The late Charles O. �€?Charlie�€? Erickson, a noted businessman and philanthropist, understood the important roles alumni associations play in the lives of their institutions.


His son, Charles F. Erickson, is proud to carry on that family tradition with a gift of $1 million to the WVU Foundation, Inc. to support the new alumni center at West Virginia University (WVU). In honor of the family’s continuous generosity, the new center will retain the Erickson name.


�€?The name Erickson is synonymous with college alumni relations in West Virginia ,�€? said WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. �€?Gathering places for alumni on many campuses bear the Erickson name. The Erickson centers of West Virginia have done much to increase support for higher education and bring people back to their alma maters. We are indebted to Charles and Laurie Erickson for continuing this tradition through philanthropy.�€?


The Erickson family has been a dedicated and loyal supporter of WVU throughout the years. In 1984, Charlie Erickson made a significant gift to fund the current alumni facility.


�€?My father understood the importance of the work that alumni associations provide,�€? said Charles F. Erickson, chair of the Erickson Foundation. �€?I am so honored to be part of this historic campaign. This new building will bring a renewed sense of pride and spirit to alumni and to the University. I know my father would have been extremely proud of this new facility and the services it will provide to students, alumni and the University community.�€?


Erickson’s late father provided financial support to many colleges and universities throughout West Virginia in the 1980s to build alumni centers, including the Erickson Alumni Center at WVU .


�€?We are so fortunate to have friends like Charles and Laurie Erickson,�€? added James Gardill, chair of the WVU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. �€?Their continued support of the WVU Alumni Association has been phenomenal. They have played an integral role in making our new alumni center a reality, and we look forward to their leadership and guidance as we move forward with our building campaign.�€?


Erickson, a native of Man, Logan County , has become a generous and dedicated advocate for the institution since his days on campus in the 1950s. He received the University’s Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer award in 2005 for his lifelong relationship of support for WVU . Erickson also serves as honorary campaign chair of the alumni association’s building campaign.


Erickson successfully led and managed the family-owned national television cable systems business. The Erickson name is widely considered a pioneer in the cable industry and was credited for advances in technology and service. In his role with the Erickson Foundation, he has supported community and service-related projects of benefit to West Virginians. Additionally, the Erickson Foundation has been a key benefactor to numerous projects in the Wood County/Parkersburg area.


The new alumni center be located on two acres near Ruby Memorial Hospital, less than 400 yards from Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. The building, funded completely through private contributions, will cost approximately $12 million. Groundbreaking is expected to take place in 2007 with an anticipated completion date of fall 2008.


The gift was made to the WVU Foundation, Inc. to benefit the Alumni Association. The Foundation is a private non-profit corporation that was chartered in 1954 to secure, hold, and administer funds and properties given by individuals, corporations and philanthropic foundations in support of West Virginia University.