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Leaving a Legacy

Your gifts, small or large, make a difference in the lives of our students, faculty, researchers. Each of us has our own Statler College story. Whether you give because you are funding your experience forward or want to support financial aid and faculty recruitment, know that your contributions can leave a lasting legacy at the Statler College, West Virginia University and beyond. Below are a few examples of Mountaineers creating opportunities...

Supporting the Entrepreneurial Spirit at WVU and the State of West Virginia

Ray and Stephanie Lane

For Ray and Stephanie Lane, it was their commitment to entrepreneurship and strong ties to WVU that led them to fund the creation of the Lane Innovation Hub, the first prototyping center on campus designed to help turn innovative ideas into reality. Through their generosity, they hope to inspire an entrepreneurial spirit in students, researchers and the West Virginia Community. Whether it be constructing robots for Mars exploration or engineering innovative fashion designs, the Lane Innovation Hub will provide engineers and creators with the opportunity to make their dreams a reality for generations to come. Learn more about the Lane’s and the entrepreneurship opportunities from their gift.

“Technology innovation in the maker environment has been profound — transforming how engineers learn and work,” the Lane’s said. “The Lane Innovation Hub offers vast new opportunities for WVU students and future West Virginia entrepreneurs statewide.”

Read More: Launching an entrepreneurial spirit in West Virginia with the Lane Innovation Hub

Supporting chemical engineering students in West Virginia

James and Catherine Eliades Faller

The planned gift from James and Catherine Eliades Faller, of Newark, Delaware, provides $50,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for chemical engineering majors with a demonstrated financial need, with first preference to natives of West Virginia and the surrounding states. The remainder of the couple’s gift is a bequest to be divided between the namesake scholarship fund and a new endowment for the James and Catherine Faller Chemical Engineering Graduate Fellowship, which will be awarded at the department chair’s discretion.

“I love education, and I love to help students who need help,” Faller said, noting that higher education was much more affordable when he attended WVU in the late 1950s. “Now, it’s becoming a huge burden on students to go to college. … When you talk about scholarships today, you’re talking about survival. It’s a different climate.”

Read More: Couple’s legacy gift aids chemical engineering students at WVU’s Statler College

Supporting faculty fellows

Piyush Mehta and Berk Tulu

Piyush Mehta, from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Berk Tulu, from the Department of Mining Engineering, were appointed to the three-year positions, which provide funds to support and grow their respective research programs.

The fellowships are the result of a $1 million gift made in 2014 by alumnus J. Wayne Richards and his wife, Kathy. The endowment at WVU provides flexible funds to allow the College to hire, retain, reward, and recognize faculty members who have not yet achieved tenure.

“Kathy and I are honored to have the ability to support and recognize these two outstanding young faculty members as they work to grow their research profiles,” Richards said. “With that, we look forward to the opportunity to support the following faculty members. Kathy and I are exceptionally proud of the Statler College and we look forward to helping our faculty members research endeavors.”

Read More: Mehta, Tulu named Richards Faculty Fellows in Engineering

Honoring a mechanical engineering veteran

Armand and Jaya Coulson

Armand Coulson, a West Virginia University alumnus and World War II Navy veteran, had a desire to reciprocate the opportunities afforded to him because of his higher education. To honor his memory and wish to empower others along the path to becoming an engineer, Armand and Jaya Coulson established the Armand LeRoy Coulson Memorial Scholarship to benefit West Virginia students who wish to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

“He believed in empowering those who would follow him on the time-honored path of mechanical engineering,” said Carin Horn, Coulson’s daughter. “Each recipient of the Armand LeRoy Coulson Memorial Scholarship is informally charged to follow his or her professional dream with the intention of serving the greatest good for all concerned.”

Read More: A scholarship fund established for mechanical engineering students in memory of Morgantown native

A family's industry connection lives on through the dedication of a lab

Mark Leidecker

Mark Leidecker was looking for a way to forever tie his family’s name to the oil and gas industry. On May 8, that dream became a reality with the dedication of the Leidecker Brothers Energy Laboratory in West Virginia University's Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Families' industry connection lives on, thanks to a recent gift to WVU.

"My dad had 11 brothers and sisters and according to one of my aunts, someone from the family was always involved in the oil and gas business," said Leidecker, president of Jesmar Energy Inc., in Holbrook, Pennsylvania. "I'm the only one left and I was looking for a way to ensure my families' name lived on in the industry."

Read More: Families' industry connection lives on, thanks to a recent gift to WVU