Ryan Butler and Katlin Stinespring have been announced as West Virginia University’s 2011 Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer.

Butler and Stinespring were crowned during halftime of the WVU-Louisville football game on Saturday (Nov. 5) at Milan Puskar Stadium. The awards are given each year as part of WVU’s Mountaineer Week festivities.

Butler, a five-year Masters student in secondary math education, is a Clarksburg native and is sponsored by WVU Collegiate 4-H Club.

He is a resident assistant at Honors Hall, the treasurer and webmaster of the WVU Collegiate 4-H Club, and a member of the Circle K International organization and the Council of Math Educators. In addition, he was a member of the President’s Forum on Innovation and Economic Competitiveness. He is the son of Paul and Patty Butler.

“By being awarded the title of Mr. Mountaineer, it means that anything is possible, especially at WVU,” Butler said. “I am an ordinary, average guy, so to be selected as a finalist is even a great honor ? No matter what you may believe, as long as you do your best and take advantage of the opportunities in front of you, you are bound to succeed. I am able to give back to the University that has provided me with so much.”

Butler said with his title he would like to promote sustainability across campus, which would include not only recycling but energy conservation and alternate transportation efforts.

“West Virginia is a beautiful state and Morgantown a wonderful town, so I want to try to protect them and keep them clean as much as possible,” Butler said.

Stinespring, a public relations major, is a Hurricane native and is sponsored by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Stinespring is the assistant clarinet section leader and woodwind rank leader of the Mountaineer Marching Band and the vice president of public relations and membership of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars among other activities at WVU. She is the daughter of Tim and Pam Stinespring.

“Born and raised a Mountaineer, throughout my life I strive to represent my University and state with pride. Every time I don my marching band uniform or speak to prospective students, I am conscious of how I represent WVU and the messages I portray to those around me,” Stinespring said. “WVU offers me opportunities to learn, to explore the world and to lead. In return, through my diverse involvement I can give back to my University in a way that allows others to see their future as Mountaineers.”
Stinespring said she would use her title to become a role model to prospective students and give back to the community and University.

“I hope to influence other students’ college experiences by exemplifying a lasting loyalty that ultimately leads to a positive reputation for the University in the future,” she said.

As Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer, Butler and Stinespring will host their own blood drive on Jan. 19, 2012 from 1-7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer will be invited to take part in the Dancing With Our Mountaineer Stars in March. Also, the winners will be asked to co-host the WVU Miner’s Day program as part of the West Virginia state holiday Miner’s Day on Dec. 3.

In addition to the Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer presentation, WVU’s “Most Loyals” were honored, as well. The 2011 honorees are Jim Justice, Most Loyal West Virginian; John Mallory, Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer; Kerry Odell, Most Loyal Faculty Mountaineer; and Becky Lofstead, Most Loyal Staff Mountaineer.

The Most Loyal West Virginian and Alumni Mountaineer awards have been presented since 1974, while the Most Loyal Faculty and Staff Mountaineer award was created in 1994 and split into two separate awards in 2001. The award recipients are selected by a joint committee representing the WVU Foundation, WVU Alumni Association and the Mountaineer Week organizing committee.

Mountaineer Week is an annual celebration of West Virginia’s rich Appalachian heritage and traditions. The activities serve to remind and educate WVU students about the culture that has made West Virginia what it is today. This fall, the festival commemorates its 64th year. For a complete schedule of events, visit the Mountaineer Week website at http://mountaineerweek.wvu.edu/events.

Mountaineer Week is a great time to remember days gone by. Share with us your own WVU memories through the University’s Heritage Project. Do you have a special recollection from Mountaineer Week? Tell us at http://heritageproject.wvu.edu/share_a_message.



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