Summer is in the Air

We’re in full-swing summer mode at the Alumni Association. Our chapters across the country are holding family picnics, pig roasts, crab feasts, beach parties, shrimp boils, pepperoni roll bake-offs, and many other activities. Some chapters are going to baseball games and others are heading to the amusement park. You can discover what’s happening in your neck of the woods by visiting the events page on our website or downloading the WVU Alumni app for your smart phone.

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The Fundamentals of the WVU Alumni Association

Last week, I was spending time with a group of alumni and they were asking me about the alumni association, what we do, how we’re organized, etc. This discussion and their questions made me realize that perhaps we need to do a better job of discussing the fundamentals of our Alumni Association.

The place to begin is by answering the most basic question: “Why do we have an alumni association in the first place?” Our “why” has been consistent since we were formed in 1873 - to be a valuable asset for our alumni, the University and the state.

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A Busy Spring and What's to Come

Spring is a great season in Morgantown! We’re seeing more sunshine, the trees and flowers are coming alive, the Gold-Blue Spring Game is just around the corner and in just over a month, the Class of 2019 will be celebrating commencement.

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Mountaineer Hospitality

I was visiting our alumni chapter in The Villages, FL, last week and to my great surprise, Dr. Don Lyons and his wife, Dr. Migri Lyons, attended our events. Don was the Chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department when I attended WVU in the 1980s and Migri was a faculty member in the Civil Engineering Department.

Seeing Don again was truly special for me. I was able to express my gratitude for the important role he played in my decision to attend WVU.

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Some Things Never Change

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The Year 2018 in Review

As students head to their last classes and prepare for final exams, we celebrate the close of another great semester at West Virginia University! The last four months have been busy for us with an exciting football season, a trailer tour that took us halfway across the country, a very successful Day of Service where our alumni volunteered in their local communities, and most recently, a monumental Day of Giving. Thank you for your support in making this season an exciting adventure!

This year, we teamed up with the University and the State to help West Virginia solve some of its most challenging problems by launching the Mountaineer Alliance, a business-to-business network. Harnessing the knowledge, skills, wisdom, talents, and treasure of our business professionals, the Alliance can be a powerful force in helping our state.

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The Importance of Giving Back

Yesterday was a big day in the Frisbee household! Before I could even say hello, my daughter jumped right in with “Dad, I’ve got great news! I got into WVU!” The excitement in her voice put a huge smile on my face and instantly brought tears to my eyes knowing that she, too, would find a home at West Virginia University just as I had. There is something special about your children wishing to attend your alma mater and next year when she joins her brother at WVU, I’ll be grinning from eer to eer!

While we share our gratitude for having another Mountaineer in the family, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Can you believe it? The air is crisp, students are buckling down for the last push of the semester, our women’s soccer players are Big 12 champions, our football team is still in the championship hunt, and we just learned that John Chambers’ ongoing contribution could change the future for our state. Add to that the recent breakthrough we’ve had in combating Alzheimer’s disease along with other groundbreaking work from our researchers and it’s obvious we have plenty to be grateful for here at West Virginia University.

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Introducing Denver Allen

How many of you remember Taylor Runner? The student who used to bring his German Shepherd to old Mountaineer field during pregame to entertain fans with his frisbee catching prowess.

Denver Allen, the newest member of the Alumni Association team, does and was recounting this story the other day as he reflected on his time as a student at WVU.

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Homecoming Awards

In a recent conversation, a friend who is not a WVU alum was telling me how he likes to hire WVU graduates. He told me that compared to graduates of other institutions, his experience is that WVU graduates are more humble, technically competent with the added benefit of common sense and application focused, exhibit stronger work ethic, and lack entitlement. I was grinning ear to ear!

I’m sure you recognize these traits in the Mountaineers you know, and we see them year after year in the Alumni we recognize for their service contributions and professional achievements. This year’s class of Homecoming Awardees represents the best in what it means to be a Mountaineer!

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Mountaineers Helping Mountaineers

Judy, a WVU junior majoring in political science, competed with top students nationwide to win a plum internship in Washington, DC. This was her chance to set herself up for post-graduation. However, she had a problem. The internship didn’t pay enough for her to live in the DC metro area. What did she do? She reached out to the Alumni Association for ideas. We sent a note to our alumni and problem solved. Malene, an alumna in Arlington, VA, offered her a place to stay for the summer. Judy not only completed her internship but went on to be hired into her dream job by her internship agency. That’s one example of how Mountaineers help Mountaineers.

John, a 1994 graduate, and his family watched the news with desperation last fall as Hurricane Harvey crept toward Houston. They’d been through hurricanes before, but never one with the devastation Harvey would inflict. As Harvey stalled over Houston and the water rose ever so close to their home, it was clear they’d have to evacuate. Moving what they could to the upper floors and packing the car with as much as they possibly could, John and his family left their home not fully understanding the total devastation that would come. Twenty-five other Mountaineer families experienced similar circumstances. But they were not alone in rebuilding, Heather and Chris, the Houston Alumni Chapter leads, activated the Mountaineer network collecting food, clothing, finding shelter, and organizing work crews to help these families out. Some of the families impacted still have not been able to return to their homes, but our alumni have continued to do what they can to help over the past 8 months. Another example of Mountaineers helping Mountaineers.

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