With fall just around the corner, the West Virginia University Alumni Association has announced this year’s Homecoming Parade grand marshal to two dedicated and loyal alums of WVU. Verl O. Purdy and Robert L. Reynolds will co-serve as the grand marshals for the annual Homecoming parade scheduled for Friday (Sept. 30) at 6:30 p.m. on High Street in Morgantown.
Purdy, a native West Virginian, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1964 from West Virginia University and is a lifetime member of the WVU Alumni Association. Following his graduation, Purdy served in major leadership roles with major companies such as B.F. Goodrich, BASF group and AGDATA Incorporated. He is currently the head of Cadrillion Capital in Charlotte, NC.
In addition to being a member of WVU’s Chemical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni, Purdy was inducted into WVU’s Order of Vandalia, the University’s highest honor bestowed upon the most loyal servants to West Virginia University in 2011.
Robert L. Reynolds, a 1974 graduate of business administration and finance from the College of Business and Economics, serves as the President and CEO of Great-West Lifeco U.S. Inc., Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments. Reynolds is a pioneer in the modern retirement industry, popularizing employer-sponsored 401 (k) plans and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the retirement services industry.
In 2007, Reynolds received an honorary doctorate in business administration from West Virginia University. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni, which honors WVU graduates who have attained national or international distinction in their profession or discipline.
Both Purdy and Reynolds are members of the West Virginia University Alumni Association and serve as current members on the board of the WVU Foundation, co-chairing the current State of Minds private fundraising campaign.
Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna award
Jon Hammock is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna award.
As President and CEO of KeyLogic Systems Inc., an information technology consultant business located in Morgantown, Hammock’s entrepreneurial spirit has grown the company through deep partnerships and leadership. For more than 16 years, Hammock has worked tirelessly to keep the best and brightest working within the Mountain State.
Hammock received his degree in Computer Science from West Virginia University’s Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in 1988. He serves on multiple boards and committees within the community including, United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties, Foundation for Mon General Hospital and the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce. Hammock is also a member of WVU Lane Department of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Graduates.
David Jacobs Lifetime Service award
This year’s recipient of the David Jacobs Lifetime Service Award is Susan Meredith.
As a graduate of the WVU School of Pharmacy in ‘67, she has been a dedicated member of the WVU Alumni Association. In 2015, along with her children Betsy and Brian, she started the Soup for the Soul program, which provides a free meal to patients receiving treatment at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.
Meredith currently serves on the visiting committee for the School of Pharmacy.
John F. Nicholas Jr. Outstanding Chapter Leader award
This year’s recipient of the John F. Nicholas Jr. Outstanding Chapter Leader award is James “J.T.” Thomas from Morgantown, W.V.
As president of the WVU Black Alumni Association, a constituent group of the WVU Alumni Association, he has expanded and improved efforts of engaging with black alumni of West Virginia University. Since 2005, the WVU Black Alumni Association has raised significant funds towards the Horace and Geraldine Belmear Endowment Fund.
Thomas graduated with his bachelor’s degree from WVU in 2000.
Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumnus award
This year’s recipient of the Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumnus award is Sarah Soliman. Soliman is a loyal supporter of WVU and graduated with dual bachelor degrees in Computer Engineering and Biometric Systems from the Statler College in 2007. Soliman created an endowment in 2011 in honor of her former mentor, Dr. Wils Cooley. She returned to WVU as a lecturer and visiting scholar in 2015.
Paul ‘Buck’ Martin Traditions award
Dr. John Cuthbert is this year’s Paul ‘Buck’ Martin Traditions award honoree.
Cuthbert, a life member of the WVU Alumni Association, serves as the Curator for the West Virginia Regional History Collection at WVU Libraries. He is also the resident archivist for West Virginia University.
In his time at WVU, Cuthbert has housed numerous collective items that portray the rich history of WVU and the state of West Virginia to include; the original constitution of the West Virginia University Alumni Association, the Senator Rockefeller Collection, the Jerry West Digital Collection and more.
He graduated with a doctorate degree from WVU in 1980.
James McCartney Community Service award
Dr. Cynthia Clarkson, a native West Virginian, is this year’s recipient of the James McCartney Community Service award.
Dr. Clarkson’s dedicated efforts in the care of West Virginia residents led her to graduate from the WVU School of Medicine in 2004. In addition to being the current President of the WVU School of Medicine Alumni Association, she also treats patients through WVU Medicine’s Preston County Pediatric and Internal Medicine Clinic.
Dr. Clarkson and her husband, Jim have two children: MacKenzie and Alexander. Both are 2015 graduates of WVU.
CONTACT: Allyson Cannon, WVU Alumni Association
Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.