On a day that celebrated higher education in West Virginia, two of West Virginia Universitys top administrators received one of the states highest honors.

The Senate passed separate resolutions honoring C. Peter Magrath , interim WVU president, and John J.K.JayCole, interim chief of staff, during Higher Education Day in the state Legislature March 20 in Charleston.

The Senate formally recognized Magraths and Coles leadership, dedication and service to WVU and the Mountain State. Senators acknowledged the two leaders have led the charge to put WVU in the upper echelon of higher education institutions and laid the groundwork that will benefit future presidents of the University.

The resolution recognizing Magrath described him as adistinguished leader and shining example for the people of West Virginia.The other resolution stated Cole has been aloyal, diligent and tireless worker in various positions in state and local government and the private sector, striving for the advancement of education in West Virginia.

The resolutions also formally wished them luck in future endeavors.

Magrath, a respected national higher education leader, has been serving in an interim capacity since last July.

While at WVU , he has been on leave from the College Board, where he has been senior presidential adviser since 2006. He also is engaged in consulting work both in the U.S. and internationally.

From 1992-2005, he served as president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and has been president of three public universities.

A political scientist with a bachelors degree from the University of New Hampshire and a doctorate from Cornell University, he served as president of the University of Missouri System, the University of Minnesota and the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Cole, a native of Fairmont and 1994 WVU graduate, assumed his role last August in an interim capacity. While serving as Magraths senior adviser, he is on leave from his job as director of federal policy for the College Board.

Prior to joining the College Board, Cole was education policy adviser to Gov. Joe Manchin from 2005-07 and deputy secretary of education and the arts and senior policy adviser for former Gov. Bob Wise from 2001-05.

He earned bachelors degrees with honors in political science and history from WVU and a masters degree in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University. He is completing a doctorate in higher education and public policy at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

As an undergraduate at WVU , Cole was named the schools 13th Truman Scholar, the nations most prestigious academic award for college students who plan to pursue a career in public service.