What started last spring as a group assignment in Assistant Professor Barbara Lingle’s professional practice design and merchandising class quickly turned into an all-out philanthropic campaign.

Lingle offered her students the option of creating a project instead of taking a test. They had to design a fundraising campaign for a charitable organization in the Morgantown area.

So West Virginia University students Caitlin Carrigan and Heather Preston, a 2009 design studies graduate from Elkins, W.Va., presented Lingle with a long-term project that they dubbed: “The House That WVU Built.”

Their plan was to team with Monongalia County Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a needy Morgantown family.

“We wanted to do something that was straightforward and simple,” said Carrigan, a senior design studies major from Robinsonville, N.J.

Lingle and Carrigan have plans to recruit as many student organizations and schools at the University as they can to help raise the $60,000 required to build the house, as well as the manpower involved in the actual construction.

“We need money and muscle,” Lingle said. “We need both to make this project work.”

The awareness campaign for “The House That WVU Built” was held in late April and generated a lot of interest from the students and faculty, she said. The design and merchandising students promoted the “Buy A Block” campaign and raised approximately $1,000.

Additionally, IHOP restaurant at the Glenmark center was donating 10 percent of sales from Wednesday (Sept. 15) evening.

Many student organizations have expressed interest, and the Morgantown community is also embracing the campaign. Events are already in the works from “community nights” at local restaurants to students promoting the campaign at the Erickson Alumni Center before and after all home football games.

Carrigan and Lingle have made contact with the Greek organizations on campus about incorporating this campaign into their philanthropic service activities as well.

With several fundraising efforts planned for the fall semester, Carrigan said they hope to break ground for “The House That WVU Built” in Spring 2011.

Jodi Brock, “The House That WVU Built” chairwoman for the Habitat for Humanity Board, has witnessed first-hand the time and energy that the students have devoted to creating the house.

“We appreciate that kind of commitment,” Brock said. “It’s very exciting to hear them talk about the project with such passion. They are moving full speed ahead with the complete support of the board.

“Their hearts are in this project 100 percent, and they have spent countless hours turning their vision into a reality, and we really appreciate their dedication.”

The ID 420 professional practice class is held in Lingle’s design studio, B L Interiors.

To meet the project’s criteria, the students had to gain the approval of the charity they were assisting and create timelines, schedules and long-term goals to present to class.

The project is “the difference between pretending and doing,” Carrigan said.

Lingle believes that “The House that WVU Built” is a good student project that will promote WVU students in a very positive way. She feels it shows that students do care about the community in which they live and demonstrates their willingness to give back.

“We need the students, faculty and staff at WVU to get involved and to help make this house a reality,” Lingle said.

While Carrigan says she has not thought past the building of this first house, when asked if there are plans to build other homes for families in the future, with a twinkle in her eye, she said she believes that “anything is a possibility.”

For more information about upcoming fundraising activities visit “The House That WVU Built” on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php? – !/group.php?gid=212996975655&ref=ts .

If you would like to donate to “The House That WVU Built” make checks payable to MonCounty HFH/ The House That WVU Built and mail to: BL Interiors, PO Box 858 Morgantown, WV 26507.



CONTACT: Barbara Lingle, Interior Design & Design Studies
304-292-7272, BLInteriors@comcast.net

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