increased fundraising goal for the University’s ongoing Capital Campaign “Realize the Promise, Deliver the Future” to $18 million by 2017.
President Hemphill made the announcement regarding the Capital Campaign in partnership with members of the WVSU Board of Governors, WVSU Foundation Board and Capital Campaign Steering Committee immediately following the school’s Homecoming Parade and was surrounded by students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. This is the first Capital Campaign for WVSU which began in 2010 and has since been re-visioned and re-launched.
Also joining in the announcement were BrickStreet Insurance CEO Greg Burton, Entrepreneurs Doris W. and Walter F. Johnson III, Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs Executive Director Dr. Carolyn Stuart, West Virginia State alumna and University Board of Governors Vice Chair Dr. Ann Brothers Smith, Kanawha County Schools Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Jane Roberts and Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School Principal Johnny Ferrara.
“With much appreciation to the many individuals, businesses and organizations who have whole-heartedly demonstrated their commitment to quality, affordable education for the people of West Virginia and the region through their support of West Virginia State, its students, faculty and staff, it is my honor to announce our Capital Campaign now stands at $10.3 million,” said President Hemphill. “This outstanding achievement tells us all that we can do more thanks to the abundance of support from you—our community, alumni and friends. Together, we are achieving our goals that benefit the Yellow Jackets of today and those of tomorrow. Our continued collaboration is vital to our University and the people of West Virginia and the region. On behalf of all Yellow Jackets, thank you for your continued support.”
The Capital Campaign positions WVSU for success through investing in scholarships, academic programs and faculty support, student success, capital improvements, information and technology and the WVSU Fund.
“Realize the Promise, Deliver the Future” will enhance academic offerings through direct support of academic programs, research and public service. BrickStreet Insurance made a commitment of $750,000 to WVSU to specifically benefit 300 students and educators at Kanawha County Schools’ Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School in Charleston. Known as “Balancing the Equation for Student Success” this gift enables WVSU to provide both language arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum, training for teachers, in-school and after-school coordinators, supplies, equipment and research, as well as support an instructor’s salary.
The goal of “Balancing the Equation for Student Success” is to increase student achievement in reading, science and mathematics and enhance teachers’ execution of STEM disciplines and the language arts curriculum while increasing student interest in STEM fields through the addition of career education.
“At BrickStreet, we believe our success includes a commitment to investing in the future of the communities we serve,” said BrickStreet CEO Greg Burton. “There is no substitute for educating our younger generations with a variety of skill sets that will be vital to tomorrow’s success. That’s why we are proud to partner with West Virginia State University to invest in the future of our community with this pilot program.”
In conjunction with BrickStreet’s commitment, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs has awarded WVSU a $50,000 grant for equipment and supplies needed to support the program. The collaboration is an example of the Capital Campaign’s goal of executing the University’s mission of contributing to the economy and quality of life of the region through support of outreach programs in agriculture and natural resources, community and economic development, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“Our office is thrilled to be able to collaborate on the ‘Balancing the Equation for Student Success’ program. Such a program can have a significant impact on the young students at Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School as it will provide an opportunity to close the academic achievement gap. With an emphasis on language arts, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, these young students will have a head start on being successful in academics and in life,” said Carolyn L. Stuart, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs.
The Capital Campaign will also create access to higher education by increasing scholarship support for WVSU students majoring in business and WVSU students in the U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Entrepreneurs Doris W. and Walter F. Johnson III have committed $750,000 to establish The Doris W. and Walter F. Johnson III Scholarship. A State alumnus and retired Brigadier General, Walter F. Johnson was Chairman of Eagle Group International, Inc., a full-service health care consulting firm with major civilian, federal and international practices.
“Nothing could be more gratifying than to provide financial aid to those deserving and qualified students seeking a college education,” the Johnsons said. “In addition, our ROTC Program has produced some of the nation’s finest military and civilian leaders. To help maintain this very rich tradition, we will set aside some scholarships for dedicated ROTC students. Our financial support of WVSU is based on the University’s strong academic credentials and its superb current leadership.”
“Realize the Promise, Deliver the Future” includes efforts to enhance the Presidential Scholarship Fund which provides scholarships to recruit and retain deserving students and is funded by gifts of all sizes. The West Virginia State Class of 1964, led by alumna and current WVSU Board of Governors Vice Chair Dr. Ann Brothers Smith, has pledged $50,000 to support the Presidential Scholarship Fund.
“Our classmates are successful and have accomplished much because WVSU was a nurturing, inspirational and caring place where we realized that dreams were possible,” said Brothers Smith of her classmates who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their graduation. “We understand that we are held responsible for what we have. If we are blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time and the like, it is expected that we use these well to benefit others. It is our sincere hope that today’s students, who may be dreaming what they think is an ‘impossible dream,’ will also realize that in some small way WVSU and our contribution will truly help them realize their dreams.”
The $18 million dollar campaign will conclude in 2017. For more information, naming opportunities and how you can support WVSU, visit http://connect.wvstateu.edu or call (304) 766-3130.
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About Virginia State University
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.