Michael S.MikeGarrison, managing member of the Morgantown law office of Spilman Thomas&Battle PLLC , will become the president-elect of West Virginia University, effective July 1, and the 22nd president of WVU on Sept. 21, 2007.

A respected public servant and immediate past chairman of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Garrison, 38, was elected to the WVU presidency today (April 13) by members of the WVU Board of Governors, with the consent of the Higher Education Policy Commission.

The appointment concludes a search launched in the fall of 2006 involving consultation with faculty, students, staff, alumni and others.

BOG Chairman Steve Goodwin, who also chaired the search committee, announced the appointment.

This is certainly a great daya historic day for West Virginia University,Goodwin said.Today we celebrate the next chapter in the Universitys history as the president-elect of this great University prepares to embark on some exciting and challenging years ahead.

Mike is an accomplished and bright leader and a wonderful person. He knows and loves WVU and will inspire those around him to share a common vision of academic excellence and outstanding service to the state, nation and the world. His interests extend to the entire Universityto its students, employees, alumni, friends, donors and various constituents as well as its academic, outreach, research and economic development endeavors. He is forward-thinking and fairand totally devoted to leading this University forward.

Garrison takes over the post being vacated by David C. Hardesty, Jr., who announced his retirement last August.

Heather and I are deeply honored and truly humbled by today’s decision,”Garrison, a native of Fairmont, W.Va., told a crowd of faculty, staff and students who gathered in the Mountainlair Ballrooms for the announcement.

I offer my sincere thanks to the members of the Board of Governors for the confidence you have shown in me. You know, like so many others, West Virginia University gave me, as a first-generation college graduate, the tools necessary for success.

Now, as our University’s next president, I look forward to putting those tools to work on behalf of this great institution, to help West Virginia University reach national prominence.

He added,During the last several weeks, I have had a chance to meet with scores of people from all over this campus and all over this stateand they all have one very important thing in common, they all love this University as much as you and I do. They are full of energy and ideas, and as eager as I am to move the University forward.

I will embrace that energy, and, working with everyone on campus, use it to lead this University to the next level of excellence.

Garrison also said he will, in the coming months, reach out and begin the process by listening, learning and team buildingpromoting inclusiveness, accessibility and acceptance to WVU s faculty, staff, students and community.

I pledge to earn your trust and, especially, the trust of the people who work every day to make this a great university,he said.At the end of the day, we must all come together to improve our research capacities, our faculty and staff salaries and our classroom experiences.

Garrison thanked his familywife Heather, two young daughters and parents, all in attendanceas well as David and Susan Hardesty for their lifetime of service to WVU .

He concluded,West Virginia University has enormous potential for greatness. Our strength is in our people. We provide support for one another.were open to new ideas.and we are willing to do the hard work that will lead us to success. I welcome the challenge before us, and I seek your input, your friendship and your support.

“West Virginia University has given everything to me, and Im ready to give back to WVU .

WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. extended his congratulations to Garrison, saying,Susan and I want to extend our personal congratulations to Mike, and his wife Heather, on Mikes selection as the 22nd president of West Virginia University. Susan and I came here 12 years ago, humbled by the challenges and scope of the appointment and dedicated to the service of our alma mater and its many constituents. I know that Mike and his family bring the same awe and dedication to this office, and I offer my full cooperation and support, both during the transition and in the years to come.

Prior to joining the Morgantown law firm in 2003, Garrison served as former Gov. Bob Wises chief of staff for two years and as cabinet secretary in the state Department of Tax and Revenue for one year.

He is widely recognized for his work as a public servant and was named as a Toll Fellow for Excellence in Public Management in 2003 by the Henry Toll Fellowship Program of the Council of State Governments.

He was also selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans (TOYA) by the U.S. Junior Chamber or Jaycees for his public service with the state of West Virginia.

He is a member of the WVU Alumni Association National Board of Directors, and has served as an adjunct professor of political science in the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences for the past several years.

Garrison earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from WVU in 1992 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the WVU College of Law in 1996. He also studied for a year at Oxford on a Rotary International Scholarship.

During his undergraduate career at WVU , Garrison was elected Student Body president. He was also a member of Mountain Honorary and captain of the Mens Rowing Team.

He is married to Heather Malone Garrison, also an attorney, and they have two daughters, Julia Grace and Gabriella Malone.

In announcing Garrisons appointment, Chairman Goodwin expressed thanks to the 17-member search committee for its dedication and commitment, and for the helpful input from faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members during the campus process.

I especially want to thank the members of the search committee for the many extra hours they put into the screening, interviewing and consultation process,Goodwin said.And, I also appreciate the insightful student, faculty, staff and alumni/community input from our campus forums. All of this input proved extremely valuable to the Board in our final selection of Mike Garrison as WVU s 22nd president.

For comments from state and University leaders to go: WVU News on the Webhttp://wvutoday.wvu.edu/news/page/5615/. * View video of the press conference.# *

To send a congratulatory email message to President-elect Garrison send them to president-elect@mail.wvu.edu .