Graduate research at West Virginia University has received another boost from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust, with a $400,000 gift, to be matched by the state’s Research Trust Fund, bringing the total commitment for the Ruby Scholars Graduate Fellows Program to $10 million.

WVU’s Board of Governors at Friday’s (Dec. 16) meeting approved the contribution as part of new RTF funds to be submitted for state match.

Last March, the Ruby Trust committed $4.6 million to the initiative, and with state dollars, made it the largest gift ever for graduate education at $9.2 million. The Trust was established by the late philanthropist to benefit the University and local organizations. The endowment creates graduate fellowships and advance research in energy and environmental sciences; nanotechnology and material science; biological, biotechnological and biomedical sciences; and biometrics, security, sensing, forensic sciences and related identification technologies.

“The additional donation into the Ruby Scholars fund builds on an incredible program that the Ruby Foundation started last year,” WVU President Jim Clements said. “This new gift and the Research Trust Fund matching funds brings the total endowment of the Ruby Research Scholars fellowships to $10 million, which is the largest endowment ever for supporting graduate education at WVU.

“With the tremendous generosity of the Ruby Foundation trustees, we will be able to attract top graduate students to study with our faculty here at WVU. I am so thankful to the Ruby Foundation for its strong support of academic quality and our 2020 strategic plan.”

Private gifts from 13 other sources were approved by the Board for submission to the state for match. The name of one donor and that contribution likely will be announced in January, in coordination with the philanthropist.

Other gifts and pledges include:

  • Branson-Maddrell Endowed Professorship in Orthodontics, $40,000
  • Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment, $30,850
  • Salvatore and Josephine Cilento Research Enhancement Endowment, $25,000
  • Mitchell-Morey Family Endowment, $25,000
  • Jack and Marietta Mullenger Fellowship, $12,500
  • Frank and Susan Klatskin Cerminara Endowment, $10,000
  • Virginia Oil and Gas Research Endowment for Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, $10,000
  • WVU Hardwood Research Trust, $10,000
  • Academy of Chemical Engineers Graduate Fellowship, $5,500
  • Rita Radcliff-Deppe and Brian Deppe Fellowship Award, $2,385
  • James P. Boland MD Dept. of Surgery Endowed Research Fund, $485
  • Badzek Family Endowment for Nursing Research, $150

In 2008, the state created the Research Trust Fund with an initial appropriation of $35 million for WVU to leverage public and private investments that will help transform West Virginia’s economy.

WVU is able to tap into the fund to double private gifts that support expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, health care and job growth.

Other Board Matters
The Board also approved honorary degree recipients, to be named at a later date.

Chairman Drew Payne publicly thanked Carolyn Long for her service and leadership, saying, “Carolyn Long left the University on solid ground. She gave generously of her time and energy, and has been a great help to me as the new chair.” Long resigned from the board effective Dec. 8 to apply for the WVU Tech transitional leadership post. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is set to appoint a replacement for the unexpired term in January.

The next BOG meeting is Feb. 23-24 in Morgantown.



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