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.
After growing up in Western NY, I was initially searching for colleges in the NY and PA regions. One day, my father met an alumnus of our Aerospace Engineering program and he convinced us to take a road trip to check out WVU and Morgantown. Prior to this, attending West Virginia University was not even an idea.
A few weeks later, we made the trek to Morgantown and walked into Don’s office. We didn’t have an appointment and we had no idea what to expect. To our surprise, Don invited us to have a seat and he spent almost an hour telling us about the many facets of the aerospace engineering program. He then connected us to a graduate student who spent the next couple of hours showing us the labs and talking about the countless opportunities within the engineering school.
The next day we made stops at Towers, the Mountainlair, Financial Aid, ROTC and many other places. At each location we found the same level of hospitality. Wow, were we impressed!
On the way out of town, we entered PA on I-79 and at that moment, I told my parents that WVU was where I was going to school. None of our experiences visiting other universities even came close to the experience I had just had at WVU! Seeing Don and Migri this week reminded me of the important role our alumni and faculty play in the lives of all Mountaineers. No one recruits better than an alum and nobody can talk about an academic program as well as our faculty members. Our students, alumni, faculty and staff together are the cornerstone of what makes WVU a special place.
If you’d like to help us recruit students, I urge you to log into wvuconnect.com and volunteer to help recruit new students. WVU Connect is our virtual networking platform and the best way for you to get involved, wherever you might call home.