Women with passion and loyalty for West Virginia University now have another opportunity to become engaged with the University.

Women of WVU was created by the WVU Foundation to provide women who love the University another way to become involved using educational activities, networking opportunities and philanthropy.

In early 2013, a focus group of female WVU volunteers met to discuss the importance of women and philanthropy. Much of their discussion was fueled by the book Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World, co-authored by Sondra Shaw-Hardy, Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz and WVU alumna Martha Taylor. From their discussion arose five key findings about female donors: they perceive themselves differently from their spouses/male counterparts; they feel strongly about creating a legacy and “growing” new female donors to carry the torch when they are gone; they crave education on finances and giving; they are interested in social events and educational opportunities; and, specific to WVU female donors, they are passionate about telling the world about the successes of WVU.

Since the focus group discussion, the Women of WVU program quickly evolved with the establishment of a leadership council and the development of a full program with funding initiatives. The Women of WVU Leadership Council includes Carolyn Blaney, honorary chair; Jo Statler, chair; Joyce Butler Allen; Malene Davis; Alison Deem; Pamela Maphis Larrick; Alexis Pugh; Sandra Johnson-Purdy; and Lisa Zuccari.

“I’m very honored to be a part of this group that will make a difference in the lives of many,” Statler said. “In addition to benefiting the University we love, Women of WVU will create opportunities to establish valuable connections and better the experience for female students at WVU.”

Kristy Martin, WVU Foundation director of research and prospect management, serves as the Women of WVU program coordinator. “Working with the Leadership Council has been a privilege. Their dedication to this tremendous cause is admirable, and their passion and creativity is inspiring,” she said.

The Leadership Council is currently recruiting new members. Membership for Women of WVU is $100. Membership dues are 100 percent tax deductible and support two WoW funds: the Women Students’ Emergency Fund, created to assist women students with an immediate financial need, and the WoW Fund, which will facilitate the funding of larger one-time projects of interest to the Leadership Council.

In addition to those funds, the Leadership Council has established the Women of WVU Enrichment Fund, which provides funding for female students and programs affecting women at WVU.

To join or learn more about Women of WVU, email womenofwvu@wvuf.org or call 304-284-4021.



CONTACT: Kristy Martin, WVU Foundation
304.284.4021; kmartin@wvuf.org

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