West Virginia University President David C. Hardesty Jr. shared the institutions plans for the future with West Virginias Congressional delegation and area alumni during his annual State of the University Address in Washington, D.C., today (Feb. 27) at noon at the Hyatt Regency, Capitol Hill.

An audience of 250the largest in the 22 years the WVU president has presented an address on Capitol Hillwas on hand to the hear the speech. The crowd included D.C.-area alumni, leaders from major research corporations and the most of the West Virginia congressional delegation: Sen. John. D. Rockefeller IV, Rep. Alan Mollohan, Rep. Nick J. Rahall and Rep. Shelly Moore Capito. Sen. Robert C. Byrd was unable to attend due to legislative matters.

In his speech, Hardesty outlined WVU ’s six-year compact with West Virginia. The state Legislature has required creation of compacts to address important state priorities as part of a higher education reform package, Senate Bill 653. The compact goals run from July 2001-June 2007. Hardesty emphasized the University’s unique contribution to the state as a land-grant, doctoral research university-extensive with a comprehensive health sciences centerone of only 11 in the nation.

He also recognized several individuals in attendance who have contributed to the Universitys success, including WVU s new head football coach Rich Rodriguez and Peter Love, a WVU senior recently named to _ USA Today_ s 2001 All-USA College Academic First Team. Love, a political science and finance major, was one of 20 college students nationwide who received the honor.

Acknowledging the WVU Foundation’s role in keeping WVU competitive with peer institutions, Hardesty recognized two D.C.-area donors who have made major gifts to the Foundation’s capital campaign,”Building Greatness.”The campaign kicked off in November 2000 and has already reached its halfway mark with $125 million in gifts and pledges toward the five-year $250 million goal.

Through the continuing generosity of Edna A. Falbo, the College of Creative Arts has established WVU s first endowed deanship, the Philip J. Faini and Falbo Family Endowed Deanship in the College of Creative Arts. Falbo, a WVU alumna, currently lives in Washington, D.C. In 1998 she was named”Most Loyal Mountaineer”by WVU .

Sam Huff, one of the voices of the Washington Redskins and a Middleburg, Va., resident, has made a gift in excess of a half million dollars that will be equally split between the School of Physical Education and Intercollegiate Athletics. Huff was an All-American at WVU and an All-Pro in the NFL .

The National Capital Area Chapter of the WVU Alumni Association sponsored the speech.