McKaig Foundation helps students in tri-state region attend WVU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It was the desire of the late W. Wallace McKaig when establishing the Lalitta Nash McKaig Foundation to help students in the area where he lived to attend college.

If Mr. McKaig or his wife Lalitta were here today, they no doubt would be more than proud of the 36-year legacy they created.

Founded in 1976, the Lalitta Nash McKaig Foundation has helped hundreds of young men and women attend college, many at West Virginia University and Potomac State College of WVU. Since the WVU Foundation began handling administration of the scholarship grants four years ago, approximately $441,300 has been awarded to WVU and PSC students.

The McKaig Foundation was granted charitable status in March of 1976. A wards from the foundation range anywhere from $250 to $3,000 depending on student need.

Grant awards are restricted to students who have graduated from high schools in Mineral and Hampshire counties in West Virginia, Allegany and Garrett counties in Maryland, and Bedford and Somerset counties in Pennsylvania. The awards are not restricted to those who wish to attend WVU and Potomac State. Recipients may take the award to any accredited college or university in the United States.

Greg Getty, administrator of the McKaig Foundation, says there is a reason why so many applicants choose WVU to further their education.

“I would be remiss not to point out that it is the quality and prestige of the University, which attracts so many of our McKaig applicants to West Virginia University,” Getty said. “West Virginia University is the number one choice for many of these applicants.”

WVU senior broadcast journalism major Milda Mullins from Allegany County, Maryland -- a recipient of a McKaig Foundation grant -- says WVU was the obvious choice for her when deciding where to continue her education.

“There were various reasons for me to come to WVU,” Mullins said. “Coming to WVU was the best choice for me because aside from Marshall, it was the only journalism school in West Virginia. I had majored in journalism when I was at Potomac State and knew I wanted to continue with it.”

Getty says it was the desire of Mr. McKaig that the money be awarded to students who, but for receiving a McKaig award, might not be able to go on to a college or university.

According to Mullins, the McKaig Scholarship allowed her to do just that.

“I was honored to receive the award,” Mullins said. “I'm a first generation college student from a low income family, so naturally the money helps a lot.”

“The real “thanks” belongs to the philanthropic largess of Wallace McKaig,” Getty said. “He, by his last will and testament, created the trust which provides the funds for the annual awards.”

To find out more about the Lalitta Nash McKaig Foundation, contact Getty at 301-777-1533.

Scholarship grants from the McKaig Foundation are made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $750 million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.