It’s been 26 years since Sean M. Frisbee, BS ’89, Aerospace Engineering, graduated from West Virginia University. Since then the retired Air Force colonel has traveled the world, 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.
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. Longtime 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 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 E. 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.”
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.”
The bulk of his career, from 1989-2012, was serving in the U.S. Air Force. For the past several years, Frisbee has been involved in several small business and start-up firms and is president of a privately held electronics business, IES Global Inc., which designs and produces systems for the oil and gas industries.
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 fundraising and friendship-building endeavors.”
Stephen L. Douglas, BS ’74, MS ’79, who has served as president and CEO of the WVU Alumni Association for the past 27 years, was recognized this fall for his service to the University with the Most Loyal Mountaineer Spirit Award during the WVU-Maryland football game. Under Douglas’ leadership, the organization increased investments and assets by 500 percent and built the new Erickson Alumni Center. Douglas, who was diagnosed with brain cancer last fall, serves as an inspiration to Mountaineers worldwide as he battles the disease. The University is launching a fundraising effort in Douglas’ honor to retire the remaining debt on the alumni center. WVU is also creating a permanent endowment fund for the association called the Stephen L. Douglas Alumni Association Endowment Fund. To make a donation, visit wvuf.org or call 304-293-0971.
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