West Virginia University alumni Russell and Ruth Bolton are funding a new professorship in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU .

The Russell and Ruth Bolton Eberly College Professorship will provide resources for a collegewide professorship for outstanding teaching. The recipient will be a faculty member who mentors students in communication skills, regardless of academic discipline.

In addition, he or she must have demonstrated an interest in student success, especially during the freshman and sophomore years, through enhancing or improving communication skills of WVU students.

The professorship is a three-year appointment available to qualified arts and sciences faculty. The recipient will be selected by the Eberly College. The selection process is under way, and the first Russell and Ruth Bolton Eberly College Professor will be appointed in August.

The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills all college students need to acquire,said Mary Ellen Mazey, dean of the Eberly College.We are deeply grateful for the Boltonssupport for our efforts in this essential area.

Russell Bolton is a 1949 graduate of the WVU College of Law. Ruth Bolton is a 1943 graduate of WVU with a degree in communication studies. They are residents of Palm Desert, Calif.

This is not the Boltonsfirst major gift to their alma mater. Over the years, they have made numerous contributions to the University in support of academics, athletics and special projects. Most notably, they are funding, through the Office of the Provost, a Universitywide professorship which rewards excellence in teaching. Boyd Edwards of the Department of Physics in the Eberly College was named the first Bolton Teaching Professor in 2005.

Making such a contribution in recognition of great teaching says to the University community that we are committed to student learning,Provost Gerald E. Lang said.It is certainly consistent with the love Russ and Ruth have for WVU and the impact the University has had on their lives.

The Russell and Ruth Bolton Eberly College Professorship Fund will be administered by the WVU Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization which develops, receives and administers private gifts from individuals and organizations for the benefit of WVU .

For more information, contact Rudolph P. Almasy, associate dean for development at the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, at Rudy.Almasy@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-4611.