WVU Tech and WVU connected with thousands of potential students, community members, business leaders and local officials during a full day of events at the Beckley Campus Kickoff on Saturday, October 3.
The kickoff began at 1 p.m. with an open house for prospective students, who toured campus and met with counselors to explore the admissions process and financial aid. WVU Tech staff and students also provided campus tours to community members, WVU alumni and WVU Tech alumni.
Hank Wright, a 1968 graduate of WVU Tech’s electrical engineering program and a member of the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association board, travelled to the event from his home in Raleigh, North Carolina. He said the campus tour showcased what he saw as a “wonderful opportunity.”
“All of our alumni can take pride in this facility,” said Wright. “It’s going to go a long way. I think it’s a new beginning, literally, and it’s a chance for alumni to jump in and have a positive impact for the school.”
The University welcomed more than 150 guests to an afternoon ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the donation of Nick J. Rahall’s congressional papers to WVU. The collection, which includes 2,000 boxes of testimony, speeches, news releases and other documents from Rahall’s 38 years in office, will be curated and maintained on the WVU Beckley campus.
“This is truly an exciting day for me to see these archives come to WVU in the hands of professionals who can make so much come alive out of old, dusty boxes,” Rahall said. “Once these are on display for future generations, I hope to have a lot to add from a personal standpoint.”
“This is a dream come true. I believe that our university belongs to every citizen in the state. We’re going to plant his flag and our flag through this library. It’s a remarkable opportunity for us,” said WVU President E. Gordon Gee.
“What is important about this collection is what it will offer the students of West Virginia. They can learn things they won’t find in history books or from a Google search. This collection will tell a story that is transformative – they’ll see the living history that will shape policy moving forward,” said Rochelle “Rocky” Goodwin, Senior Associate Vice President for Academic and Public Policy Strategy, John D. Rockefeller IV School of Public Policy and Politics at WVU.
“We’re thrilled that this will bring a vibrancy to learning opportunities for students across West Virginia. This collection will allow our students to know that a kid from West Virginia can change the lives of their neighbors through policy,” she said.
WVU Tech and WVU Beckley Campus President Carolyn Long also announced the opening of a WVU LaunchLab on campus. The lab, already in operation, is designed to offer professional advice and services to help entrepreneurs develop business plans, conduct market research, protect intellectual property, network, attract investors and reach customers.
“The LaunchLab is something we’re very proud to be a part of, and we hope it will help to make Southern West Virginia more prosperous,” Long said.
WVU Tech faculty, staff and students greeted thousands of attendees at the 25th annual Beckley Chili Night, where they hosted family activities and a t-shirt giveaway. WVU Tech Dining Services also competed in the chili cook-off.