From Down the Hall: May 2023

The spring semester is drawing to a close here in Morgantown, and our campuses have come alive again in color with budding trees, green grass and blooming flowers from Downtown to Evansdale and over to the Health Sciences campus. As the chilly weather has given way to warmer days and sunny skies, everyone here at the WVU Alumni Association is looking forward to joining family and friends in celebrating the Class of 2023 during next week’s Commencement ceremonies. 

Commencement has always been one of my favorite times during the academic year, with endless opportunities for celebration, tradition, and reflection. I look forward to welcoming a new class of West Virginia University alumni to our family of over 200,000 alumni. We share a special bond that is present in the moments when we see someone wearing a WVU shirt in an airport and shout, “Let’s go,” to hear them respond with, “Mountaineers!” or when we sing Country Roads together at a wedding or in a pub abroad. Or the moment we celebrate the birth of a child with a WVU onesie and when we proudly display the Flying WV outside our home or apartment. No matter how far we venture from Morgantown, WVU is a part of us.

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From Down the Hall: April 2023

Let me start this message with a sincere thank you to our alumni and friends who took the time to support our mission on the WVU Day of Giving. There's no denying WVU alumni are some of the most enthusiastic, driven and thoughtful people in the country.  Time and time again, we see how our alumni base comes together to support the institution we value so future generations can achieve the dream of a life-changing West Virginia University education. We know the appreciation and pride that is felt for our alma mater, but we were blown away by the support the Alumni Association and the greater University received on WVU’s sixth annual Day of Giving on March 22. You all went above and beyond! 

This year's Day of Giving surpassed previous records. Thanks to alumni like you, we received over $422,000 from 455 gifts for the WVU Alumni Association alone. Both totals demonstrate the strong commitment and loyalty of the WVU alumni community. Additionally, WVU as a whole received over $18 million dollars from over 8,200 gifts, which will help support initiatives that benefit students, faculty, and in turn, our local community and state.

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From Down the Hall: March 2023

As March rolls around, many Mountaineers fans reminisce about some of the unbelievable WVU basketball moments shared over the years. There’s a special kind of build-up as it turns from the regular season to the Big XII and NCAA Tournaments. March Madness can be a roller coaster ride of emotions with the twists and turns that are a part of win-or-go-home basketball.  As a lifelong Mountaineer, I’ve been lucky enough to witness some truly unforgettable moments - ranging from exhilarating victories to heartbreaking defeats. There’s never a dull moment when you root for the old gold and blue.

I hope this month’s From Down the Hall reminds you of shared moments our student-athletes have created that have become a part of our University’s storied history. Although younger alumni and fans may not recall our days in the Big East Conference, I’m certain many have heard retellings from fellow Mountaineers who witnessed the action firsthand. That’s where I’m going to begin.

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From Down the Hall: February 2023

When I stepped onto campus for the first time, I did not fully understand how many special moments I would share with others as part of my lifelong WVU journey. Like me, many alumni have shared experiences with fellow Mountaineers that provided opportunities for their paths to cross forever changing the course of their lives. To celebrate the month of February, we recently asked alumni and friends to submit their Mountaineer love stories. 

Each is unique and includes its own special journey and relatable Mountaineer moments. As different as each may be, all have one thing in common: the bond was formed because of our beloved alma mater. As couples grew to families with children and fur-children, their commitment to the Mountaineer spirit has remained long after they departed Morgantown. I invite you to take a moment and enjoy some heartwarming tales of connections made at WVU.

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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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