Potomac State Theatre Department receives gift from family of alumnus

By Debi Swick-Cruse

The family of Alumnus William W. Loy, a retired captain from the U.S. Navy, has created an endowment at Potomac State College of West Virginia University in memory of the 1941 graduate. 

As a student, Capt. Loy sang bass with the Potomac Singers under the direction of Leonard Withers and is being memorialized with the ‘William W. Loy Theater and Arts Endowment.’

“There were several things that were dear to my dad’s heart,” said Sydne Loy Iwerks, daughter of Capt. Loy, “Music in most any form, West Virginia in general and Keyser in particular.  He loved to sing and could often be heard singing, humming or whistling a tune from a musical production.”

William Loy
William W. Loy

Capt. Loy, who was born and raised in Keyser, attended Potomac State before entering the Navy where he received flight training and served until December 1945.  He worked in the Cumberland and Frederick, Md. areas for a few years then returned to active duty in 1952, serving his country until his retirement from the Navy in 1971, at which time he was serving as the Executive Officer at NAS Jacksonville, Fla.  Capt. Loy then managed the Barnett Bank Office at NAS Jax from 1972 to 1986.

“When I heard about the annual theatre productions at Potomac State, which also included the local community, I thought it would be a perfect way to remember dad and his love for Keyser and the arts,” added Iwerks.  Capt. Loy once stated that he had great memories of Potomac State, some of which include Dr. Atwater, Leonard Withers, the Sugar Bowl, and the old Blue Jay.

The William W. Loy Endowment will support the College’s annual theater production, but can also be used for bringing guest speakers or entertainers to the College; thereby, allowing Capt. Loy to posthumously pass along his love of music and the arts to students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

“Dad was an officer and a true gentleman, extremely kind and had a great sense of humor.  He was also quiet and rather shy.  Even after he developed Alzheimer’s disease, during the last few years of his life, listening to and singing along with the soundtrack from ‘Phantom of the Opera’ helped him stay in tune with the world around him.  Music brought him such joy,” stated Iwerks.    

Individuals wanting to contribute to the ‘William W. Loy Theater and Arts Endowment,’ or who would like to create an endowment, may do so by contacting Lucas Taylor, director of development at the College, at 304-788-6995 or at lstaylor@mail.wvu.edu.