Mara Boggs honored by Potomac State College

Mara Boggs honored by Potomac State College

West Virginia University Potomac State College recently presented alumni with awards and recognition during the annual Homecoming Honors Banquet.  Alumni Association President Jay Courrier (l-r) is pictured with award recipient Mara Boggs, Class of 1998, who received the Distinguished Service Award.  Also present were Potomac State College President Jennifer Orlikoff and Derek Artimez, who serves as the coordinator of Alumni Relations.  

Mara Boggs, Class of 1998, was recently honored by the Alumni Association at West Virginia University Potomac State College with the Distinguished Service Award. 

Boggs currently serves as state director for United States Senator Joe Manchin, a position she has held since 2014.  She previously served as Senator Manchin’s senior policy advisor and chief of operations, where she managed the Senate office, developed policy, and advocated for West Virginians. 

Boggs was a Distinguished Military Graduate from West Virginia University, earning two bachelor’s degrees, one in biology and the other one in English; she earned her master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla. 

Boggs was introduced by her mother, Paula Campbell, “I taught my daughter to stand up for herself, and she stood up for her country.”  During her military service, Boggs spent two years in combat in Iraq, and traveled to Afghanistan with congressional delegations on three separate occasions. 

Major Boggs was the first woman to command an engineering/airborne unit into combat in the U.S. Army.  Under the command of Major Boggs, her unit of 225 soldiers performed more than 800 combat missions, and earned the Army’s annual award for the ‘Best Engineering Unit’ in the Army, but most importantly, all 225 soldiers returned home safely. Major Boggs spent a total of 13 years in the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Cavalry Division.      

Major Boggs was the recipient of several military awards, including the Combat Action Badge, the George C. Marshall Leadership Award, the Senior Jumpmaster Badge, and the Bronze Star.  She was also named a West Virginia ‘Wonder Woman’ by WV Focus Magazine. 

Boggs stated that she was deeply humbled when contacted about the award, “I wondered if they had the right person.”  Her humbleness was evident as she spent very little time talking about herself, choosing instead to focus her attention on her family and friends, their accomplishments, and the support she’s received from them over the years.