It’s been 26 years since Sean M. Frisbee graduated from West Virginia University in aerospace engineering. Since then the retired Air Force colonel has traveled the world in the name of freedom, helping to rebuild the Iraqi Air Force as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, leading the development and modernization of the F-22 stealth fighter weapon system and leading government and private business organizations.
Now it’s time to return to a place that gave Col. Frisbee his start—West Virginia University—as the new executive director of the Alumni Association and vice president of Alumni Relations, effective Oct. 16. Christie McCartney, chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, made the announcement Thursday (Oct. 8) – just prior to Homecoming weekend on campus.
In his new role, Frisbee will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Association, connecting with graduates and engaging in programs and outreach activities worldwide. Long-time president and CEO Stephen L. Douglas will continue his focus on philanthropic endeavors, including retiring the remaining debt on the Erickson Alumni Center.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming home such a distinguished WVU graduate to lead and re-envision our Alumni Association,” said Christie McCartney, chair of the Alumni Association board. “No matter where Sean has traveled or served, he always remained a Mountaineer, giving of his time and talent to the College of Engineering, purchasing season football tickets and a parking spot for his RV in the stadium lot and mentoring our students. It is exciting that this retired Air Force colonel and current business executive will be bringing his many talents and skill sets back home to his alma mater.”
Frisbee said he has always loved WVU and was intrigued when he learned about the position and how he might further support the University.
“My life and career have really come full circle, from serving my country in the military, to getting involved in some business ventures and now returning to a place that gave me my start,” Frisbee said. “I am super excited about coming back to WVU and connecting with alumni, supporting the great state of West Virginia and helping my alma mater expand its global reach.”
In addition to earning an undergraduate degree from WVU in 1989, Frisbee earned master’s degrees in aeronautical sciences, military operations and air and space power studies from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Air University. He also spent a year as a National Defense Fellow at the University of Illinois, and is a Distinguished Alumni of WVU’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
The bulk of his career, from 1989-2012, was serving in the U.S. Air Force. He was program director of the F-22 stealth aircraft weapon system at Wright Patterson Air Force Base; vice wing commander of Iraqi Air Force Development in Baghdad, and held other operational, acquisition and staff positions as a propulsion engineer, intelligence analyst, program manager and aircraft and munitions commander.
For the past several years, Frisbee has been involved in several small business and startup firms and is president of a privately-held electronics business, IES Global, Inc., that designs and produces systems for the oil and gas industries.
“We are very happy to be welcoming home a true Mountaineer and someone who has had key responsibilities leading large organizations, building relationships, recognizing talent, understanding marketing and communication and running a profitable business operation,” said President Gordon Gee. “Sean Frisbee is a proven leader who will take our Alumni Association to even greater heights, and we look forward to a strong and valued partnership.”
Cindi Roth, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation, said, “Sean Frisbee has an impressive background—having served our country at home and abroad, and led some truly outstanding entrepreneurial ventures since his retirement from the military. We extend a warm Mountaineer ‘Welcome back home!’ to Sean, and look forward to working with him as we connect and engage with our passionate and loyal alumni.”
Of the appointment, Douglas said, “First, I want to thank the Alumni Association and the University for 33 fabulous years doing what I love—advocating for and serving my alma mater. I also want to congratulate the Alumni Board for the care they have taken to find a wonderful new leader to build on the strong foundation that we have put in place. I look forward to working with Sean on future fund-raising and friendship-building endeavors.”
Frisbee will be formally introduced to Mountaineer nation during Mountaineer Week in November.
He resides in Dayton, Ohio, with his wife Melanie. They have two children, Jacob and Lia.
The WVU Alumni Association has more than 190,000 graduates worldwide, and boasts 100 chapters and constituent groups across the county and six international chapters.
CONTACT: University Relations/News
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.