The firing of the musket by the Mountaineer signals many things: The start of a game. A score. Kicking off the Homecoming parade on High Street.

The sight of the Mountaineer leading gold and blue-clad athletic teams onto the field or court – musket held high – is one of the great West Virginia University traditions.

That tradition is kept alive thanks in part to the generous contributions from alumni and friends of the National Capital Area Chapter of the WVU Alumni Association. The Chapter has provided funds to commission muskets that have been used by the Mountaineer mascots for more than 20 years.

On Saturday (Nov. 5), the Chapter presented Brock Burwell, the 2011-2012 Mountaineer, with a new musket hand-crafted by Morgantown resident Marvin Wotring. The musket, made of curly maple, took nearly 70 hours to craft.

“We are proud to uphold and maintain the wonderful traditions that unite us as Mountaineers,” said Kevin Nodianos, president of the National Capital Area Chapter. “There is nothing like seeing our mascot fire off the musket in celebrating a win or kicking off a game. Our alumni and friends in the DC area are glad that we can help us continue to uphold this great tradition.”

In addition to the rifle, the Chapter has provided financial assistance, as well as volunteer support, to numerous activities, including the WVU Parents Club, National Alumni Recruiting Network, the Pride of West Virginia, the WVU Alumni Association and scholarships for WVU students.

Holly Metz, a 1986 graduate of WVU and member of the WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors and NCAC, and Mike Fulton, 1979 graduate, past member of the WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors and member of the NCAC, presented the rifle to Burwell during halftime of the WVU-Louisville game.

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Contact: Tara Curtis, WVU Alumni Association

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