Tom Cook was raised on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and came to West Virginia University upon receiving a baseball scholarship. His wife Jan grew up in Charleston and after attending Morris Harvey College (Charleston, W.Va., now the University of Charleston) for a few years, transferred to WVU. Both received their BS in Education.

The Cooks are grateful for their education. Their lives have been positively and immeasurably impacted by their WVU experience and West Virginia connection. They are indebted to their professors and coaches who helped guide them. Their two children also graduated from colleges in West Virginia (Tom from WVU in 1985; Natalie from Shepherd College in 1987).

The couple always knew they wanted to give back to West Virginia as they both have a deep love and appreciation for its people, history, beauty and resiliency. The Cooks made the decision to give after hearing WVU President Gordon Gee speak.

The new scholarship, the Tom and Jan Cook Endowed Scholarship, will support College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences students with a focus in sport and exercise psychology.

“We are giving to WVU so the University can continue to provide life changing experiences for its students. We have been blessed and have an obligation to help others who want and need assistance to better themselves,” the Cooks said.

“The Cook’s gift offers excellent opportunities for students wanting to study sport sciences. We continue to expand our programs and learning experiences for students on their way to launching meaningful careers. Donor support has become increasingly important to the college,” said Dana D. Brooks, CPASS dean and professor of Physical Education.

The Foundation, in partnership with the University, is currently conducting A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The goal of the largest fundraising effort in the history of the University is to raise $1 billion by December 2017. For more information on the campaign, visit

For further information on the comprehensive campaign, please visit or



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