From Down the Hall: January 2023

Happy New Year, Mountaineers! I hope you brought in 2023 with the friends and family who mean the most to you and enjoyed some much-needed rest and relaxation. In last month's From Down the Hall, I briefly reviewed 2022 and how it will serve as the foundation for the WVU Alumni Association moving into 2023 and beyond. I encourage you to take a look at that piece here as we enter the new year. Today, I'd like to dive into some fascinating research that's happening here in Morgantown, and introduce you to two exciting museums some alumni might not be aware of. You'll want to add these to your to-do list the next time you're on campus!

If you visited campus during Homecoming 2022, you might have heard about the grand opening of the William A. Neal Museum of the Health Sciences. It's a fantastic facility that all alumni and community members can appreciate, but especially our Health Sciences alumni. The museum is located near the historic Pylons sculptures and shares stories (from WVU's inception in 1867 to today) of health professions education at the University. I am grateful to have known Bill Neal personally through his dedication and deep connection with West Virginia University, and it is an honor to see his legacy live on through the retelling of health sciences history on a campus he loved so dearly. 

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From Down the Hall: December 2022

It's hard to believe that 2022 is coming to a close. It’s certainly been a year of exciting new challenges and incredible progress for our Alumni Association. You might remember our announcement at the beginning of the year, featuring the strategic partnership with West Virginia University. This partnership is delivering what was planned with its inception: to provide better support for and greater connection among the alumni and students of West Virginia University. In my final From Down the Hall for 2022, I'd like to share a few examples of how we are doing just that through various initiatives - both new and old.

Reaffirming and celebrating the important contributions made by our more than 70 alumni chapters and interest groups will continue to be a top priority. The work of these volunteers provides opportunities for our alumni and friends to create new WVU moments, large and small, and to experience a community of like-minded fellow Mountaineers even though they may live far away from campus. They are engaged in community service, serve as brand ambassadors, help bring alumni together in fellowship, raise money for scholarships and lend assistance to important University initiatives. If not for the hard work of these incredible alumni, hundreds upon hundreds of fellow Mountaineers would not be as closely connected with their alma mater. Within these groups, we can also see how a dedicated group of volunteers can be a driver for change. Many of our chapters pay it forward by providing scholarships to local students, helping them achieve the goal of receiving a life-changing WVU education. The power of our volunteer network never ceases to amaze me, and we will continue to collaborate with our University partners to demonstrate even greater appreciation and provide additional support for these groups in the future.

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From Down the Hall: November 2022

WVU Downtown campus during Homecoming Weekend

Wow - what a weekend! Homecoming 2022 is officially in the books, and full of moments we'll always remember! For those who aren't aware, this was the WVU Alumni Association's first Homecoming since becoming partners with the greater University. Our goal with the transition was to improve programming and events offered to our alumni around the country and here in Morgantown, and I'd say we met that goal last week. Our Alumni Association presence was seen across campus as Homecoming banners hung in downtown and Evansdale, and there were dozens of virtual and in-person events for Homecoming 2022. I'd like to thank all of our alumni, campus partners and the WVU Alumni Association team for making the week a huge success!

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From Down the Hall: October 2022

Fall is here in Morgantown, and it's a great time to be in West Virginia! The leaves are starting to change, and the camera roll on my phone is filled with images of campus sunsets. It also means that events are happening here on campus and around the country! I'd like to give a special thank you to our Austin Chapter for hosting a fantastic tailgate for Mountaineers from all over who came to cheer on WVU as we took on the Longhorns. The energy from the fans before and during the game was unmatched. If you're in the Austin area and want to get involved in the chapter, visit their Facebook page here.

Just before the Austin game, members of the Alumni Association team and I visited our nation's capital as President Gee spoke on the life-changing research, innovation and perseverance happening on our campus. I echo his remarks about West Virginia University being the launchpad to help change the trajectory of West Virginia and how education is the key that opens countless doors for our towns, cities and country. The work that's being done here in Morgantown reaches farther than many of us know, and the impact that our 200,000+ alumni have on others is immeasurable. I'd like to thank President Gee for his transformational leadership during his tenure, and I speak for many other Mountaineers in saying that we're fortunate to have you.

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From Down the Hall: September 2022

Just as quickly as it came, summer is now on its way out, and we're moving into fall, my favorite season. With it comes numerous events, celebrations, and, of course, college football. For those of you that attended the WVU vs. Pitt pregame, I want to thank you for stopping by and celebrating our WVU Mountaineers. The event was a great way to kick off the 2022 football season! We had thousands of Mountaineers together at PNC Park in anticipation of the first Backyard Brawl in eleven years, and we were delighted to see so many proud alumni and friends of our alma mater. I'd like to give a special thanks to the Pride of West Virginia, cheerleaders, our Mountaineer mascot Mary Roush and the greater University community for helping make the pregame a memorable experience for all who attended.

As our first home game of the 2022 season approaches, I'm also excited for our signature HAIL WV tailgate at The Erickson Alumni Center. If you haven't heard about HAIL WV, many call it the best-kept game-day secret in Morgantown. This premier event is held three hours prior to every home football game in our beautiful Kennedy Club Room. Season pass holders enjoy a number of benefits, including game day beverages, food, a dedicated parking spot for each game, special gifts and much more. If you'd like to learn more about HAIL WV or purchase your pass, visit here (Hail West Virginia). Even if you aren’t a member of HAIL WV, I’d encourage you to stop by The Erickson on game days. Our staff would love the opportunity to meet you and talk a little WVU football.

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From Down the Hall: August 2022

As summer begins to wind down, Morgantown starts to come alive again! A lot is happening this month that I've been looking forward to for a while now - one being the start of the 2022-23 academic school year. While it's been nice not having to wait for a table at Mario's and drive around Morgantown with little traffic, I think all of us on campus agree that we've been looking forward to students returning. With the return of students, football season beginning in less than a month and events on and off campus picking back up, I'm excited to provide you an update on everything that's happening!

As you may know, the start of the 2022-23 academic school year is an especially big deal for the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. This month marks the opening of Reynolds Hall, the stunning new home for the college along the Monongahela River. Describing the building won't do it justice, so I encourage you to look at some of the images here. You may notice that Reynolds Hall stands where the old Field House, or Stansbury Hall, previously stood. While it's never easy saying goodbye to a building where many of us had classes and created memories during our time at WVU, Reynolds Hall pays homage to Stansbury and the ground it stands on with pieces of history spread throughout the building. If you go on a tour, be sure to take a look.

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From Down the Hall: July 2022

I hope you had a fantastic fourth of July weekend with friends and family as we continue to enjoy the summer season. The last several weeks have been an exciting time for our growing team at the WVU Alumni Association. We’ve added two talented individuals to our staff and have re-aligned responsibilities so that your Alumni Association can better serve our university and its largest constituency, our alumni. With that said, it is my privilege to introduce you to the leadership team that will implement our engagement strategies, providing opportunities for greater connection with fellow Mountaineers and West Virginia University.

Meridith Balas, whom some of you may know, has been named executive director of alumni engagement after previously serving as our director of alumni engagement. She is now responsible for implementing the organization's strategic vision and priorities while focusing on organizational effectiveness and culture. Dr. Balas’ service has been invaluable to the Association, and I'm grateful she will continue in this new capacity.

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From Down the Hall: June 2022

While campus has been a bit quieter since Commencement last month, our chapters and interest groups around the country have been busy planning signature events, engaging alumni, and showing their communities what it means to be a Mountaineer. Our volunteers were forced to adapt when in-person programs were put on hold two years ago, but now we’re hitting the ground running and can’t wait to celebrate WVU in cities nationwide! Since I can’t highlight every event that’s being hosted this summer,  be sure to visit our website to find gatherings in your hometown, or wherever you’ll be vacationing!

Our Potomac Valley Chapter is kicking off the summer with a meet and greet at Dig Deep Brewing Company in Cumberland, MD. I invite you to stop by, learn about your local chapter and some exciting things happening on campus, and connect with staff from the Alumni Association and local Mountaineers.

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From Down the Hall: May 2022

With the exception of August and the beginning of an academic year, the month of May is easily my favorite time in Morgantown. It is a time of both appreciation and celebration, as our graduating students close the last chapter of their current academic journey and begin a new one as WVU alumni.

At Commencement next week, we will welcome thousands of graduating students in the Class of 2022 into our alumni community. It is a time for many to reflect on years of dedicated work and special memories. Memories that forever bond them with their alma mater. For parents, family members, and supporters, many of whom are also WVU graduates, it's an opportunity to share in the pride of this momentous occasion. On a personal note, I'm excited to be joining many of you at the weekend's ceremonies, as my family gathers to celebrate my son's graduation.

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From Down the Hall: April 2022

As we excitedly welcome the spring season in Morgantown, I'm thrilled to share a few upcoming events that will remind Mountaineers of the gold and blue spirit. We will soon celebrate graduating students and welcome alumni back to Morgantown as they connect with each other and their alma mater. I hope you'll consider attending or spreading the word about some of the especially exciting spring and summer events:

In just a few weeks, the WVU Black Alumni Association will celebrate their Spring Alumni Weekend on April 22-24. The three-day reunion will include themed social and networking events, a tailgate, the Gold-Blue Spring Football Game and a brunch. If you're able to visit Morgantown to be a part of these events, I can't wait to welcome you home to The Erickson Alumni Center and to hear some of the stories from your time at WVU. Alumni and friends interested in attending can purchase tickets and learn more about the event at WVU Black Alumni Weekend.

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