The West Virginia University School of Physical Education joined global efforts to promote healthy minds and bodies Thursday (Nov. 11) with the dedication of a new international center.

The International Center for Performance Excellence, housed in the WVU Coliseum, will emphasize the importance of physical activity to overall well-being through cultural exchange programs and shared research.

The center was created with a $605,000 gift from the directors of Fitness Information Technology Inc.; Andrew Ostrow, a professor in the School of Physical Education ; and William Alsop, an associate professor emeritus.

The mission of the International Center for Performance Excellence is to promote, on a global basis, an awareness of the values of engaging in sport and health-related physical activity to enhance the quality of life,said Ostrow, FIT ’s president and chief executive officer and a 32-year member of the WVU faculty.

The center was established in honor of my father, Philip Ostrow, who taught me the meaning of excellence and who shared with me his love for travel and his passion for meeting people of different cultures,he added.

The elder Ostrow was a long-time New York City educator.

The assets of FIT , a successful publishing company, were donated to the WVU Foundation for the purpose of capitalizing a new international center, Ostrow said. The gift was the largest contribution by WVU faculty during the Foundation’s historic five-year Building Greatness Campaign , which raised more than $336 million to benefit the University.

We hope a gift of this magnitude will help accelerate the level of gift giving by other faculty,Alsop said.

Dean Dana Brooks said the center will become the focal point relative to internationalizing the School of Physical Education’s various academic programs.

The center, under Dr. Ostrow’s leadership, will be responsible for working with the school’s various faculty and students to write and submit grants supporting faculty and student international exchange programs,Brooks said.

He added that efforts also will be initiated to engage in collaborative international research projects. ICPE ’s publication division will continue to market and publish books in the

fields of sport studies and sport management. The center will provide graduate assistant positions for students enrolled in the school’s various programs. It also will be responsible for hosting national and international conferences.

Ostrow is coordinator of the school’s sport and exercise psychology program. He has authored several textbooks and numerous research publications and presentations in sport and exercise psychology during his tenure at WVU .

Alsop held several positions in the School of Physical Education , including graduate coordinator, department chair for sport and exercise studies, division chair for physical education and sport studies and program coordinator for sport management, a program he founded in 1980. He made more than 50 professional presentations, authored several articles and, most recently, edited the Directory of Academic Programs in Sport Management .

The WVU Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of West Virginia University .