Professor Emerita Willa Louise Cather to be added to Scholars’ Wall at Potomac State

Willa Louise Cather, Ed.D. and Professor Emerita of English at Potomac State College of West Virginia University (WVU), will be recognized by the Alumni Association during a special ceremony on Sunday, April 24, with the inscription of her name on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Academic Achievement Wall (Scholars’ Wall).

Dr. Cather began teaching English at Potomac State in 1966 where she remained until 1985. She was named Outstanding Professor of the Year in 1971.   Upon leaving Potomac State, she accepted a position as an education training specialist with various government agencies in Washington, D.C. and the National Training Center in Emmitsburg, Md.  She worked for the Smithsonian Institution as well and for FEMA, where she encountered associations with former President Ronald Reagan and former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.   

She returned to Potomac State as a full professor of English in 2001 where she remained until her retirement in 2007.  During this time, Dr. Cather served as the Humanities Coordinator from 2002 – 2003.  She was also awarded emerita status with Potomac State less than two years ago.    Louise Cather

Dr. Cather previously served as an English instructor in the graduate programs at James Madison University and WVU.  She also taught at the graduate level at Lord Fairfax Community College where she was nominated for the Distinguished Faculty Award. 

Other recognitions include: Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity, Alpha Sigma Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa National Teachers’ Honorary, Kappa Delta Pi National and Professional Educational Honorary, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for both the 7th and 9th Editions, Who’s Who of American Women, Outstanding Educator of America, and Outstanding Young Women of America. 

Dr. Cather also serves as the director of the Willa Cather Historical Preservation Council, which recognizes and honors the accomplishments of one of America’s most notable authors, Willa Cather, Dr. Cather’s cousin and for whom she was named.

Dr. Cather earned her associate degree from Potomac State.  She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as her doctorate degree (Ed.D.) in English and higher education curriculum and instruction from WVU. 

Dr. Cather has held membership in numerous professional organizations, societies and councils.  She co-authored “Writing Across the Curriculum” and authored “Portrait of Dr. Louise McNeill Pease: West Virginia Educator.”  She is the daughter of the late Catherine L. and Wilbur S. Cather.

The public is cordially invited to the Scholars’ Wall Ceremony to be held Sunday, April 24, in the Church-McKee Arts Center Auditorium at 2:30 p.m.  The Scholars’ Wall was conceived in order to recognize the academic and scholarly achievements of students, alumni and faculty.