The West Virginia University Alumni Association and the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources have received major gift donations totaling $500,000 from The Thrasher Group, a leading engineering firm, headquartered in Clarksburg, West Virginia. The amount, which will be evenly split between the college and the association, lends further support in the construction of Statler College’s Advanced Engineering Research Building and the naming of the Erickson Alumni Center Courtyard as the Thrasher Courtyard.

College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Dean Gene Cilento said these funds continue to benefit the educational demands of WVU students.

“On behalf of everyone in the Statler College, I would like to thank The Thrasher Group for its generous contribution in support of the construction of the new Advanced Engineering Research Building,” said Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean.

“This is just the latest in a long line of gifts the College has received from them, many of which have gone toward supporting the educational mission of our students,” added Cilento. “These gifts have gone to help a number of our student project teams, most notably in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.”

“This gift will help ensure future generations of Statler College students have access to state-of-the art facilities to solve the technical problems of today and tomorrow,” said Cilento.

Officially opened in 2015, the Advanced Engineering Research Building adds 63,000 square feet of flexible and environmentally safe laboratory and research space to the Statler College, as well as an 8,000 square foot clean room to meet the needs of high-technology learning and discovery in the new millennium. Offices, classrooms, a learning center and space for graduate students occupy 29,000 square feet of the building.

Sean Frisbee, president of the WVU Alumni Association, says the generous donation from The Thrasher Group lends a tremendous opportunity in making a difference for the University.

“This gift from The Thrasher Group impacts so many of our loyal alumni,” said Frisbee. “By receiving this generous donation, the Erickson Alumni Center can continue its efforts to engage alumni across all networks through quality programming, mentorship and support of our students. We are so thankful for this contribution.”

The Thrasher Group, established in 1983, is a civil engineering firm focused in site development, architecture, and utility infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic region. With a commitment to building business through “successful projects and repeat clientele,” H. Wood “Woody” Thrasher, PE has grown the company to employ more than 300 people throughout several office locations.

President of The Thrasher Group, Woody Thrasher, said the gift represents affinity to both institutions at the University.

“The Thrasher Group wouldn’t be as successful today if it weren’t for the outstanding educators and alumni of the Statler College. A large part of what makes our company what it is today are the opportunities and doors that have opened being active members of the Alumni Association and the development of the College,” said Thrasher. “It is extremely important to us to give back to the University, so that we can further the ties of current students and alumni at West Virginia University.”

The Erickson Alumni Center was constructed in 2008 as the new home for WVU Alumni. In addition to the conference facilities, the center houses the WVU Alumni Association offices and hosts alumni events and activities on campus.

The gift from The Thrasher Group was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.



CONTACT: Allyson Cannon, Director of Communications, WVU Alumni Association

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