West Virginia University President Jim Clements and President Emeritus David Hardesty issued the following statements on the death of Charles Vest, president emeritus of MIT and a WVU alumnus, member of the Board of Governors and Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Dr. Vest’s death was announced Friday (Dec. 13) by MIT:

WVU President Jim Clements:
“Dr. Chuck Vest was one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was also one of the giants in higher education, and I am so blessed to have been mentored by him through the WVU Board of Governors. His loss is one that touches so many around the world because his impact was literally that far-reaching. In every conversation and in every meeting over the past five years, I always knew how incredibly fortunate I was that our paths crossed here at his alma mater. Words truly fall short in expressing my admiration of Dr. Vest. He represented everything that is so special about West Virginia and West Virginia University – strength, character and humility. Our hearts are with his family at this difficult and sad time, and I send sincerest condolences to them from the entire WVU community.”


WVU President Emeritus David C. Hardesty:
“Charles Vest was a native West Virginian who loved the state and his undergraduate alma mater. He spoke eloquently of the mission of a land-grant institution when I was installed as president, and has served the University in many public and private capacities. He will be sorely missed on the national stage because of is important role as an advocate for WVU, higher education generally, and the engineering profession.”


James W. Dailey II, chair, WVU Board of Governors:
“I am deeply saddened by this news. Chuck had such a gentle nature; he was a true gentlemen. He gave the Board concise guidance and direction and was revered for his intellect. Each and every board member respected him. His quiet demeanor was one to emulate.”


E. Gordon Gee, incoming president of WVU and president emeritus of The Ohio State University:
“Higher education has lost one of its greatest friends and advocates in Charles Vest.”


U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.:
Chuck’s success is that he is very much of the world of the newest of ideas and high technology, and yet his nature is very low-key and like somebody you’d meet on a street corner and get engaged in an interesting conversation with. He made senators and others feel very comfortable because he didn’t seem surprised when they knew technical terms. That’s very important.”



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