West Virginia University officials this weekend will honor the leader of the foundation responsible for the private support that is essential to the school’s future.


WVU Foundation President and CEO F . Duke Perry will receive the President’s Distinguished Service Award, given solely at the discretion of WVU ’s president for exceptional leadership to WVU or the state.


University President David C. Hardesty Jr. will announce the award during Commencement ceremonies at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 14, at the WVU Coliseum.


�€?Duke Perry is an experienced professional,�€? Hardesty said. �€?He is widely recognized within his profession and has done an outstanding job of leading the foundation during a period of transition in higher education.�€?


For eight years Perry, who will retire Dec. 31, has led the foundation to exceptional growth. Assets are more than $800 million, and the endowment is more than $400 million, ranking it in the top 150 endowments among public colleges in the nation.


During his tenure, total revenue exceeded $100 million for the first time, reaching $100.3 million for fiscal year 2004. The �€?Building Greatness�€? capital campaign raised more than $336 million, including the two largest gifts in University history.


�€?His leadership during our capital campaign and his suggested reforms in operating procedures and processes have left our foundation much stronger and much more capable of assisting WVU for generations to come,�€? Hardesty said.


One Waterfront Place , the foundation’s seven-story office building, was completed in 2001 and served as a catalyst for the renovation of Morgantown’s waterfront area. The foundation occupies the seventh floor of its facility and leases, at cost, the first six floors to WVU .


A career fund-raising professional, Perry has served on committees of national fund-raising and foundation organizations and as a consultant to universities, colleges and hospitals. He was president of George Mason University Foundation Inc. from 1993-98 and Florida State University Foundation Inc. from 1990-93.


Perry, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Virginia Tech, held various positions at his alma mater from 1967-90, including associate vice president for development.


He and his wife, Judy, have two grown children, Todd and Eryn, who reside in Blacksburg , Va.