Potomac State College renames farms as memorial to former professors

In 2015, West Virginia University Potomac State College received a large gift supporting the agriculture program.  The renaming of the farms evolved at the humble suggestion of donor J.  Duncan Smith, who felt it would be best to rename the properties after some of the people responsible for growing the Agriculture and Forestry program at Potomac State.

During Homecoming 2017 this fall, the College held a farm renaming ceremony in memory of three former professors, Kenneth Malone, Oscar Gustafson and Don Starcher. 

The Fort Ashby Farm was renamed the Malone Farm in honor of the late Kenneth M. Malone, professor emeritus of agriculture, who constantly worked for the benefit of the College.   He was particularly active in recruiting outstanding agricultural students as he represented the College at various educational fairs.  Professor Malone is remembered by his former students as a dedicated teacher who always had a cheery “hello” for them and always took time to talk with them when they needed him.  As a memorial, his family established the Kenneth M. Malone Agriculture Scholarship.  The College also recognized his contributions by awarding him the Distinguished Service Award in 1991. 

From the day the late Oscar Gustafson arrived on campus in 1956, until his retirement in 1988, he tirelessly trekked across the state and bordering states to offer students agricultural opportunities at the College.  During his tenure, the two-year agriculture, pre-veterinary medicine, horticulture, and forestry programs became extremely competitive and of high quality.  His selfless commitment, dedication, and loyalty to Potomac State College and to the state of West Virginia, as well as a sincere concern for young people and a fostering of their hopes and dreams, have been the driving forces behind the man that everyone knew as “Mr. Gus.”   The Upper Farm has been renamed in honor of Mr. Gus for his dedication.  The College also recognized his contributions by awarding him the Distinguished Service Award in 1996.

The Greenhouse and Ag Tech Facility were renamed in honor of the late Don Starcher for the contributions he made to the College.  Starcher’s tenure with Potomac State College began in 1978 and spanned 24 years.  During his time here, Starcher served as coordinator of farm operations, taught classes, worked with the greenhouse, and served as the Ag Club advisor.  He was a staunch advocate of agriculture and always encouraged his students to strive for greater achievements.  The College recognized Starcher for the impact he had on his students by posthumously awarding him the Distinguished Service Award in 2006.

Potomac State College’s Ag tech and greenhouse renamed

The Ag Tech facility and greenhouse at West Virginia University Potomac State College was renamed this fall in honor of the late Don Starcher, who served as the coordinator of farm operations for 24 years and as the Ag Club advisor.  An aerial photo of the complex was presented to Starcher’s widow, Nancy (right, accepting framed photo), by Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff.  Furthermore, the annual Outstanding Freshman Agriculture/Forestry Award given during Recognition Day, was renamed the Don S. Starcher Memorial Award as a way of recognizing the many contributions of the late professor.

 

Potomac State College’s Fort Ashby Farm renamed

The Fort Ashby Farm at West Virginia University Potomac State College was renamed this fall in memory of the late Kenneth Malone, professor emeritus of agriculture at the College.  An aerial photo of the farm was presented to his widow, Joanne (right, accepting framed photo), by Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff.  The Malone family also established the Kenneth M. Malone Agriculture Scholarship to benefit students majoring in agriculture.  

 

Potomac State College’s Upper Farm renamed

The Upper Farm at West Virginia University Potomac State College was renamed this fall in memory of the late Oscar Gustafson, professor emeritus of agriculture, who taught at the College from 1956 until his retirement in 1988, and his wife, Jacqueline, who served as an accountant for the farm.  Their daughter, Jacqueline Sions, (right, holding picture) accepts an aerial photo of the farm on behalf of the Gustafson family, which was presented by Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff.  The Gustafson family also established the Oscar “Gus” Gustafson Agriculture Scholarship to benefit students majoring in agriculture.