State Magazine, Volume 8, 2020 Edition

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COMMITTED TO OUR COMMUNITIES At Encova Insurance, we take pride in our community involvement and aspire to make a difference in the communities where we operate. We’re proud to support West Virginia State University, a group of educators, leaders and students who are committed to bettering the place they call home.

May 1, 2020 Greetings Yellow Jacket Nation! This edition of STATE magazine is truly special to me and the First Family. It is special because it is the final time I will pen a letter to you as your president, and also because we get to highlight the incredible spirit of the Yellow Jacket Nation during this historic global COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past four years, together, we have achieved many historic milestones, from increasing our retention and graduation rates, earning the ability to again grant associate degrees, and securing our state land-grant match, to launching our engineering and nursing programs. There is no question, we have accomplished many great things. As the State family, we have changed lives, changed our communities and changed our University. I am proud to have served as President of West Virginia State University; and I am grateful for the trust placed in me as a leader. I began my Presidency proudly helping our neighbors impacted by the 2016 flood that devastated parts of our community, and now I lead State through the most profound global pandemic our nation has ever seen. I want to thank our campus community for your fierce resolve through it all. From each crisis you demonstrated the ability to come together and showcase an unwavering commitment that embodied true Yellow Jacket spirit and strength. When Toinette and I arrived in Institute four years ago, we joined this community imagining West Virginia State’s potential future as a leading university of higher education. Today, the University we imagined continues to take shape right before our eyes. Because we successfully repositioned WVSU - our students, faculty, leadership, brand, reputation and impact are respected and involved in higher education spaces and conversations we have never been a part of before; thus, let me be clear, the value proposition of WVSU has never been stronger! We have witnessed it in the improved quality of our faculty, staff and student talent from around the world that continues to be attracted to our academic programs and beautiful campus. We also have seen it in the increased partnerships with national and local foundations and businesses we have and are continuing to build. We have come such a long way in four years and for that I am extremely thankful. So, to the Yellow Jacket Nation and friends: I will forever be humbled by having the opportunity to be part of the rich storied history of West Virginia State University. Take care and be well. Go State!

Anthony L. Jenkins, Ph.D. President, 2016 - 2020

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State Alumnus Named Interim President

Dr. R. Charles Byers has been named Interim President of State, the first alumnus of the University to lead the institution in either an interim or permanent capacity.

State hosts first ever Virtual Commencement Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, West Virginia State hosted the first virtual commencement ceremony in the University’s history for its May 2020 graduates.


Langley Spurlock


State Strong


Scientist. Artist. The varied and successful careers of this State alumnus. COVID-19 caused a disruption to campus life, but the Yellow Jacket Nation rose to meet these unprecedented challenges.

New Academic Programs

The University continues to add new academic programs to fulfil its mission to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region.


The Doctor is In


History Repeating


Black & Gold Gala

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Volume 8: 2020

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Patricia Schumann

Vice President for University Advancement, Communications and Marketing President, WVSU Foundation, Inc.


Assistant Vice President for University Communications and Marketing


Creative Services Manager

Research Scientist Dr. Barbara Liedl is a skilled plant therapist. Former WVSU research farm in Mason County welcomed back into State family. Mark your calendars now for the eighth annual Black & Gold Gala in April 2021.


Photographic Services Manager

CONTRIBUTORS Matthew Browning

Director of Communications Gus R. Douglass Land-Grant Institute

Campus News

The latest news about Yellow Jacket students, faculty and staff.

Stacy Herrick

Communications Specialist

Alumni News

Keep up with the latest news about Yellow Jacket alumni.

Belinda Fuller

Director of Alumni Relations

STATE is published annually by West Virginia State University. Story ideas and feedback for STATE magazine may be sent to Jack Bailey at To be added to our mailing list, contact Belinda Fuller at

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State Alumnus Dr. R. Charles Byers Named Interim President of the University Long-serving West Virginia State professor, administrator and alumnus Dr. R. Charles Byers was named to Interim President of the University effective May 16, 2020. With his appointment, Byers becomes the first alumnus of WVSU selected to lead the institution in either an interim or permanent capacity. “West Virginia State University is an integral part of the fabric of the state and region and has had a profound impact on the lives of thousands of alumni, including my own,” said Byers. “I look forward to continuing to build on the University’s rich history and tradition of providing access and opportunity for all those who choose to pursue a college education.” Prior to his appointment, Byers had served as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for State since July 2019. He had retired as Provost of the University in 2014 after 41 years of service. Byers is a 1968 graduate of WVSU with a bachelor’s degree in art education. He later earned a master of fine arts degree from The Ohio State University while working as a commercial artist and art teacher in Columbus, Ohio. Later, Byers earned a doctorate degree from Kent State University in higher education administration and, to date, has more than 435 graduate hours from various higher education institutions.

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Byers joined the WVSU faculty in 1972 and spent the next 17 years as an associate professor of teacher education. He served for 12 years as the Vice President for Planning and Advancement, Title III Director and Executive Director for the WVSU Research and Development Corporation before being named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In 2015, Byers, an accomplished painter and sketch artist, published “A Place We Love So Dear: A Collection of Campus Drawings,” featuring pen and ink drawings of every building on the WVSU campus. During Homecoming in 2019, Byers was recognized as WVSU’s alumnus of the year. Byers is married to the former Edithe Rosebourgh of Charleston, a retired public school educator. They are the parents of three adult children, and five grandchildren. As of publication time for this issue of STATE magazine, a national search was underway to find a permanent replacement for former WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins who left the University in May to become president of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

West Virginia State hosted the first virtual commencement ceremony in the University’s history for its May 2020 graduates.

version remains viewable on the University’s livestream channel that several thousand have viewed.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing and safety measures in place at the time, a large, in-person gathering was not possible. Instead, the University turned to technology to give graduates a virtual experience.

In addition to the virtual ceremony, graduates were invited to submit photos that the University shared on its social media channels using the hashtag #WVSUGrad2020. An album featuring all the photos submitted by graduates can be found on the University’s Facebook page, wvstateu.

May graduates were invited to participate in the ceremony via Zoom, and the event was also live streamed so friends, family and the entire Yellow Jacket Nation could also participate. Hundreds tuned in to view the livestream of the ceremony as it was taking place, and an archived

All May graduates are invited to return to campus in November to participate in the University’s planned traditional mid-year commencement.

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ick any aspect of Langley Spurlock’s long and varied life, and it is bound to be interesting.

Having grown up in Institute, Spurlock is a descendent of Mary Barnes and Samuel Cabell, the former slave and slave owner, who owned the land where West Virginia State University sits today. His family roots run deep at the institution, with his grandmother, mother, father and aunt all graduating. His aunt, Leaonead Drain (after whom State’s library is named), was head librarian. His mother was an assistant business manager and his step-father, Professor Paul Moore, was head of the chemistry department for 40 years. Spurlock himself attended the elementary school and high school that used to be located at State before going on to college there at the age of 15. “The campus was my playground,” Spurlock recalls. “My best friend was Eleanor Wallace, the daughter of President William Wallace. She and I had decided that we wanted to go away together to college. The problem my parents had was when I graduated high school I was 15. They wanted me to stay and attend State for another year or two until I was more traditional college age. Of course, once I started State I wasn’t going to leave. My parents were sneaky smart.”

West Virginia State was very good about testing kids for aptitude and interests....

Spurlock went on to graduate at the age of 19 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. While a student, he was active in ROTC and as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. From an early age, Spurlock had two passions – science and art. “West Virginia State was very good about testing kids for aptitude and interests. Fairly early on I was tested, and I showed interests almost equally between science and art,” Spurlock says. “My parents were OK with that, but they 0 6 | We s t V i r g i n i a S TAT E

made it clear that if I intended to earn a living and support myself I was better off in science.” After graduating from State, Spurlock went on to earn a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from Wayne State University and began working in the private sector in agricultural chemical research. One day fate intervened in the form of his division getting shut down, and all the researchers were laid off. But the unexpected turn of events led to a new chapter in Spurlock’s life when he joined the faculty at Temple University in Philadelphia. “I loved it. I had a research group of about a dozen graduate students working with me. We had a great time,” Spurlock says. “After three years I was invited to give a lecture at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. What I wasn’t aware of was that they were in effect interviewing me. Soon after, I received a job offer from Brown. I insisted on bringing my graduate assistants with me, and so I packed up 10 graduate students and off we went.” After four years on the chemistry faculty at Brown, Spurlock switched gears and went on a leave of absence to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the president of the American Council on Education, a higher education association. His work there led to a position at the National Science Foundation and ultimately to the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA), where he eventually retired as a vice president. During his work in the government and association sectors, Spurlock said he once again became interested in his other passion – art. “At this point chemistry had gotten me through doors, but what I did with it was quite different from the expected,” Spurlock says. Spurlock’s second career is as impressive as his first. After retiring from the CMA, he enrolled in the Corcoran College of Art, where he was able to explore working in a variety of mediums. His art covers a wide range, including paintings, etchings, monotypes, digital prints, photography, collage, assemblage and sculpture.

For Spurlock, one of his largest artistic endeavors was initiated by attending a lecture from three artists who were talking about scientific theory. “When I left, my reaction was anger, and then I thought, Why are you angry?” Spurlock recalls. “The answer was it seemed they were encroaching on my territory. My challenge to myself then was, If it is your territory why don’t you do something to prove it?” The result has been an ongoing project developed in conjunction with retired advertising copywriter and poet John Martin Tarrat in which the pair have expressed all 118 elements of the periodic table through a variety of artistic mediums and poetry. “When we began, we thought it would be about a three-year project. He would write verses and I would incorporate them into 118 artworks. Well the threeyear project turned into a 15-year adventure with five gallery shows to cover it all, but we had one heck of a good time. It has been very satisfying. And I hope very enjoyable and educational for the viewers,” Spurlock says. Highlights of the entire project can be seen on Spurlock's website, The fifth exhibition of “Secrets of the Elements” was on display during fall 2019 at Studio Gallery in Washington, D.C. The show included a reception for WVSU alumni. For Spurlock, seeing so many friends and supporters from State reminded him of how much he values his roots in Institute. “I sometimes tell people that I grew up on an island. When I was young, West Virginia State was still an all black institution. It attracted a cluster of highly educated people from across this country and around the world,” Spurlock says. “These are the people that I knew first and best. It was a sophisticated, diverse environment that was unlike the rest of the community beyond. That group of special people gave me the confidence that I could make it anywhere.” And Langley Spurlock certainly has. Vo l u m e 8 : 2 0 2 0 | 07

STATESTRONG Yellow Jacket Nation Overcomes the Challenges of COVID-19


he year 2020 will long be remembered for the disruption to everyday life caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Life on the campus of West Virginia State University (WVSU) was no different. In the span of a few weeks during the spring of 2020, campus life ground to a halt. Students walking the quad on their way to classes, or pausing to talk to friends, or just hanging out, was replaced by an empty quad. Baseball and softball fields primed for spring sports were silent. Classrooms that had echoed with lectures and

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debates were dark and empty. But while life came to a standstill on the campus of State, the spirit of the Yellow Jacket Nation never wavered. Within days of the realization that things would not return to normal anytime soon, the University made a monumental shift. Classrooms were taken virtual as courses shifted to all remote, non-face-to-face delivery. Some faculty used traditional online learning platforms, while others utilized Google Hangouts, Zoom or Facebook Live. No matter the delivery mechanism, learning continued.

University staff, likewise, shifted in delivering services remotely. All University staff not designated as essential began working remotely in March, keeping the important day-to-day operations of the University moving forward. WVSU Extension Service shifted its program delivery from face-to-face to fully virtual platforms, such as Zoom, Moodle, and Facebook Live. WVSU 4-H launched a landing page with downloadable kids' activities that could be done at home, and videos on such topics as poetry writing, gardening, and chemistry were added. Workshops normally held in person at the WVSU Economic Development Center in Charleston, such as the Creators Program, also moved to digital platforms. The University’s Communications and Marketing office established a coronavirus webpage on the University website to share news and information on an ongoing basis with the campus community, while also expanding offerings on social media channels to share more news with the Yellow Jacket Nation including creation of a Facebook group, Yellow Jackets United, to showcase the good work being done in the face of the ongoing pandemic. And in true Yellow Jacket fashion, good work abounded. Art professor Josh Martin used the University’s 3-D printers to produce face masks to assist those working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The masks were sent to the West Virginia National Guard for completion and distribution to areas of need. “The design is constantly being improved by quite a large community of makers involved in this project across the state and country,” Martin said. “It is a good example of using the internet the right way in a crisis, and it’s quite rewarding to be able to make some sort of difference, small as it might be.” Likewise, the University’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics donated more than 5,000 pairs of unused laboratory examination gloves to Charleston Area Medical Center in March. “With hospitals around the country facing shortages of personal protective equipment, this is one action we can take to help assist those that are on the frontlines of providing health care during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Micheal Fultz, chair of WVSU Department of Chemistry. The University also created an emergency

fund to provide financial assistance to students impacted by COVID-19. Types of financial assistance considered included family or personal emergencies, housing and living costs, loss of income, technology needs, textbooks or transportation needs. To be eligible for the fund, students must be in good standing at the University, be currently enrolled and attending classes in a degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate program at WVSU. Within days of launch more than 130 applications for assistance came pouring in. While overcoming the immediate challenges posed by COVID-19 in order to finish delivery of courses for the spring 2020 semester, the University also began planning ahead for fall 2020 and beyond. The University temporarily modified its admissions requirements for the fall 2020 semester in order to give incoming students more time and flexibility in applying. The modifications to the standard admissions process include waiving the standardized test requirement (SAT and ACT) for freshman students applying for fall 2020. The University also gave greater flexibility to all students and schools unable to submit official transcripts by August 1, 2020. “These are unprecedented times, and we must act accordingly to ensure that all students who seek an education from West Virginia State University are able to do so,” said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins. “Our commitment to students has never been stronger, and these temporary modifications will ensure that we will continue to produce outstanding graduates who will go on to change every environment that they enter.” As this issue of STATE magazine was going to press, the University was planning for the fall 2020 semester, with the hope that classes would be delivered once again in person, although with modifications in place to ensure the safest environment for students, faculty and staff. Whatever the ultimate delivery method, the State family showed during the COVID-19 pandemic it can and will do whatever is necessary to make certain that learning continues. “I want to commend our entire campus for coming together and displaying incredible resolve in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Interim President Byers said. “Together, we ensured that quality instruction for our students remains our top priority during these unprecedented times.”

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New Academic Programs Fulfill University’s Mission


est Virginia State University’s (WVSU) mission is to “meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research,” and the University is fulfilling that mission through the addition of several new high-demand academic programs.

Launching in fall 2020, the University’s newest addition is the bachelor of science in nursing. “This program will fill a critical need in our state and nation for qualified nursing professionals,” said WVSU Interim President R. Charles Byers. “Nurses are in such high demand, this program goes hand in hand with achieving the University’s mission, and will provide a steady stream of highly trained graduates to fill the demands of the job market for years to come.” Employment of nurses is projected to grow over 15% through 2026; much faster than the national average for all occupations. Because of an aging population, a focus on preventive care, and growing rates of chronic conditions including diabetes and obesity, the growth in the nursing field will target bachelor’s degree prepared nurses such as those that will be produced by the University’s new program. Based on the age and make-up of the current workforce and the size of graduating nursing classes, a recent study estimated the nursing workforce will face a shortfall of approximately 193,000 nursing professionals nationally in the next five years.

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The nursing program has already secured clinical sites with Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) and has established partnerships with Thomas Health System, Family Care Health Center, Highland Hospital, Stonerise Healthcare and West Virginia Health Right. Also beginning in the fall of 2020, State is launching new academic programs that will prepare students for careers in the food and agriculture industries. Applications began being accepted in the spring for the 1890 Scholarship Program, which provides funding for undergraduate students majoring in plant and soil science, agribusiness and agricultural economics. Funded by Congress and administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, scholarships are being made available to eligible students majoring in one of the following options and concentrations: •

Bachelor of Science in Biology: Option in Plant and Soil Science – This option combines the fields of biology and chemistry with a practical understanding of crop and soil management. The program offers students technical knowledge in the areas of soils and fertilizers, pests and control procedures, and crop management.

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Concentration in Agribusiness – This concentration is designed for students interested in acquiring academic and experiential learning skills specifically related to the agribusiness sector. In addition to specialty courses in this area, such as economic biology, agricultural economics, agricultural marketing, agricultural issues and policy, and agricultural finance and trade, students will obtain a strong background in other areas of business, including accounting, management and business law. Bachelor of Arts in Economics: Concentration in Agricultural Economics – This concentration is designed for students who have an interest in obtaining academic and experiential learning skills specifically related to agricultural economics. Students take a broad range of economics courses in addition to four specialty courses: agricultural economics, agricultural finance and trade, agricultural issues and policy, and agricultural marketing.

“Part of our founding mission at West Virginia State University is to provide innovative teaching, research and outreach efforts in the agricultural sector, and these new programs will allow us to expand our efforts more directly into the classroom,” Interim President Byers said.

on a steady stream of programs established at the University in recent years that grew out of a demand to fill the needs of the state and national economy. In fall 2019, State added a master’s of science degree in computer science to help meet the demands of the fast-growing high-tech sector. The addition of the master’s degree in computer science was part of the University’s vision to expand STEAM offerings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that employment of computer and information technology occupations will grow 12% from 2014 to 2024. These occupations are expected to add about 488,500 new jobs by 2024, in part due to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data and more everyday items becoming connected to the internet. In recent years, State has also added new bachelor’s degree programs in chemical and civil engineering to meet the growing needs of the region for qualified engineers. Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, State began offering a four-year bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, building on the civil engineering program that had launched the previous year. “Since arriving at State, the creation of a four-year, bachelor’s degree program in engineering has been one of my top priorities,” said President Jenkins. “The need for such a program is clear, not only in the Kanawha Valley, but the State of West Virginia and the region.” According to the West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia is home to 140 different chemical-related companies that provide over 12,800 jobs to the state. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of engineers to grow 4% from 2014 to 2024. With the launch of its program in engineering, State became only the 10th 1890 land-grant university in the nation with such a program.

The new programs launching in fall 2020 build

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r. Barbara Liedl is a self-described “plant sex therapist.” Well, actually, not quite self-described.

“My dad gave me that descriptor,” the West Virginia State University (WVSU) research scientist says with a laugh. “To this day, he still introduces me that way to his friends. When I was in college, Dr. Ruth, the famous sex therapist, was really big. So the nickname just sort of stuck.” Specifically, Liedl has spent much of her career seeing evolution in action through cross breeding plants and researching reproductive barriers. Her work in plant breeding - first potatoes in graduate school, now tomatoes in her post doctoral work and professional career - has culminated in taking over the chair of the USDA Tomato Crop Germplasm Committee during the 2019 Tomato Breeders Roundtable. Liedl has spent her nearly two-decade career at State researching plant genetics in an attempt to provide West Virginia’s farmers with stronger, more disease-resistant lines of tomatoes that will not only help their bottom line in terms of crop varieties and sales, but also the state’s fruit and vegetable consumers. “That’s one of the things I’m most proud of, working with our state’s growers,” she says. “I want to help make sure our West Virginia farmers know what they’re doing.” Interestingly, Liedl had no ties to West Virginia before 12 | We s t V i r g i n i a S TAT E

settling in for her career at WVSU. She has, however, always been drawn to plants - and to science. Born in West Lafayette, Indiana, Liedl’s parents were skilled rose growers. She and her sister, both active in 4-H, racked up a string of awards for showing roses throughout their childhood. “At one point, we had 200 rose bushes,” she recalls. “So I was exposed to plants through that and through gardening with my grandmother. I was always into plants, the outdoors, camping, backpacking, canoeing, those sorts of things.” By the time she reached high school, and took higherlevel science classes, her path was set. “I knew then, when taking those junior high and high school science classes, that science was what I wanted to do, and I never waivered.” She spent time as an exchange student in New Zealand before attending college at Purdue University. There, she majored in horticulture and studied plant genetics and breeding. She followed her bachelor’s degree up with a master’s degree in plant breeding and a Ph.D. in horticulture, with a minor in plant genetics, from the University of Minnesota. She followed that up with postdoctoral work at Cornell University, where she studied reproductive barriers in tomatoes after years studying potatoes. “There was simply more information available about

The Doctor Is In

WVSU Research Scientist is a Skilled Plant Therapist

tomatoes,” she says, explaining one reason for the shift. “I found researching reproductive barriers fun and intellectually challenging.” She stayed at Cornell for six years, often taking a heavy role in project management when her supervisor was on two periods of maternity leave. “After running things during those times, I found it hard to give it back,” she says. “So I decided to move on and to run my own academic professional life.” She spent some time working in the biology department at Central College in Pella, Iowa, before an intriguing opportunity at WVSU presented itself. “I had wanted to be closer to my family, who’d settled in North Carolina, and the program at State was new,” she says. “There was great opportunity for growth.” It was the spring of 2001, not long after WVSU had regained its status as an 1890 land-grant university and was looking to rebuild its agricultural and environmental research program from scratch. “I saw an excitement about moving forward,” she said. “There was a shared vision, and I actually became the first research scientist for land-grant programs after the University got the 1890 funding back.” What surprised her most about State at the time was the openness to forging a path together. “They actually asked me what I wanted to work on,” she says. “That’s extremely rare. Generally, there are some confines, whether it’s because of a plan of work or stakeholder input or what have you. At State, I was able to set my own path.”

She understandably drew on her wide array of skills and past work, establishing a tomato plant-breeding program. She didn’t stop there, however. Over the years, Liedl has worked in small fruit production, cut flowers, hydroponic production, anaerobic digestion, insect research, and has been instrumental in outreach to West Virginia’s farmers, including assisting with the construction of high tunnels to extend the growing season into the fall and winter months. “It blows me away,” she says when looking back on the diverse career she’s forged at State. “I have used every skill I was ever trained in since undergrad. I’ve really come to appreciate that strong foundation I had.” It’s a foundation she hopes to create for the Yellow Jackets of today. “I hope to give our students at State that same sense of a strong foundation. You can add on all you want, but you need that solid foundation. Students are the reason I stay in higher education. If I have any impact, I want it to be helping our students realize just how good they are.” With research space in the campus greenhouse and a brand-new lab in the recently renovated Integrated Research and Extension Building, Dr. Barbara Liedl will be providing State students with a solid foundation for years to come.

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Former Research Farm Welcomed Back into State Family

An early piece of West Virginia State University (WVSU) history is once again part of the Yellow Jacket Nation. In 2019, the University and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) signed a land lease to support agricultural research at Lakin Farm in Mason County. Once under the control and management of State, the new agreement marks the first time the University will have a research presence on the farm in more than 60 years. “Having again a presence at Lakin Farm is truly a form of homecoming for WVSU," said Dr.

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Jose Ulises Toledo, assistant vice president for research. "The ongoing land lease agreement with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture is allowing our research scientists and students, engaged in agricultural research, to enrich their research activities and capabilities on the same land that former Yellow Jackets worked and studied on decades ago.� Re-establishing a research presence at Lakin Farm is the latest chapter in a story dating back to the 1940s.

The 1,200-acre farm, located near Point Pleasant, West Virginia, was transferred to what was then West Virginia State College, under the leadership of President John W. Davis and Director of Agriculture J.J. Mark, by the West Virginia Board of Control and the State Board of Education in 1946. The purpose was to promote greater efficiency in the production of farm foods. “I believe the arrangement for the operation of the State Farm at Lakin, West Virginia, by West Virginia State College should provide the best opportunity in any of our institutions for modern training programs in productive agriculture,” James C. Evans, assistant civilian aide to the U.S. Secretary of War, said in a letter dated April 9, 1946. Evans was an administrator and teacher at State in the 1930s before transitioning to an administrative career in Washington, D.C. During its decade under State's control, Lakin Farm was an ample producer of poultry, eggs, milk, veal, beef, pork, and fruits and vegetables including corn, tomatoes, watermelons, greens, potatoes and turnips. At the time of the initial agreement, the farm had upwards of 100 head of dairy cattle. In addition to production, the site was also used by students and faculty for scientific research, laboratory, experimental, productive and other school purposes. State maintained the farm until losing its status as an 1890 Land-Grant Institution in the 1950s and, by virtue, also ceasing its agricultural programs. The farm was then owned by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services before being transferred to the WVDA in 1976. When the WVDA reached out to the University to gauge interest in once again conducting research on the farm, Dr. Toledo jumped at the chance to bring a piece of WVSU history back into the fold. The University has not had an on-campus farm since the 1950s, so the Lakin Farm site was desirable both in terms of its location and soil quality. Scientists and students began working at the farm last year on a three-acre tract of land. Per the new lease agreement, the farm is serving as a demonstration site for the University’s Agricultural and Environmental Research Station, specifically projects that study the genetic improvement of vegetable crops. Drs. Umesh K. Reddy and Padma Nimmakayala, for instance, are trialing pepper varieties, studying their growth patterns in the state’s climate and levels of capsaicin, a pepper component having proven pain-relief benefits. They are also studying the health benefits of the amino acid citrulline in watermelons. The goal is not only to use genetic breeding to create stronger, more disease-resistant crops, but also to study functional food aspects and determine those varieties which grow best in West Virginia’s climate. Such work benefits both the state’s agricultural producers - providing them additional crop options and revenue - as well as consumers who will be able to literally reap the benefits of harvest. A folder of paperwork in the University’s archives provides a rich, historic glimpse at State’s original management of Lakin Farm - a folder that will soon have plenty more information to record. V o l u m e 8 : 2 0 2 0 | 15

April 8, 2021

Honoring Appalachian PoweR Judge BookeR T. & ATTORNEY GLORIA M. STEPHENS Debby WeinStein

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West Virginia State University and the WVSU Foundation thank the honorees, supporters and community partners for their understanding and support when the 2020 Black & Gold Gala was canceled in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. We look forward to recognizing our distinguished honorees at the rescheduled Black & Gold Gala in 2021. A special thanks to the sponsors and patrons who graciously allowed us to keep the funds they had contributed: Encova Insurance

Astorg Auto

James R. Buchanan

D. Stephen & Diane H. Walker

AXA Advisors

Assured Partners

Appalachian Power

George H. Greene

Doug Smoot


Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs

Alan McVey

Pamela Carter Bailey & Glasser, LLP

Jennifer Herrald

Patricia Schumann Cynthia Rakes

Mountain State Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr. John Magan

Mr. and Mrs. L. Newton Thomas

E. Gail Pitchford

United Bank

Nate Burton

USI/Travelers Insurance

Larry Rowe

Ghareeb Dental Group

WVSU Research & Development Corporation

Leighann Davidson

Kalaskey Orthodontics

Dougherty Company

DiTrapano, Barrett & DiPiero


Reginia Lipscomb

Taunja Willis Miller

Gray Griffith & Mays. a.c. James F. Humphreys & Associates Silling Associates Dr. Michael A. Harpold Mr. and Mrs. W. Kent Carper

J.T. Lane

James and Anna Payne Buckingham Strategic Wealth

Thanks to the generosity of these organizations and individuals, a portion of the proceeds from the 2020 Black & Gold Gala was donated to the WVSU Emergency Assistance Fund to assist students most affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.

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Estate of Judge Damon J. Keith Makes Significant Gift to University Scholarship Fund The estate of U.S. District Court Judge Damon J. Keith has made a $100,000 bequest to an endowed scholarship fund at West Virginia State University (WVSU) that was established in honor of the late justice. Keith, who passed away in April 2019, was a 1943 graduate of what was then West Virginia State College. He served more than five decades on the federal bench, first as a U.S. District Court judge and later on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Following graduation from State, Keith would go on to graduate from the Howard University Law School in 1949 and the Wayne State University Law School in 1956. As a member of the federal judiciary, Keith stood as a courageous defender of the constitutional and civil rights of all people. In United States v. Sinclair, commonly referred to as “the Keith Decision,” the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Judge Keith's landmark ruling prohibiting President Richard Nixon and the federal government from engaging in warrantless wiretapping in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In 2013, WVSU broke ground on a new residence hall on campus to be named in honor of Keith, the Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall. The endowed scholarship fund established in Keith’s honor is designed for Detroit area public school students who demonstrate academic achievement, as well as a commitment to leadership and service to humanity.

Health Science Program Named one of the Nation’s Best West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) online bachelor’s in health science degree program has been recognized as one of the best in the country by WVSU was listed as the No. 23 ranked program in the country by the online service. The 2020 rankings were calculated through a scoring system that included student engagement, potential

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return on investment, and third party evaluations. analyzed 327 programs, on a scale of 0 to 100, with 41 institutions making it to the final list. provides research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs. The website offers guides which include the best degree programs as well as information about financial aid, internships and even study strategies. For more information, visit

State, University of Charleston Join to Offer Pharmacy Degree West Virginia State University (WVSU) and the University of Charleston (UC) School of Pharmacy have signed an affiliation agreement to offer a dual degree, seven-year Doctor of Pharmacy program. Under the joint agreement, students will complete the three-year undergraduate program in pre-pharmacy at WVSU and then successfully matriculate into the UC School of Pharmacy. After completion of the first year of the professional curriculum at the School of Pharmacy at UC, the students will return to WVSU for graduation, during which they will receive a bachelor’s degree in either chemistry or biology. The students will then spend the next three years completing the professional curriculum of the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The agreement, known as “The 3 + 4 Charleston Dual Degree Program in Pharmacy,” will be a pre-pharmacy program that will give the students the opportunity to complete their degree in two phases: Phase I consists of three years of undergraduate education at WVSU, and Phase II consists of four years of pharmacy education at the UC School of Pharmacy.

State, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Sign 2+2 Agreement

West Virginia State University Honored for Commitment to Diversity by Minority Access, Inc.

West Virginia State University (WVSU) and Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College (SWVCTC) have signed a memorandum of understanding enabling students who complete a two-year associate degree at SWVCTC in biology or chemistry to continue their education into a four-year program at WVSU. Beginning with the spring 2020 semester, SWVCTC students who complete a twoyear associate degree in biology or chemistry will be able to continue their education at WVSU and have their prior coursework recognized, thus ensuring quicker completion of a bachelor’s degree. Commonly referred to as a 2+2 agreement, credits from a two-year associate’s degree are counted toward completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College serves communities in the coalfields of West Virginia.

West Virginia State University (WVSU) has been honored by Minority Access, Inc., as an institution committed to diversity. The award honors WVSU’s commitment to enriching the lives of students and contributing to the strength of our nation, stressing that diversity is essential - indispensable - to providing a good education to anyone who expects to live and work in the United States or any place where they will work with, buy from, sell to, serve or live with a diverse population. Four WVSU students presented their work during the conference’s undergraduate student research competition. Chinyere Ugwuanyi, Fatima Irfan, Ja’Keshia Peterson and Ky’Achia Atkins shared their hands-on, experiential research projects with other student researchers from across the nation. Minority Access, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that assists academic institutions, government and private agencies, and corporations in diversifying their campuses and work sites.

Students Win Green Chemistry Award from American Chemical Society The student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) at West Virginia State University (WVSU) has received a Green Chemistry Student Chapter Award, as well as a Commendable Chapter rating, for the 10th consecutive year from the ACS Green Chemistry Institute. The group of more than 20 students is one of the most active student organizations on campus, and has been praised for its outreach and educational efforts promoting chemistry to area youths. Student participants regularly visit schools in the Kanawha Valley to teach science to students in elementary and middle schools. They also work to help host numerous STEM-related activities on the WVSU campus. The Green Chemistry Award has become a sought after, yet elusive, accolade for many ACS student chapters. As a result of receiving the recognition, WVSU’s student chapter is invited to present on their green chemistry activities at the ACS National Meeting, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Health Sciences and Technology Academy Celebrates 25th Anniversary The Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA), a youth mentoring program that helps high school students enter and succeed in college, marked its 25th anniversary milestone in 2019. The one-of-a-kind mentoring program focuses largely on encouraging students toward health and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees. HSTA marshals the efforts of hundreds of mentors, teachers, community members, highereducation faculty and staff to help participants successfully face social and financial challenges and prepare academically for college. HSTA increases the number of African-American and other underrepresented students in West Virginia, who pursue degrees in health sciences and STEM majors, thereby increasing the number of health practitioners and advocates in the medically underserved communities of West Virginia. In 2019, there were 88 students enrolled in the program from all counties of the state.

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University Designated a Tree Campus USA® by National Arbor Day Foundation West Virginia State University (WVSU) has received its sixth consecutive designation as a Tree Campus USA® from the National Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management in 2019. The University plans to build upon the designation by launching a campus arboretum in 2020. The Tree Campus USA® program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. WVSU achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and a student service-learning project. WVSU became the first institution in the state to receive Tree Campus USA® designation for its tree care efforts in 2014.

State Student-Athletes Excel in the Classroom During Fall 2019 Semester West Virginia State University student-athletes earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.1 for the third consecutive semester in fall 2019. They combined for a 3.12 GPA during the fall 2019 term and set a new department record with 153 student-athletes achieving a 3.0 GPA or higher. All of the hard work put in by the student-athletes, faculty, and athletics staff paid off with 9-of-11 teams earning a combined 3.0 GPA or better: • Women's Soccer and Softball each earned a 3.4 GPA. • Women's Tennis, Volleyball, Women's Cross Country, and Men's Golf each posted a 3.3 GPA. • Baseball achieved a 3.2 GPA as a team. • Both Men's Tennis and Women's Basketball produced a 3.0 GPA. • Forty-three football players earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. There were 34 Yellow Jackets this semester that made perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

University and WVDEP to Work on Groundwater Pollution

Athletics Breaks Ground on Baseball and Softball Turf project West Virginia State University (WVSU) Athletic Director Nate Burton announced the start of a privately-funded $500,000 synthetic turf project in early 2020. The project includes new turf surfaces for the infield of Calvin L. Bailey Field and the outfield of Lady Jackets Field. The project is considered the first stage of an even greater plan to improve all of the playing surfaces located on the campus of West Virginia State University. Future projects to install synthetic turf at Lakin Field and resurface Mills Tennis Courts will be part of the next stage in this ambitious venture by WVSU Athletics.

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West Virginia State University (WVSU) has entered into an agreement with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) to conduct research activities relating to groundwater quality and remediation. The agreement will establish a protocol, executive research methods and publishing of results relating to the protection of West Virginia groundwater from contamination of spilled petroleum products. Research has shown groundwater quality has been degraded throughout West Virginia as a result of mining and drilling, and improper disposal of domestic and industrial wastes. As these chemicals can be harmful to health, many clean-up techniques have been developed. However, each technique has its own disadvantage, including potential carcinogenic factors, as well as impacting blood production, the lymphatic system and the central nervous system. Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylene, collectively known as BTEX, are the major petroleum pollutants in West Virginia. Phytoremediation is a process that uses plants to remove, transfer, stabilize or destroy contaminants in soil and groundwater. The project includes $51,838 in funding to work on phytoremediation of BTEX. The agreement is administered through the WVDEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management Groundwater Program and the WVSU Department of Biology. Experimental procedures will focus on plant and soil preparation, determination of BTEX in soil and plant samples, and depletion of BTEX in soils.

The WVSU Research & Development Corporation is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Land-Grant Status at State.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the reestablishment of State’s status as an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, one of only 19 in the nation. Through innovative extension programs, agricultural research initiatives, and youth STEM outreach efforts, we are fulfilling our research, teaching and extension mission and reaching thousands of residents in all 55 West Virginia counties.

Katherine Johnson, ’37 Katherine Johnson, ’37, (Mathematics & French) retired NASA mathematician whose story was highlighted in “Hidden Figures,” turned 101 years old August 26, 2019. In June of 2019, the street outside of NASA’s headquarters was renamed “Hidden Figures Way” to honor Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson for being pioneers and playing a key role in helping NASA successfully launch flights into space, and to the moon, in the 1960s. Johnson worked as a teacher for 15 years, where she focused on the fields of math and science. An endowed scholarship has been established at West Virginia State University to assist young women who are pursuing a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Johnson died peacefully in her sleep on Feb. 24, 2020, at the Hidenwood Retirement Community, Newport News, Virginia.

Joseph E. Turner, ’61 Joseph E. Turner, ’61, (Mathematics & Physics) has been recognized by the Aviation Wall of Valor for his accomplishments as a decorated pilot. Some of those accomplishments include; after graduating, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Signal Corps and reported to Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he completed flight school and was assigned to the twin-engine turbo de Havilland Canada Army Caribou (CV-2B). Turner served two deployments in Vietnam, with 2,100 flight hours. He left the Army in 1970, joining the Reserves, moving to Atlanta and taking a job as a pilot for Delta Airlines. Turner balanced two jobs well, flying C-130 cargo planes and then jumbo jets across the country for Delta, while moving up the ranks in the Army. In 1992 he was named the vice director of the Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications and Computers in the Pentagon, a position which was the second highest in the Army Signal Corps in the Defense Department. Turner resides in California with his wife Norma. He retired in 1999 as a major general (two stars), with 38 years in the military, and 29 years with Delta.

Betty Spencer, ’67 Betty Cardwell Spencer, ’67, (Elementary Education) was inducted into the 2019 West Virginia Drag Racers Hall of Fame. Spencer was a drag racing queen with over 20 trophies from her races on the Winfield, West Virginia strip. Spencer recently shared photos and stories of her drag strip days, when she was the guest speaker at the “The Block,” which is a series presenting perspectives of AfricanAmerican life and a reflections of success due to their community during early childhood to adult. Betty began teaching at the age of 21, where she remained employed for over 43 years. She was also a school principal and served in that capacity for 32 years.

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Beverly A. Shahan, ’78 Beverly A. Shahan, ’78, and David Shahan celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their home with family and friends. The two were married on July 26, 1969, in St. Albans, at the Grace Baptist Temple. David and Beverly currently reside in Hedgesville, West Virginia. The couple have two children, Jessica and Nicholas, and one granddaughter, Skyler. David finished his education at the then West Virginia State College and Marshall University College of Graduate Studies. He served as a teacher, coach and principal in public education as well as an administrator in higher education. Beverly completed her education at State and served as an elementary and middle school teacher in public education.

Bradley G. Rice, ’86 Bradley G. Rice, ’86, (Communications) a seasoned news photographer at WCHS/WVAH-TV, was honored as a recipient of the West Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given annually by the Associated Press Broadcasters to an individual in West Virginia broadcasting for at least 20 years, who has made significant contributions to news reporting management or education in the industry. Rice, who has worked at the station in Charleston for 25 years, started his career at West Virginia Public Broadcasting as a production assistant in 1989 and made the move to WCHS four years later, when the ABC affiliate hired him as a news photographer.

Byard M. "Matt" Coleman, ’87 Byard M. "Matt" Coleman, ’87, (Business) was appointed to the Charleston Area Alliance Board of Directors. The Charleston Area Alliance’s mission is “We work to create a more vibrant community and prosperous economy. The Charleston Area Alliance is focused on local business growth, job creation, innovation and attracting industry to our region and fostering an enhanced quality of life for all.” In 1993, he and his wife, Robbie, started Office & Commercial Cleaning-WV, LLC. Coleman also helped start Pinnacle Supply, LLC, a janitorial supply and packaging company that serves Southern West Virginia. He is a partner in VistaScrub Window Cleaning and Darnold & Lyons Heating & Cooling.

Mark W. Kelley, Esq., ’88 Mark W. Kelley, Esq. ’88, (Political Science) and his love of 12 years, surprised their guests, who thought they were attending Judge Lera VanMeter’s 50th birthday party, with a wedding. The happy couple married in May of 2019 in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Attorney Kelley is a member of the firm, Ray, Winton & Kelley. He serves as Past Chair of the Board of Directors for WVSU’s Foundation and as Vice Chair of WVSU’s Board of Governors.

Christopher Jackson, ’01 and Qwanza Jackson, ’05 Christopher Jackson, ’01, (Communications) married Qwanza Jackson, (Social Work) ’05, at the Royalton White Sands Montego Bay Beach, during the summer of 2019. They welcomed their second son, Christian, into the world in April 2020. Jackson is the Program Coordinator of Student Activities and Greek Life at WVSU and has been employed with the University for almost 17 years.

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Col. Bryan W. Preece, ’97 Col. Bryan W. Preece, ’97, (History) assumed command of the 130th Airlift Wing (AW) from Col. Johnny M. Ryan during a formal change of command ceremony held May 4, 2019, at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, West Virginia. Preece enlisted the 130th AW in 1993 as an Air Transportation Specialist. In 1999, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from WVSU. In addition to serving as operations group commander, Preece has served as the Chief of Current Operations, Instructor Pilot, Chief Training, as well as deputy commander of the 130th Maintenance Group. Preece has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Freedom Sentinel, Coronet Oak (Puerto Rico), and Joint Enterprise (Germany). Preece is a Command Pilot with over 4,000 military flying hours. Preece is the 10th commander in the 130th Airlift Wing's 64-year history.

Matthew A. Browning, ’04 Matthew A. Browning, ’04, (Communications), was named the New River Gorge Creative-in-Residence at Lafayette Flats for the month of December 2019. Browning spent four weeks living in Fayetteville and working on a new novel. He has two other books slated for release in 2020, including “Bookstore Explorer: West Virginia,” which is a celebration of the state’s independent bookstores, and “Chicks and the City,” a children’s picture book about urban farming. Browning is Director of Communications for West Virginia State University Extension and has been employed with State for over 17 years.

Eric L. Jackson, ’05 Eric L. Jackson, ’05, (English), has been appointed Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President for Title III Programs, serving in the Office of the President under Interim President R. Charles Byers, Ph.D. Jackson holds a bachelor’s degree in English from WVSU, as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration, and has worked in administrative roles at WVSU for 12 years.

Hollis T. Lewis II, ’05 Hollis T. Lewis II, ’05, (Criminal Justice) was sworn in as a Kanawha County magistrate in April 2019, to complete the unexpired term of retiring magistrate Kim Aaron. He was appointed by Judge Joanna Tabit and was the first African American to serve as a magistrate or circuit judge in Kanawha County. Lewis was defeated in the June 2020 election when seeking a full term on the bench.

Megan L. Sheets, ’10 Megan L. Sheets, ’10 and ’14, (Communications & Media Studies) and her husband, Jonathan Searls, ’10, welcomed their first son, Nolan, in March of 2018 and their second son, Cameron, in December 2019. Sheets is the Digital Marketing Specialist at WVSU in the Communications and Marketing Office.

LOST ALUMNI 2 4 | We s t V i r g i n i a S TAT E

We need your help in identifying lost alumni. If you know of any alumni who are not receiving our mailings, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at (304) 766.3387 or

Dr. Leighann Davidson, ’11 Leighann Davidson, ’11 and ’13, (Criminal Justice) completed her doctoral degree program through Marshall University in September 2019. Davidson serves as the chair of the Criminal Justice department at WVSU.

Zachary D. Lambert, ’14 Zach Lambert, ’14, (Health Science) proposed to his girlfriend, Mara Regling, in July 2019. The couple married on June 6, 2020, at Summersville Lake. During his time at WVSU, Lambert played football and focused on furthering his education to become an RN. He is now working at CAMC Memorial in Charleston, West Virginia.

Lois Smith Capers, ’16 Lois Capers, ’16, (Communications) and her husband, Malcolm Capers, celebrated the birth of their first child, Naomi, on Aug. 22, 2019. The Capers now reside in Washington, D.C., where Malcolm works for the United States Army, in the Pentagon.

Erica R. Kitchen, ’18 Erica R. Kitchen, ’18, (English) made her publishing debut with a collection of short stories, “Sampler Box: Near Death & Other Works.” “I’m from Logan County, and I’ve always been here, basically,” Kitchen said. The 24-year old began writing short stories, often with a twist, at the age of 11. About the title of the book, Kitchen said, “I would tell a potential reader that you will find something that you like in it. When I was in the process of selecting what stories to go in there, I ended up coming up with the name ‘Sampler Box’ because there’s no one thread that goes through it. There’s no underlying theme that’s present in every single story. So to the reader who wants to check it out, you will find something that you like in there. I promise you that.”

ALUMNI NEWS SUBMISSION GUIDELINES When submitting information for possible inclusion in Alumni News, please include your full name and the year you graduated from West Virginia State University. Include a brief description of your recent accomplishment or recognition. When submitting a photo for consideration, it must be at least 300 dpi. Send your information for consideration to WVSU Alumni Relations, 200 East Hall, PO Box 1000, Institute, WV 25112. or email Volume 8: 2020 | 25

2019 Life Members

This list includes members who completed their Life Memberships between October 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019. Although we have done everything possible to present a full list of new Life Members for this period, we apologize should there be any omissions or errors. Please contact the Alumni Relations Office for corrections. Warren Anderson


Nona Black


Jeannen-Michelle Billups Pridgeon Corey Brown

Jeri Dickerson Rufus Erwin

1998 2005



Corlista Hardman


Shirley Harris Philemon Hill

Robert Johnson

Enjoy all the benefits of being an alumnus on an annual basis for $25 per year, our easiest and most convenient way to contribute to the WVSU National Alumni Association! Membership dues cover the fiscal year September 1, 2020-August 31, 2021. We look forward to your continued support. Visit http:// for more information on alumni dues and lifetime membership.


Tamura Gordon Singleton George Greene

Join the WVSU National Alumni Association!

1947 1949 1969

WVSU National Alumni Association Executive Officers President

Dr. Lateef Y. Saffore, ’96

Immediate Past President Mr. Charles Boddy, ’70

President Emeritus


Ms. Andrea Robinson, ’77

Financial Secretary

Mr. James Buchanan, ’92



Dr. Ann Brothers Smith, ’64


Mrs. Camille ShipmanMcQueen, ’96

Mr. Everett L. Person, ’68

Joshua Means


Second Vice President

Ms. YLonne Fullen Swails, ’72

Clarence Mosely


Executive Secretary

Ms. Barbara Jean Price, ’68


Ms. Carol Parham-Bell, ’79

Carolyn Lacye Dabney Martee Luke

Hazel Mahone

Bertlela Montgomery Trina Newell

Michelle Owens John Reppert

Coleman Richardson Patricia Schumann

Quewanncoii Stephens

1977 FOU

1976 1988 1995 1981 2009


Willie Taylor


Linda White


Margretta Vance

* (FOU) Friend of University 2 6 | We s t V i r g i n i a S TAT E


First Vice President

Mr. Gregory Wilson, ’88

Mrs. Belinda K. Fuller, ’06 Ms. Talisha Bradley, ’96

Ms. Jamila A. Price, ’98

Eastern Director

Southern Director

Mid-West Director Far-West Director

The 25th National Alumni Association Conference has been rescheduled for April 2021.

Please check the connect. website for the latest news and updates.

For complete information about events for WVSU Alumni and friends, please visit, contact Alumni Relations at (304) 766-5259 or

Vo l u m e 8 : 2 0 2 0 | 27

January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson, ’37

Melissa D. Cisco, ’59

Calvin L. Bailey, ’72

Louise E. Hill, ’38

Constance Samuel Wilcher, ’59

Dewayne M. Freeman, ’73

Damon J. Keith, ’43

Nazarean Mayes, ’60

John A. Kelly, Jr., ’73

William M. Eley, Jr. ’49

Ian K. Pearis, ’60

Gail A. Mosby, ’73

Hughie E. Mills, ’49

Lt. Col. (Ret) Ronald McLeod, ’61

John L. Davidson, III, ’74

Erskine Boazman, ’50

Samuel W. Lynch, ’61

Bob T. Anderson, ’75

Charles “Chuck” Stewart, ’50

John F. Byers, ’62

Marvin Maurice Mann, ’75

Mary Dean Alexander Kyle, ’51

Joanna Craigo, ’64

Harvey A. Chester, ’78

Nicholas Earl Kyle

Shirley Gilispie Giles, ’64

Edgar W. Randall, ’79

Josie S. Battle. ’52

Orville Ramon "Butch" Ferguson, Jr., ’64

Willie J. Stephens, ’84

Selena B. Cabbell, ’52

Gloria Jean Deberry, ’65

Judith B. Dumont, ’85

Anthony W. Rogers, ’52

Doughtry "Doc" Long, ’65

James A. Ross, ’88

George M. France, III, ’53

Wiley Ann Ricard Dickerson, ’65

John A. Parsons, ’91

Aurora Lou Cooke Trigg, ’53

Tony G. Smedley, ’65

Mark A. Holmes, ’95

Walter T. Flournoy, ’54

Karen Bryant Johnson, ’66

Beverly Miller, ’98

Geneva Lacewell Kent, ’54

Richard "Rock" Bridges, ’66

Holly L. Gillenwater, ’06

Violet Scruggs Laney, ’54

Wallace Cheek, ’66

Cleo Bushnell Knight

Mattie G. Taylor, ’54

Charles "Preckey" Madison, ’66

Cathy Jane Casto

Joseph D. Nixon Jr., ’56

Andrew Simpkins, ’66

Ida R. Gulliver

Virginia K. Lloyd, ’57

Frank C. Wainwright, ’66

Virgie Foster Johnson

Manuel T. Miller, ’57

Sylvia Harris Scales, ’67

Nicholas Earl Kyle

Jeanette Roberts Washington, ’57

Martha Baker "Wiggy" Slater, ’67

Debra Ann Chandler Lipscomb

Fred Hodo, ’58

William "Rookie" Clark, ’70

Andrew Kenton Williams

PO Box 1000 Institute, WV 25112-1000

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West Virginia State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution and does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex/gender, national origin, ancestry, age, blindness, disability, pregnancy, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status or other category that is protected under federal, state, or local anti-discrimination laws as protected characteristics.

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