Four students in West Virginia Universitys Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences have gotten a head start on funding their post-graduate educations.

They have received awards from the H.E.DocKidder Memorial Trust, which will provide them with $2,500 for each year of their graduate or medical school education.

The four recipients, Andrew Gentilin, Robert Loar, Brian McMillan and Kevin Shaffer, are all graduating seniors in the Davis Colleges Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences.

Gentilin, a biochemistry major from Charleston, W.Va., is one of 30 students to be named a 2007 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior. He is a Chimes Junior Honorary member and a Mortar Board Honor Society member. Gentilin will attend the WVU School of Medicine.

Loar, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Waverly, W.Va., is a student in the Davis-Michael Scholars Program and has participated in WVU s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. He presented a research poster at the 2006 National Poultry Science Association Meeting. Loar will attend graduate school at Mississippi State University in poultry nutrition.

McMillan, a biochemistry major from Princeton, W.Va., is a member of the Helvetia, Chimes and Mortar Board honoraries. He is a one of 30 students to be named a 2007 WVU Foundation Outstanding Senior. McMillan will attend the WVU School of Medicine.

Shaffer, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Philippi, W.Va., is a student in the Davis-Michael Scholars Program and a member of the 2006 WVU Livestock Judging Team. He will attend graduate school in WVU s Davis College, studying animal and nutritional sciences.

The memorial trust honors the late H.E.DocKidder, professor emeritus of animal and veterinary sciences in the Davis College. He had a distinguished career at WVU as a researcher and educator, serving from 1954 to 1988. After his death in 1989, his will created the trust to support Davis College students in their graduate or professional education. Selection is based on academic performance with added consideration for leadership and financial need.

The trust was established through a gift made to the WVU Foundation, a private nonprofit corporation that generates and provides support for WVU and its nonprofit affiliates.