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Is there anyone in the Legislature in particular that helped push for this matching funding?

Now with this funding in place, what are some of the plans moving forward?

I would like to thank the Yellow Jacket Nation, my Board of Governors, and HEPC for their support. I specifically would like to thank Governor Jim Justice, and our 2019 Legislature for hearing and appreciating our compelling argument. They all played an integral role in making this happen and I am grateful for their support.

Over the coming months, I am having Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Vice President for Research and Public Service, assess how we continue to meet the growing demands for our programs in the current 38 counties we serve, as well as expand our services throughout all 55 counties in the state. We will focus on nutrition education and wellness, 4-H/Youth Development, business development, and research in water quality, food safety and security just to name a few. We will continue to demonstrate that an investment in West Virginia State University is a sound investment and you are guaranteed a great return. We will help more people and do what we have been doing for decades‌make every environment we enter better.

What was the reaction to the news that the Governor had signed the bill, yours personally? I began thinking about what this meant to West Virginia State University. What it meant to the many people who had been working towards and waiting for this day. I was excited for the administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni who are working here now, and those who have retired or graduated from the University. My hope was that they would see their efforts, their voices, and their labor made a difference. This inspires hope. This is going to have a significant impact on the campus as well as the 38 counties and 20,000 people our land-grant services aid every year throughout the state. I started thinking about March 17, 2019, being the University’s 128th birthday and that Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Legislature just gave WVSU a wonderful birthday gift. The news has exploded across campus, the state and the nation. Federal leaders, colleagues in higher education and supporters as far away as Washington, D.C., and California have been sending congratulatory messages.

The funding the University received was for one budget year. What do you anticipate next year at the Legislature? I anticipate our legislators will be impressed with what we are planning and doing at STATE with the additional funding. I am optimistic that the results will affirm the value of investing in STATE. I am hopeful that they will continue to support us at the full state match because anything less would have an adverse impact on the citizens of our state. I will work with Senators Glenn Jeffries and Richard Lindsey to put forth legislation that places our land-grant funding in state code.

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Profile for West Virginia State University

State Magazine, Volume 7, 2019 Edition  

The 2019 edition of West Virginia State University’s flagship publication features stories on history making accomplishments at the state Ca...

State Magazine, Volume 7, 2019 Edition  

The 2019 edition of West Virginia State University’s flagship publication features stories on history making accomplishments at the state Ca...