Gabriel Brothers Inc., a locally-owned chain of discount clothing stores, has donated a gift to the West Virginia University Foundation to establish a faculty award in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

The James and Arthur Gabriel-Gabriel Brothers Inc. Faculty Award Program has been created to encourage, support, and reward faculty endeavorsespecially teachingthat focus on American society and culture.

The recipient of the faculty award, as well as the donors and family members, will be recognized by the Eberly College during the universitys annual Weekend of Honors celebration in 2004. This award is made possible by the generosity of James Gabriel, president of Gabriel Brothers Inc., and his brother, Arthur Gabriel, secretary and treasurer of the discount clothier.

Gabriel Brothers Inc. remains a private, family owned and operated retail business headquartered in Morgantown. The company now operates nearly 100 stores in the mid-Atlantic states. The two brothers founded the company in 1961, following in the footsteps of their father, Z.G. Gabriel. In the 1920s, the Lebanese immigrant began peddling merchandise in the coal towns of Fayette County, in southwestern Pennsylvania. He wanted his sons to earn college degrees to open doors of opportunities that are closed to an immigrant of modest educational attainments.

Both sons earned WVU degrees. James Gabriel earned a masters degree in political science in 1958 and taught at WVU and other institutions in western Pennsylvania for 15 years. Arthur Gabriel earned a bachelors degree in business from WVU in 1962. The brothers are committed to recognizing WVU faculty initiatives that honor American traditions. The contribution was made through Gabriel Brotherscorporate gifts program.

The awards program will recognize faculty work that meets at least one of five criteria: the work must celebrate America and its achievements as a democracy and a culture; it must help to understand American history, society, and Americas future; it must provide public service that advances American ideals; it must pursue research that advances America as a country; it must develop democratic leadership.

The Gabriel familys story is emblematic of so many immigrants who have left their home countries during the 20th century in search of a more free and prosperous life in the United States,said M. Duane Nellis, dean of the Eberly College.I am pleased that Gabriel Brothers has chosen to endow this important faculty award program at WVU and in the Eberly College.

The WVU Foundation Inc. is a private non-profit organization, which generates, receives, and administers private gifts from individuals and organizations for the benefit of West Virginia University. The Gabriel Brothers gift is included in the Building Greatness Campaign, which has raised more than $262 million for WVU and concludes in December 2003.