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.
(Denver Allen, Director of Development, WVU Alumni Association)
“We used to camp out all night to get the best seats in the student section. Taylor would be on the field with his dog flying through the air catching frisbees while the band lined up at the Mountainlair. You could hear the band singing as they marched down University Avenue and through the old tunnel, ‘We don’t give a damn for the state of Pennsylvania, the state of Pennsylvania, the state of Pennsylvania, We don’t give a damn for the state of Pennsylvania for we are the Mountaineers.’ They would change the state depending on who we were playing. It was the neatest thing to hear the band singing as they marched through campus.”
Denver is a Morgantown native and two-time WVU graduate and brings over 30 years of successful fund-raising experience at three major institutions to the WVU Alumni Association. As the Director of Development, Denver is responsible for all aspects of charitable giving, membership, and fund-raising activities.
After his first month on the job I asked Denver if he was happy he accepted the job. “After growing up in Morgantown, earning two degrees at WVU, working at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Louisville, and WVU in athletics and the Cancer Institute it’s an honor to be at the Alumni Association. What we have going on here is something special. Helping Mountaineers be successful in their lives, assisting students in launching their careers, focusing the passion of West Virginians for the good of our state has me fired up. To me, this isn’t a job it’s what I’m meant to do.”
Denver earned his Bachelors Degree in Education in 1981 and Masters Degree in Sports Management in 1983. While in college he served as a manager for the football team, worked in the ticket office, participated in many clubs, and served the community by working in the park system.
As a professional development officer, Denver has had many successes. He established the first athletic development program for the University of Akron, the annual giving program for athletics at the University of Pittsburgh and raised $51M for the capital campaign at University of Louisville.
At WVU he’s had even more success. Denver built the fund-raising program for the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, now part of the WVU Cancer Institute; raised the money needed to build the Rossenbaum House, providing a home away from home for adult patients and their families while receiving medical care at WVU Medicine; and established the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Denver on our Alumni team! Please stop by the Erickson Alumni Center this fall to say hello and give Denver a warm Mountaineer welcome!
Sean , ‘89