Dr. Nicole Pride

INSTITUTE, W.VA – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Board of Governors has chosen Dr. Nicole Pride to become the 12th president of the University.

Pride currently serves as the vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

“I am excited to join West Virginia State University. it is an institution with such a rich history, and I look forward to working with all the members of the State family to continue to advance its land-grant mission,” said Pride. “The opportunities for the University in the years ahead to continue to meet the economic development and prosperity needs of the state and region are immense and I am honored to be selected to lead this growth.”

Pride began her career in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and left industry to begin her service in higher education at North Carolina A&T State University, where she served as principal liaison and senior adviser to the chancellor, a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, and provided strategic and operational support for internal and external constituencies.

Pride also served as the university’s chief of staff and chief communications officer, responsible for communications, marketing, branding, media and public relations and crisis communications. Her work defined the university’s brand in the state, nation and global marketplace, and her successes track with the institutions arrival as the largest historically black university in the nation.

Prior to joining North Carolina A&T State University, Pride served as vice president for development and communications for Child Care Services Association in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

She also served in numerous capacities at IBM including marketing program manager, corporate learning division and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs for nearly a decade. In addition to her professional appointments, Pride has served on numerous boards and committees, and her research interests are in the areas of board governance and leadership.

Her awards and honors include the Triad Business journal’s 2018 Outstanding Women in Business award and the PR News’ 2017 cohort of Top Women in Public Relations in the nation.

She earned bachelor’s degrees in business management and economics from North Carolina State University, a master’s in corporate and public communications from Seton Hall University, and a doctorate in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University.

An Orange, New Jersey native, Pride is mother to grown sons, Turner Jr. and Todd, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

WVSU has been searching for its 12th president, since the announcement that former President Anthony L. Jenkins was leaving to become President of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. R. Charles Byers has served as interim president of the University since May 16.

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About West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which as evolved into fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvsu.edu.

INSTITUTE, W.VA. – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Presidential Search Committee has selected three higher education leaders as the finalists to become the 12th president of the University.

Dr. Nicole Pride, vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Dr. Patricia Ramsey, senior executive fellow at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; and Dr. Rodney Smith, president and CEO of the University of The Bahamas, have been invited to campus next week to meet with constituent groups.

The meetings with students, faculty, staff and community leaders will take place in the James C. Wilson University Union and will follow state and CDC social distancing and safety guidelines for events. The meeting will also be available virtually via Zoom.

WVSU has been searching for its 12th president, since the announcement that former President Anthony L. Jenkins was leaving to become President of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. R. Charles Byers has served as interim president of the University since May 16th.

MEET THE FINALISTS

Dr. Nicole Pride began her career in the corporate and non-profit sectors, and left industry to begin her service in higher education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she served as principal liaison and senior advisor to the chancellor, a member of the chancellor’s executive cabinet, and provided strategic and operational support for internal and extent constituencies. Pride has held C-Suite positions in University Advancement and the Office of the Chancellor, and has the distinction of holding three senior-level positions, with increasing responsibility within eight years of service.

She has utilized her diverse skillset to engineer the strategy to overhaul the university’s brand perception among prospective and current students, parents, alumni, potential donors, research partners, and peer institutions; raise funds; enhance operational excellence; build diverse teams; increase student success; mitigate crises; and advance mission-driven organizational change.

Pride also served as the university’s chief of staff and chief communications officer, responsible for communications, marketing, branding, media and public relations and crisis communications. Her work defined the university’s brand in the state, nation and global marketplace, and her successes track with the institutions arrival as the largest historically black university in the nation.

Pride now serves as vice provost for academic strategy and operations at North Carolina A&T State University, where she also holds a faculty appointment. Prior to joining the university, Pride served as vice president for development and communications for Child Care Services Association in Chapel Hill, N.C. She also served in numerous capacities at IBM including marketing program manager, corporate learning division and manager of corporate community relations and public affairs for nearly a decade. In addition to her professional appointments, Pride has served on numerous boards and committees, and her research interests are in the areas of board governance and leadership.

Her awards and honors include the Triad Business Journal’s 2018 Outstanding Women in Business award and the PR News’ 2017 cohort of Top Women in Public Relations in the nation — the prestigious award that recognizes women at the forefront of public relations who have made bold advances in developing brand messages, and protecting and building brand reputations among other things.

An Orange, New Jersey native, Pride lives and plays in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. She earned bachelor’s degrees in business management and economics from North Carolina State University, a master’s in corporate and public communications from Seton Hall University, and a doctorate in leadership studies from North Carolina A&T State University. She is mother to grown sons, Turner Jr. and Todd, and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dr. Patricia Ramsey is a visionary leader and a scholar with a deep commitment to excellence and a passion for making a difference, with the distinction of being named a “National Role Model” by Minority Access, Inc.

Dr. Ramsey currently serves as a Senior Executive Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and formerly served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at both Lincoln and Bowie State universities. Dr. Ramsey also served as Interim President at Bowie State University, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Shaw University and Associate Vice President for Development (fundraising) at Norfolk State University. Dr. Ramsey has a wealth of knowledge regarding higher education practice; she serves as an accreditation evaluator, where she has served on visiting teams evaluating stand-alone institutions, institutions in small systems, institutions in the largest university system in mainland USA, as well as institutions in the University System of Puerto Rico. She is currently serving a three-year term on the appeals panel of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as well as a three-year term on the Middle States Regional Council of the College Board. Dr. Ramsey has represented HBCUs from the state house to the halls of Congress.

In addition to her impact in the United States and its territories, Dr. Ramsey has impacted higher education on the continents of Europe and Africa. In Europe, she provided oversight for Bowie State University’s graduate programs on the military base in Heidelberg, Germany, where she won front-page headlines in the military news for her bold position in allowing a 5 year old military dependent to stand proxy to receive the master’s degree for deployed soldiers. On the continent of Africa, Dr. Ramsey was one of four provosts in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) delegation to Liberia, where she served in an education advisory capacity to the country’s president, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. In Nigeria, Dr. Ramsey was instrumental in the success of a biotechnology training partnership and conducted a leadership workshop for the administration of Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Dr. Ramsey is a seasoned strategist and action-oriented leader with a strong skill of quickly implementing initiatives that yield positive outcomes. She negotiated a $1.3 million award after only three months as a fundraising officer at Norfolk State; she developed the infrastructure that resulted in $10 million in grants and contracts in less than two years at Shaw University; she led the university management team in a focused effort to tie budget and planning, within one month of her arrival at Bowie State and within six months at Lincoln, she cultivated a relationship with a new industry partner that resulted in a memorandum of understanding to provide scholarships, internships, and endowed professorships.

A biologist, by training, Dr. Ramsey has a research interest in the biological activity of plants used in folklore and has collected 110 species of Agave in the Sonoran Desert and traveled a 450-mile span of highway collecting Sapium sebiferum (popcorn tree) leaves in the southeastern United States. Dr. Ramsey earned the Master of Science in Botany from Howard University, the Master of Arts in Biology from Harvard University and the Doctor of Philosophy in Biology from Georgetown University. Dr. Ramsey obtained her undergraduate degree from Norfolk State University, where she earned the Bachelor of Science in Biology Education. Dr. Ramsey completed leadership programs in the Millennium Leadership Institute, Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM), and the CIVIC Leadership Institute.

Dr. Ramsey is married to Dr. Roscoe Ramsey Jr, a physician and a minister; they have three adult children.

Dr. Rodney Smith has served in several senior administrative leadership positions in higher education, including President of a public institution of higher education, President of a national multi-campus University system, and program coordinator of Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM). Dr. Smith also served in several vice president positions, including student affairs, administrative services, and planning. He also served as director of strategic planning, dean of the graduate college and professor in a PhD. Program in Educational Management. Dr. Smith has taught graduate courses in Educational Research and Strategy and Strategic Planning. He is currently President and CEO of University of The Bahamas; and before that, served as Administrative Vice President at Hampton University, with responsibility for strategic planning, institutional effectiveness, quality service training programmes, assessment of all academic and non-academic programs, university athletics (Division 1, NCAA), Internal Auditor and the Office of Institutional Research, (Operations Analysis and Research), and all aspects of Enrollment Management (offices of Admissions, Financial Aid and Scholarships, and Registrar).

Dr. Smith received his doctorate of education degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in the area of Administration, Planning and Social Policy. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education with a Concentration in International Development from Harvard University, a Master of Arts degree from Fisk University in Clinical/Educational Psychology, and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He is the recipient of the 2016 JCN International Person of the Year Award, and has been inducted into Chi Alpha Epsilon Academic Honor Society, Alpha Chi Chapter; Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society; and Delta Mu Delta, National Honor Society in Business Administration. Dr. Smith has participated in several professional development institutes, including the Millennium Leadership Institute (MLI) of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), Harvard’s Institute for Educational Management (IEM), the Harvard Institute for New Presidents, Harvard Seminar on Institutional Advancement, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Emergency Management Institute for Emergency Management Planning, Preparedness, Training and Education for Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Smith has served as trustee, chair and member of several national and international boards, associations and government committees; including, member of the Board of Directors for AASCU, member of the American Council on Education (ACE), New Jersey Department of Education Board of Examiners, New Jersey Presidents’ Council, National Association of Student Affairs Administrators, Virginia State Graduate Deans Council, Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, Hackensack Medical University Foundation, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (Chair of the Committee on Lifelong Learning and Higher Education), National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, The Bahamas National Trust, The National Advisory Council on Education, and the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas (NAECOB). As appointed Chair, he has led several successful initiatives, including the African-American Jewish Community Relations Symposia at Hampton University, 100 Templeton Foundation Character Building Colleges, and the New Jersey United Nations Day Celebrations Committee in New Jersey. Dr. Smith is the spouse of Dr. Christina C. Smith, an academic administrator and former dean. They have two grown children – Samantha, a practicing physician in Blacksburg, Virginia; and Sean, a luxury real estate developer in Florida and The Bahamas.

Learn more about the finalist here.

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About West Virginia State University (WVSU)

Founded in 1891, West Virginia State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university (HBCU), which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution. The University, “a living laboratory of human relations,” is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. It’s mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. To learn more, visit www.wvstateu.edu.

INSTITUTE, W.VA – The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Board of Governors has voted to recommend Dr. R. Charles Byers to serve as interim president of the University effective May 16, 2020.

Byers’ appointment must still be approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HPEC) which meets on Friday. If approved by HPEC, he would serve as interim president until a new permanent president for the University is selected. A national search is underway to replace current WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins who is leaving to become president of Coppin State University.

“The selection of Dr. Byers ensures we continue to build on our mission, and to not lose momentum nor growth objectives in these very uncertain times,” said Charles E. Jones, Jr., WVSU BOG chair.

Byers has served as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for WVSU since July 2019. He has retired as Provost of the University in 2014 after 41 years of service at WVSU.

“I am looking forward to continuing to serve the University and to working with the leadership team to manage through these uncertain times posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also planning for the future of West Virginia State and the brighter days we all know are ahead,” said Byers. “We will continue to work to fulfill the University’s mission of meeting the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.”

Byers is a 1968 graduate of WVSU with a bachelor’s degree in art education. He later earned his master’s 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.

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 addition to his professional service to WVSU, Byers served on the Leadership West Virginia Board of Directors and for 10 years as a presenter for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Byers has served as Chair of the Trustee Board at the First Baptist Church in Charleston and as Chair of the Local School Improvement Committee in Dunbar. He has been a member of the Charles Drew Scholarship Commission and a consultant for strategic planning for Kentucky State University and the Association of Research Directors. He was a member of a Rotary Group Study Exchange Team to India.

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 building on the WVSU campus.

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About West Virginia State University (WVSU)

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the University is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvstateu.edu.

Every Friday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the upcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President: Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins, Ph.D., West Virginia State University

Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins, Ph.D.

Anthony L. Jenkins, Ph.D., West Virginia State University’s 11th President effective July 1, 2016, is an established higher education leader committed to advocating for students and creating opportunity to higher education for all students, especially culturally under-represented groups.

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised between our nation’s capital and North Carolina, Jenkins is a vocal proponent for education and public policy issues. He has fostered meaningful dialogue within the national higher education community. His research, speeches and publications focus on crisis management, enrollment and retention, diversity, African-American male initiatives, first-generation college student success, state funding for higher education, mentoring and high-risk college campus behavior such as alcohol consumption and sexual misconduct. Throughout his career, he has enhanced the quality of the university experience for students, developed and successfully implemented comprehensive retention and enrollment plans leading to greater access, opportunity and higher graduation rates; thereby enabling more individuals to improve their quality of life by earning a college education.

Jenkins began his path to West Virginia State University as a United States Army veterans and first-generation college graduate. Jenkins earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech University, a Master of Science degree from North Carolina Central University, and a Bachelor’s of Applied Science degree from Fayetteville State University.

Prior to leading the State family, Jenkins served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and most recently, as the Senior Associate Vice President for the University of Central Florida – the nation’s second largest university. His career includes serving at Jackson State University, thereafter joining Virginia Tech’s Housing and Residence Life and later the Office of the Dean of Students. He remained at Virginia Tech until becoming the Assistant Dean of Students of Northeastern Illinois University. He later serve as the Dean of Students at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; and was recruited to serve as the Dean of Students at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Jenkins is a Life-member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. He is an active member of several higher education organizations, including: the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA); the American College Personnel Association (ACPA); the State University System of Florida Associate Vice President Council; the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals (NASAP); the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU); and the Association of Student Conduct Administration (ASCA). In 2014, he served as a faculty member for the NASPA Region II Mid Manager Institute.

A supporter of quality higher education, he has served as a site evaluator for the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE). He has been inducted into several of the most prestigious academic honor, business and leadership societies in the Nation: Alpha Kappa Psi; Kappa Phi; Sigma Alpha Pi; Alpha Sigma Lambda; Omicron Delta  Kappa; Alpha Phi Sigma; and Order of Omega.

Jenkins is married to Toinette Jenkins and they have three daughters.

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About West Virginia State University

Founded in 1891, West Virginia State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution. The University, “a living laboratory of human relations,” is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvstateu.edu.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

 

INSTITUTE, W. Va – West Virginia State University (WVSU) is planned to honor distinguished NASA mathematician and WVSU alumna Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson on August 25 with a statue dedicated in her honor, it is fitting that the work was created by a fellow Yellow Jacket alum.

According to an press release by the university, Artist Frederick Hightower, a WVSU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in fine art, was commissioned to create the seven-foot-tall bronze statue that depicts Johnson during her time as a mathematician at NASA.

“I am very appreciative to WVSU for giving me the opportunity to create the monument sculpture of Mrs. Katherine Johnson,” said Hightower. “This sculpture being on our campus will not only honor the great accomplishments of Mrs. Johnson, but will also bring national attention and recognition to one of America’s great HBCU’s, West Virginia State University.”

A native of Madison, W. Va., Hightower is an accomplished artist who has created numerous portraits and has sculpted many portrait busts and miniature statuary, but the statue of Johnson is his largest creation to date. One of the busts he created, that of Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Major General Charles Rogers, is on display at the Wilson University Union on WVSU’s campus.

“As a child, visiting the West Virginia State Capitol and seeing all the great sculpture, I knew that was what I wanted to do someday,” Hightower said.

Hightower’s business, Excellent images Creations, specializes in classical portraits done both in oil, acrylic, pencil and sculpture.

In additional to his artistic endeavors, Hightower is also the founder and pastor of the All Nations Revival Center Church in Institute, W. Va. Hightower’s artwork is also featured prominently at his church where an 85 foot by 30 foot mural serves as the sanctuary’s backdrop.

The dedication and unveiling ceremony for the Katherine Johnson statue is Saturday, Aug 25, 2019 at 11 a.m. on the campus quad where the statue will be located. The event is free and open to public.

In addition to the unveiling of the statue, an endowed scholarship honoring Johnson is being established by the University. The scholarship will build upon Johnson’s legacy as a pioneer in mathematics and will benefit West Virginia students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with emphasis on assisting talented individuals who are underrepresented in those fields.

Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, the highest award that can be bestowed upon a civilian. A native of White Sulphurs Springs, W. Va., Johnson first came to Institute at the age of 10 to attend the high school that used to be part of West Virginia State’s campus. After graduating from high school at age 15, she immediately enrolled for college classes at West Virginia State. Johnson excelled in her studies and graduated summa cum laude in 1937 at the age of 18 with bachelor’s degree in mathematics and French. Johnson’s pioneering work as a “computer” at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and later at NASA, has been widely recognized following publication of the book, “Hidden Figures,” and by the movie of the same name.

For more information, please contact Patricia Schumann, Vice President for University Advancement, at (304) 766-3021 or patricia.schumann@wvstateu.edu or visit https://connect.wvstateu.edu/katherinejohnson.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvsu.edu.

INSTITUTE, W. Va – The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to West Virginia State University (WVSU) to help equip laboratories in the university’s new bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering program.

According to a press release by the university, the grant was announced today, the first day of classes for the fall 2018 semester for WVSU.

“As West Virginia seeks to diversify its economy, West Virginia State University is committed to educating students in fields that support new and emerging industries,” said Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins, WVSU President. “This new bachelor’s in chemical engineering will provide economic opportunities for citizens of central and southern West Virginia. I want to thank American Electric Power Foundation for their investment in our students, and for supporting the workforce development needs of the state and region.”

The grant from the AEP Foundation will be used to help equip laboratories used by students with state-of-the-art hands-on learning experiences in their engineering coursework as well as support faculty and undergraduate student research.

“Practically every career path we have at Appalachian Power has a strong STEM component,” said Appalachian Power President and COO Chris Beam. “Industries across West Virginia and beyond need more young people who are strong in these fields to fill the jobs we have here in West Virginia and beyond. We are excited that West Virginia State University is adding this new degree program, as a strong education system helps support the economic development initiatives within the state and the industries that will help us grow our economy.”

Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, WVSU now offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. The new program was approved by the West Virginia High Education Policy Commission and the Higher Learning Commission in 2017. The launch of the new program comes after years of planning and earlier attempts that had resulted in the creation of a 2+2 engineering program at the University in 2013.

The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power and its utility operating units, including Appalachian Power. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially, integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in institute, W.VA. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvsu.edu.

INSTITUTE, W. Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) and the WVSU Foundation to honor distinguished NASA Mathematician and WVSU alumna Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson with the establishment of an endowed scholarship and the erection of a bronze statue on campus.

According to a press release by the university, the dedication ceremony of the statue and scholarship is planned for Saturday, August 25, 2018, at 11 AM, the day before Johnson’s 100th birthday. The statue will be placed in WVSU’s quad, the heart of campus, with accompanying seating and landscaping.

“Rarely are we presented an opportunity to attach ourselves to a historic moment. I believe this is one of those time,” said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins. “Despite her numerous accomplishments, she never forgot WVSU, White Sulphur Springs, nor the state she loves so dear. Then, as throughout her life, Katherine has embodied the true essence of a West Virginian; strong values, unbreakable resolve, and a work ethic that is second to none.

The life-sized bronze statue depicting Johnson during her years as a mathematician at NASA will be created by West Virginia sculptor Frederick Hightower, an alumnus of WVSU.

The endowed scholarship will build upon Johnson’s legacy as a pioneer in mathematics and will benefit students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with emphasis on assisting talented individuals who are underrepresented in those fields. WVSU seeks to endow the scholarship at $100,000.

Donors who give $1,000 or more by June 30, 2018, will have their names engraved on a plaque next to the statue. Organizations that give $25,000 or more will be recognized with a separate plaque.

Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015, the highest award that can be bestowed upon a civilian. A native of White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., Johnson first came to Institute at the age of 10 to attend high school that used to be part of West Virginia State’s campus. After graduating from high school at age 15, she immediately enrolled for college classes at West Virginia State. Johnson excelled in her studies and graduated summa cum laude in 1937 at the age of 18 with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and French.

Johnson’s pioneering work as a “computer” at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and later at NASA, has been widely recognized following of the book, “Hidden Figures,” and by the movie of the same name.

For more information, please contact Patricia Schumann, Vice President for University Advancement, at (304) 766-3021 or patricia.schumann@wvstateu.edu or visit https://connect.wvstateu.edu/katherinejohnson.

Watch the video announcement below:

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research. For more information, visit www.wvstateu.edu.

INSTITUTUE, W.Va – West Virginia State University (WVSU), a historically black university located in Institute, West Virginia, celebrated Earth Day this past Thursday, April 20, with a full day of activities that took place in and around the James C. Wilson University Union.

According to the university’s press release, the celebration began at 9:30 a.m. and included presentations, movie

Pictured: The eighth grade class from Stonewall Jackson Middle School touring the campus of WVSU and participating in the Earth Day celebration activities. [Photo creds: West Virginia State University]
screenings and a host of exhibitors. All events were free and open to the public.

From 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. a variety of environmental and community groups had tables and displays setup throughout the hallways of the University Union providing information about the environment. Exhibitors will include the West Virginia Highland Conservancy, the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, the West Virginia Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the West Virginia Citizens Action Group, the Coal River Group and the WVSU Recreation and Tourism Program.

From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room 135 of the University Union WVSU students and faculty provided participants with a variety of hands-on learning activities, including presentation on water conservation, climate change, carbon footprint and bees.

At 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Davis Fine Arts Building there was a 30-minute presentation of excerpts from the play, “Marcellus Shale.” Following the excerpts of the play at 1:10 p.m. in the Davis Fine Arts Building auditorium, WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins accepted and acknowledge the University’s designation for the third year in a row as a Tree Campus USA. WVSU is the only university to have achieved this designation within the state of West Virginia.

Pictured: WVSU Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins accepting and acknowledging the University’s designation for the third year in a row as a Tree Campus USA. [Photo Creds: West Virginia State University.]
Also during the Earth Day celebration at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. the film “The Flight of the Butterfly” was shown in room 131 of the University Union. The 44-minute film tells the story of the migration of the Monarch Butterfly across three nations of North America to their winter home in the mountains of central Mexico.

During the Earth Day celebration the eighth grade class from Stonewall Jackson Middle School toured WVSU campus and attended Earth Day events.

The Earth Day celebration was supported by the WVSU Cultural Activities Committee and the WVSU College of Professional Studies.

For more regarding the Earth Day celebration and WVSU, visit their website at www.wvsu.edu. Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook and Twitter @WVStateU.

 

About West Virginia State University

West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.

INSTITUTE, WV – West Virginia State University installed their 11th President Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins, who assumed the presidency on July 1, 2016. Dr. Jenkins was installed during the Presidential Investiture ceremony on Friday in Farrell Hall on the campus and which also is the founding day of the university. The university turned 126 years-old.

Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins giving his inaugural speech. [Photo Credit: Demetrius Johnson Jr.]
During Dr. Jenkins inaugural address he urge students, alumni, and community supporters to join him in the fight for State and to not let anyone forget that West Virginia State University is the crown jewel of the Kanawha valley.

The final candidates were invited to WVSU’s Institute, W.Va campus in late April to meet with students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and business leaders at a series of open forums. After reviewing stakeholders’ comments regarding each candidate, the WVSU Board of Governors offered the position to Dr. Jenkins. Before joining the WVSU family, he served as senior associate vice president for Student Development and Enrollment Services at the University of Central Florida.

Among remarks were Dr. Phyllis Gray-Ray, who currently serves as Dean/Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University brought greetings from the highest of seven hills and described Dr. Jenkins as a leader who is terrifically qualified and well skilled in moving WVSU forward as president. She also presented Jenkins with a plaque of congratulations on the behalf of Interim President Larry Robinson and the FAMU community.

[Photo Credit: West Virginia State University]
The WVSU first family includes Jenkins wife, Toinette, and his two daughters, Ashley and Alicia.

West Virginia State University was founded under the provisions of the Second Morrill Act of 1890 as the West Virginia Colored Institute, one of the 19 land-grant institutions authorized by Congress and designated by the states to provide for the education of black citizens in agriculture and mechanical arts. From 1891 to 1915, the original institute offered the equivalent of a high school education, vocational training, and teacher preparation. 1915, the West Virginia Collegiate Institute began to offer college degrees. Under the leadership of President John W. Davis, the academic program was expanded and new buildings were constructed, and in 1927, the institution was accredited by the North Central Association; in 1929, it became West Virginia State College. Over the next decades, WVSC became recognized as one of the leading public institutions of higher education for African-Americans. In 2004, the West Virginia Legislature approved WVSC’s tradition of University status, and today WVSU offers 22 bachelor’s degrees and four master’s degrees. With a rich history, and promising future, WVSU is positioned to become the most student-centered research and teaching, land-grant university in West Virginia, and beyond.

 

For more information about West Virginia State University, visit www.wvstateu.edu.