A West Virginia University student life administrator who has devoted most of his professional life to working with students is retiring this month after more than 40 years at his alma mater.
Dr. Tom Sloane, executive director of international student life and global services, has served the Division of Student Life in a variety of capacities during his tenure, most notably as the senior associate dean of students for nearly 29 years.
“Tom has touched the lives of so many international students through his 40 years of working with them,” Dr. David Stewart, associate vice president of international student life and global services, said. “The love and care he has given them has kept the WVU flag flying throughout the world in the hearts of many. His retirement will be such ‘sweet sorrow.’”
Sloane has spent nearly four decades as an advocate for students and working to build a more inclusive campus where diversity is valued and celebrated. His unparalleled devotion to build diverse global learning opportunities is recognized throughout the world, and he has worked hard to improve the university experience for African-American students and residence hall life, change the Greek Life culture at WVU, and establish stronger standards of student conduct.
“My life at WVU has been blessed with great colleagues from start to end,” Sloane said. “They carried me on their shoulders and made work at best joyful and at worst bearable. This sentiment holds true from my bosses. I had a perfect record of the best people to work for. Each in her or his own way was my hero.”
Although his roles in Student Life have changed throughout the years, he has never wavered in his devotion to build a community of engaged students who value academic success and personal development
“I am grateful to Tom for his service to WVU and the state of West Virginia’” Dr. William Schafer, vice president of student life, said. “He is a true Mountaineer by helping pioneer global partnerships to recruit and retain students from around the world. I wish him much happiness in retirement, he will be missed.”
Sloane earned both bachelors and masters in English from WVU, and following graduation, he taught in the Department of English for seven years. He then would go on to receive a doctorate in student personnel from The Ohio State University.
“I have loved the opportunity to grow the global footprint of WVU throughout the world. It has been a great honor to recruit and mentor students from all over the world to attend and graduate from WVU,” Sloane said.
Under his direction, the overall international student population has increased 54 percent between 2010 and 2014, and the international undergraduate population alone tripled during that time. In addition, Sloane and the WVU Alumni Association worked collectively to charter eight additional chapters worldwide, including Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Kuwait.
In a 2009 graduate convocation address, Sloane said, “I really have been a Mountaineer all my life, born in Morgantown, a first-generation college student from a family where both parents worked and who wanted for their child what they did not have– an education beyond high school. WVU is in my blood.”
After retirement, Sloane plans to travel and relax. “Travel is a great teacher, and I still have so much to learn. I want to experience the simple pleasure in life. Some of what I’ve missed along the way: maybe art or fishing or short walks in the woods. And time to think,” he said.
CONTACT: Jason Broadwater, Student Life Communications
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