O. Purdy (64 BS)
A native of Poca, W.Va., Purdy graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1964 and received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina in 1973.
After working for B.F. Goodrich Chemicals, he joined FMC Corporation as an area production manager in 1967. In 1969, he joined the BASF group where he played a major role in developing the company into a multi-billion dollar corporation. While employed at BASF, he held numerous positions before becoming vice president of the Intermediate Chemicals group, a corporate officer, and a member of the executive committee.
In 1980, he left BASF to become CEO of Rio Tinto Zinc Chemicals in the United States and Canada. He shaped the company from the ground-up into a leader in the chemical treatment industry. In 1984, Purdy established AGDATA group of companies, now one of the largest agricultural, animal, and human health data analysis and marketing companies in the world. AGDATA provides Internet and business-to-business solutions to major agrochemical, animal health, hospitals and physicians, throughout the world. It has offices Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
Today, Mr. Purdy remains a loyal Mountaineer by giving his time to the University. He represented the chemical engineering department of WVU in the Building Greatness Campaign where the college raised more than $22.5 million. His generosity and leadership also led to the renovation of the Alfred F. Galli Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory at WVU. Mr. Purdy is a member of the WVU Chemical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni, where he serves as second vice president, and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was appointed to the board of directors of the WVU Foundation.
In addition to serving on numerous boards throughout the world, Mr. Purdy is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International and was a Rotarian for more than 15 years. He is also a sponsor of the Technology Forum at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the Business Advisory Committee of the Belk College of Business at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. In addition to his commitment to WVU and various business and community associations, Purdy also established annual scholarships for Poca High School students in West Virginia and has been actively involved with Habitat for Humanity.
Verl and his wife, Sandy, reside in Charlotte, NC.