WVU receives first gift in new public fundraising campaign
June 14, 2012 ·
West Virginia University’s new fundraising campaign has received its first major public gift from an alumnus in the school’s business college, and his wife.
Doug VanScoy, along with his wife Pam, are native West Virginians who met while they were in high school at Bridgeport, in Harrison County.
The two are donating $1.5 million to WVU through the school’s new fundraising campaign called “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.”
It’s the first major gift in this new public effort.
Doug VanScoy says it’s an honor to give back to the school where he was once a student.
"I feel very privileged to be able to do that, what I’m doing hopefully is giving back to this school, to help the school become even greater," VanScoy said.
"I am a great believer in entrepreneurship; I think that it’s helped me in my life; it’s something that I worry about for this country."
WVU is trying to raise $750 million by December of 2015.
It’s the largest private fundraising campaign that’s ever happened in the history of the university.
Through donations in the private part of the campaign, the university has obtained $538 million.
This is the first public gift, after the “State of Minds” launched more than a week ago.
VanScoy says he’s seen a lot of changes at his university over the years, and that the university still has work to do to keep it competitive.
"Not to have an MBA program with a focus on energy, is something that should have been done, and we are going to do that," VanScoy said.
"One of our big issues in this state is health care, and to have a business program revolving around health care, I think, is important."
Jose Sartarelli is the dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics.
He says the donation from the VanScoys will be split three ways: one third will go to the WVU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, one third will go to the school’s Hospitality and Tourism program, and the rest will go to a discretionary fund for the dean.
Sartarelli says the university needs more facilities to help students, because he sees some having to hold meetings in hallways.
"Gifts like this will allow us to build like other schools, many other schools have. Student meeting rooms, full-equipped with computers, projection capability, audio/visual, so five or six students as part of a team can spend a few hours together, prepare a proposal, review a case. You have to have those facilities," Sartarelli said.
Sartarelli agrees with VanScoy, and says the business school should also be working to create programs that focus on energy, and health care---two issues that greatly affect the state, as well as tourism.
"Those are relevant and very important to the state, hospitality, energy and health care. We are in some respects behind, in some aspects of it, so we have to do a lot more. We are all in the business of improving human capital," he said.
The campaign is being conducted by the WVU Foundation.