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Spring 2015

Where in the World are WVU Alumni?

West Virginia University alumni live and work in more than 130 countries around the world. Canada, China, Japan and India boast the most alumni outside of the U.S. And though they’re far away, many alumni are still maintaining their ties with WVU through international alumni chapters in China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Taiwan.

Keep in touch wherever you are by sending a class note to

Map of Asia

Know Your States

In the fall issue we asked you to name the state with the least number of alumni living there. The answer: North Dakota with 43 alumni. Congrats to Larry Lewis, BS ’85, Pharmacy, of Forest, Va., who gave us the correct answer and received a WVU alumni prize pack. 

Where is the nearest alumni chapter to you? We’ll show you next issue.

North Dakota

Helping the Mountaineer Help Others

You see the Mountaineer on TV at football and basketball games. The mascot makes more than 300 appearances to sporting events and schools, hospitals and events. Now, alumni Steve, BS ’79, Marketing, JD ’84, and Karen, BA ’81, Elementary Education, Farmer of Charleston, W.Va., have created a $125,000 endowment to help the traveling mascot with travel expenses, buckskins, and lab and book costs not already covered by the mascot scholarship.

Quotable Alumni

This year, WVU named four more alumni to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni, which recognizes alumni who have attained national or international distinction in their profession. They had a lot to say about Mountaineers’ generosity.

James Valenti“In my various performing venues there’s always a group of alumni from WVU, people that I’ve never even met that get together and come to hear me perform, sort of my personal cheering section. You always feel that warmth and that closeness from this University.”

-James Valenti, BM ’00, Music, internationally acclaimed opera tenor

Thomas Menighan“If we’ve been a recipient, we can also be the donor. Let’s renew the quest to promote excellence in others by catching them doing good stuff and telling them. And in doing that we can help the next generation of WVU grads continue to build the legacy of this great University.”

-Thomas Menighan, BS ’74, Pharmacy, ScD (honorary) ’14, CEO of the American Pharmacists Association

Judith Hayes“WVU is a place that inspires critical thinking when working on difficult challenges. It’s a place that gives students the opportunity to try new things. It’s a safe place to learn to fly and to fall. Because I fell plenty. I also learned that it’s all about the recovery. Everybody stumbles, but Mountaineers always get up.”

-Judith Hayes, BS ’82, MS ’83, Exercise Physiology, NASA scientist

Rustin Moore“I wake up every day eager to make a difference, to pay forward by giving back, and to serve people and animals.”

-Rustin Moore, BS ’86, Animal and Veterinary Science, executive director of The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center

Did You Know?

You can be a part of recruiting future Mountaineers. The Old Gold, New Blue program is coordinated by the WVU Office of Admissions to help connect alumni and prospective students. Attend a college fair or call a prospective student – getting involved is easy. To learn more, visit

Country Roads of Japan

Governor Tomblin with guests

Photograph Submitted

There was a little bit of Appalachia in Tokyo this May as West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin met with 30 WVU alumni now living in Japan. It was the first time a governor of the state had met with the Japan chapter. While there, Tomblin handed out WVU coins on behalf of President E. Gordon Gee. The president always carries one of the WVU coins with him, which say: Focus, innovate, perform, change, stretch and reward.

Atsuhiko Nishi, president of the alumni chapter in Tokyo, said “The alumni meeting today with the group from West Virginia was a first for our chapter. We’ve been meeting with each other, but it was an honor to have them here. We are grateful to see people from West Virginia.”

Nishi hasn’t been back to West Virginia in more than 25 years, and said during the visit that, “learning about the state’s progress was exciting.”

Alumni who attended the event work in fields that include translation, television, banking, medicine and engineering.

We Asked, You Delivered

When we asked for baby photos in the fall issue, we didn’t know we’d be overwhelmed with cuteness. Thanks for sharing your bundle of joy with us. If you think you can handle these adorable future grads, see their photos online:

Finding the Flying WV

Thanks to young alum Katie Brookes, BS ’14, Public Relations, for sharing this beautiful photo taken during her travels to Zermatt, Switzerland.

Are you traveling around the world and want to show your Mountaineer pride in photos? We’d love to help you do that. Tweet us @WestVirginiaU or email us at with when and where you’ll be traveling, and you’ll have a chance to win a special WVU flag for our most passionate traveling fans.

Swiss Alps

A Year in the Life of the University Fund

WVU PROGRAMS are MADE POSSIBLE BY YOU every day. Each year, more than 20,000 PEOPLE give $18-20 MILLION in gifts ranging from $1 to $24,999 through mail, phone and online giving.


For fiscal year 2014 (July 2013 – June 2014), the percentage of total donors to the University Fund was comprised of: ALUMNI 51%, CORPORATE 7% and INDIVIDUAL 37%

THESE GIFTS GO TO THE PROGRAMS YOU LOVE MOST in every college and school, Athletics, the WVU Children’s Hospital, the WVU Alumni Association, 4-H and many more.

Logos for Pride, WVUHealthcare, 4-H, and WVU

We’re listening. You are our greatest voice. So use it. Use this form to send us story ideas, letters to the editor, questions for a future guest on Ask an Expert, memories for the Flashback section or tales for the Alumni Diary.

Alumni Diary Archive

Fall 2014

See what your fellow alumni are up to, from honoring the oldest living survivor of the World War II attack on Pearl Harbor to celebrating the pepperoni roll.

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Fall 2015

Meet the new Alumni Association Executive Director Sean M. Frisbee, honor longtime alumni leader Stephen L. Douglas and see how Mountaineers flew the WVU flag around the world this year.

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Fall 2017

See where your fellow alumni are living, the causes they’re supporting and the journeys they’re taking.

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Spring 2015

Where in the world are WVU alumni? Check out our map and discover other facts you didn’t know about your fellow alumni.

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Summer 2016

We can't call it Homecoming without you.

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Summer 2017

See where your fellow alumni are living, the causes they’re supporting and the journeys they’re taking.

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The Design Force is with Him

It's a tall task to create a background for the ultimate weapon of destruction. But this alumnus did just that with a little help from "the force."

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