The Art Museum of WVU, which officially opens on Aug. 25, has received its first funding for educational programming.

Mavis Grant and George Lilley, Jr., of Morgantown, have pledged $10,000 to establish the Grant and Lilley Educational Fund to support the educational outreach mission of the museum.

“The fund advances the educational mission of the Art Museum and makes possible programs and projects that enhance the student experience at WVU,” said Director Joyce Ice. “It supports learning in the galleries as well as in the classroom.
“We are very grateful to Mavis and George for their generosity.”

Grant and Lilley have been involved with the Art Museum of WVU since it was in the planning stages and they are charter members of a group called Friends of the Art Museum.

“When we learned of the formation of the Friends of the WVU Art Museum group, we were immediately drawn to this opportunity to both support the museum and to advance our own knowledge and appreciation of the arts,” they said. “We became charter members of the Friends group and have enjoyed the many opportunities and activities associated with it.

“It is our hope that visitors of all ages will be enriched through their experiences in programs funded in part or wholly by the Grant and Lilley Education Fund at the Art Museum of WVU.”

Mavis Grant grew up in rural Illinois and George Lilley, Jr., is from the Philadelphia area. Both have long been interested in the arts.

They met professionally when George was the Chief Executive Director of Valley HealthCare System, the regional comprehensive mental health center, and Mavis was the Director of Community Health at the Monongalia County Health Department. Married in 1998, they have three children and two sons-in-law, all in their early 40s, as well as four grandchildren, ages two to six years old. They also have an adopted African family living in Nebraska.

Retired for almost ten years, they spend their time between volunteering, traveling and grandchildren. Both enjoy being involved in new initiatives. George chairs the local Coordinating Council on Homelessness and is active in the Morgantown Rotary, the Community Living Initiatives Corporation (CLIC), and the Morgantown Pedestrian Safety Board. Mavis founded Empty Bowls locally in 2007, serves on the Board of the Mon County Youth Services Center, and is helping to develop the membership of a new non-profit organization called The Women’s Giving Circle of North Central West Virginia. Both are actively involved in the Presbyterian Church (USA) locally and regionally.

When the new Art Museum opens, it will enhance opportunities to learn about art locally and it will be a place for students from all fields of study to enjoy.

“Right now, students and members of the community have to go to 75 miles away to Pittsburgh, or to Washington, D.C., or Cleveland to see major museum collections,” Dr. Ice said. It’s important to have the presence of art here on campus, not only for the University, but for Morgantown and the surrounding region.”

Ice said the museum collection offers a great resource to teachers and their students, who can explore a wide range of subjects through the visual arts.

The Mavis Grant and George Lilley, Jr., gift to the Art Museum of WVU was made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.” The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.

For more information about the opening of the Art Museum of WVU in August, visit the website at:



CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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