As West Virginia University continues its march to a $750 million goal in A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University, the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design honored some of its most ardent supporters and partners at a recent banquet.

“Last year, we began a new tradition of honoring some of the people and organizations that truly make a difference here in the Davis College providing us with a margin of excellence through donations of their time, energy, ideas and financial support,” said Daniel J. Robison, dean of the Davis College.

“The kinds of investments these people make set us apart, enable us, and inspire us to work all the harder,” Robison said.

Robison noted that private giving and donations of time and energy make all the more difference in uncertain budgetary times and, through endowments, “sustain the good works of students and faculty for years to come.”

Individuals and organizations honored were:

Philanthropist of the Year: James Kinsey, of Taylor County, West Virginia, was recognized for his creation of the Oak Front Farm Scholarship. While building the Kinsey’s Oak Front Farm herd, Kinsey has emerged as one of the more influential leaders of the beef industry in the state and nation. He has provided valuable leadership and service as an officer and board member for the West Virginia Cattleman’s Association and West Virginia Beef Industry Council, as well as, representing West Virginia on boards and committees for the National Beef Cattle Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Southern States Board of Directors, and Farm Credit organizations.

Corporate Partner of the Year: CoBank was recognized for its commitment to the Agricultural Sciences Building Construction. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy.

Resource Development Award: George Weaver III, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was recognized for his commitment to assisting and investing in the Davis College’s recruitment efforts. He has been proactive with Davis College development and recruitment personnel in organizing local recruitment events and investing in those activities. A graduate of the Davis College, Weaver has worked in soil conservation services and sales, but his career eventually led him to financial consulting where he continues to provide individual and institutional clients with investment council and portfolio management.

Volunteer Leader: Joginder Nath, emeritus professor of genetics and developmental biology, was recognized for his commitment to assisting with the college’s comprehensive campaign by identifying and cultivating donors. He has been a donor himself, giving back to the Davis College and other WVU initiatives, and he encourages his students, friends and colleagues to do the same. He has spent many hours working with the college’s Development Office as an ambassador for giving back to the college.

Legacy Leaders: Kaye C. and R. Michael Daniel, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were recognized for their legacy gift to the Kaye C. Daniel Faculty Development Fund. Kaye Daniel earned her master’s degree from the Davis College. Prior to retirement, she was president of a company that marketed products to the military. She also co-authored and published a guide to antique shops in the Pittsburgh area. Michael is an estates and trusts attorney in Pittsburgh. He is a retired Colonel in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve. He is an Eagle Scout and is a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America.

The Davis College also recognized several other supporters for major gifts:

• Joel and Suellen Newman, of Fairfax, Virginia, for creation of the Joel and Suellen Newman Dean’s Opportunity Fund;
• Jim “Apples” McClelland, of Washington, Pennsylvania, for support of the Evansdale Greenhouse;
• Elizabeth Rice, of Statesville, North Carolina, for support of the West Virginia Natural History Museum;
• The West Virginia Farm Bureau for establishment of an undergraduate agriculture scholarship;
• VI-COR for the establishment of the VI-COR Unrestricted Research Fund
• William F. and Lynn D. Gauss Foundation for their support of the service dog training program.

To find out more about supporting the Davis College, please contact Julie Cryser, director of development, at 304-293-2400 or


CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design

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