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Alumni Achievement Honorees

The following is a list of the WVU Potomac State College Alumni Achievement Honorees.

They are listed in chronological order by year inducted, (ex. year-name): 

1976 - Winnifred Newman ’27

1977 - Thomas F. Pendergast

Mr. Pendergast served as vice-president and director of personnel and labor relations for the Associated Press.

A native of Newburg, WV he graduated from Potomac State in 1951. During the summers while in college, he was employed as a reporter for the Mineral Daily News Tribune in Keyser.

Following employment with the Hinton, WV, Daily News, he served two years with the U.S. Navy aboard the battleship “USS Missouri” and at Navy headquarters in London, England.

Pendergast joined the Associated Press staff at Chicago in 1955 and was appointed correspondent at Centralia, for southern Illinois in 1957. A year later he became a regional membership executive, based in New Orleans, for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

In 1963, he was appointed correspondent at St. Louis Missouri, and two years later was named chief of bureau at Richmond, VA. He was named to the same position in Philadelphia in 1967 and moved to Los Angles as bureau chief for southern California in 1969. During his four-year stint in California, he was responsible for coverage of the Charles Manson trial and the Los Angeles earthquake. He transferred to AP’s worldwide headquarters in New York in 1973 as deputy personnel director. He was elected personnel director of the giant news cooperative in 1974, and was elected a vice-president in 1975.

He married the former Karen Wheeler of Winnsboro, TX. They have one daughter, Meredith Ann.

1978 - Dr. E. William Noland

Dr. Noland is a native of Levels, WV. He graduated from Potomac State College in 1928 and furthered his education at West Virginia University earning an A.B. in mathematics in 1930. In 1936 he received a M.A. in mathematics and physics from WVU. After completing the equivalency of a second master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1941, he studied at Cornell University, where he was awarded the Ph.D. in sociology and statistics in 1944.

Following the completion of his doctorate degree he became assistant professor of sociology at Cornell for 1944-45, after which he was named associate director of the Research, Labor, and Management Center at Yale University (1945-46). In 1946, he was appointed vice-president in charge of statistical analysis and public relations for R. S. Dickson and Company, investment bankers in Charlotte, NC, and he held a concurrent position as coordinator of industrial relations and personnel management for the American Yarn Processing Company, Mt. Holly, NC.

After a short period of service in 1949 at the University of Iowa, Dr. Noland was named professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was given concurrent appointments as research professor for the Institute for Research in Social Science and as lecturer in the executive program in the School of Business Administration at that institution. He chaired the sociology department there from 1954 to 1962. From 1961 to 1963 he held the title of Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology.

From 1963 to 1967 Dr. Noland was professor and head of the department of sociology at Purdue University and also a professor of administrative science in the Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Purdue.

Professor Noland has done extensive consultant work with the U.S. Air Force and numerous business and industrial firms. He has also served on the faculties of the School of Consumer Banking in Washington, DC, and the Institute Department of Organization Management of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

An internationally recognized scholar, he has held many appointments as visiting professor not only in the United States, but in Canada and Europe as well. He has served on a variety of advisory and administrative boards both at the University of North Carolina and Purdue. He is also a member of several professional societies.

The co-author of two books, “Workers Wanted” and “Human Relations in Management,” he has written technical chapters in several others and has widely published both articles and book reviews, not only in academic journals but also in business publications.

Dr. Noland was a member of Clinton Lodge #86, AF & AM in Romney, WV. A Rotarian, he served as president of the Chapel Hill, NC, Rotary Club in 1959-60. He holds membership in six university honoraries and was president of Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society at Potomac State in 1927-28. He is listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “American Men of Science”.  

1979 - Congressman Harley O. Staggers

Born in a two-room log cabin near Keyser, Congressman Staggers is the son of Jacob and Frances (Cumberledge) Staggers. He attended the public schools of Mineral County and Potomac State College. He received the bachelor of arts degree from Emory and Henry College, Emory, VA in 1931, and later did graduate work at Duke University.

Before entering public service, Mr. Staggers coached and taught in high school for two years and later served as coach at Potomac State College.

 He was elected sheriff of Mineral County in 1937 and held that position until 1941. During the Second World War, Mr. Staggers served for four years in the U.S. Naval Air Corps as a navigator in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.

First elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on November 2, 1948, he was known as the “Dean of the West Virginia Congressional Delegation” because of his longevity of service representing the State of West Virginia.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he was a member of the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He served as Assistant Whip of the House from January 25, 1955 to January 3, 1977. Due to changes in the House rules in the 95th Congress, he was no longer eligible to continue in that position because of more than twelve years of congressional service. He was also a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Energy.

Active in civic and church affairs, he was a member of the United Methodist Church, where he taught men’s Bible classes for many years. He held membership in the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Loyal Order of the Moose, Elks, Knights of Pythias, the Keyser-Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, and the West Virginia Farm Bureau. As a member of the Keyser Lions Club, he was a former District Governor of the WV clubs.

Representative Staggers was married to Mary V. Casey of Keyser. They had six children; four daughters and two sons.

1980 - Dr. William E. Coffman

A native of Belington, WV, William Coffman is the son of the late Walter E. and M. Leila Coffman. William married the former Eloise Clarke and they are the parents of twin daughters, Mary Eloise and Mrs. Judith Ann Piche.

Coffman is a 1930 graduate of Keyser High School and completed his first two years of college work at Potomac State in 1932. He earned a bachelor of science degree in education from Wittenburg College in Springfield, Ohio in 1934 with majors in English and social studies. He completed a master of arts degree in educational administration at West Virginia University in 1938. In 1949 he was awarded the doctorate in educational psychology from Columbia University in New York.

Dr. Coffman was affiliated for seventeen years with the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey, where he held positions as assistant director, test development, associate director; director, director of research and development, college board programs division; and research adviser for developmental research. His major research interests were in the area of achievement tests, aptitude tests, and the evaluation of educational programs.

He has served as a consultant for numerous national committees and panels and was also an overseas consultant for the Ford Foundation. He is recognized in several reference publications including WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA, INTERNATIONAL SCOLARS DICTIONARY, and AMERICAN MEN AND WOMEN OF SCIENCE.

Dr. Coffman is the author of some 60 publications and technical reports. He is a past president of the National Council on Measurement in Education (1972-73). He is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association and holds membership in the American Educational Research Association, Psi Chi, Kappa Delta Pi, and Phi Delta Kappa.

1981 - Edward O. Buckbee

Edward O. Buckbee, director of the Alabama Space and Rocket was involved in the public information facet of the United States space program since Alan Shepherd’s initial journey in 1961 through the flight of the Space Shuttle earlier in 1981.

In 1978, for excellence in his field, he received NASA’s highest award to non-federal employees, the Distinguished Public Service Medal for “…significant and imaginative contributions toward informing and the general public of NASA’s programs and activities through the direction of the Alabama Space and Rocket Center”. He was also awarded the Tsiolkovsky Medal by the Soviet Union Space Museum.

A Romney native, he holds an AA degree from Potomac State (1956), and a BS degree in journalism from WVU (1958). Between 1954 and 1959 he served as a reporter for the Hampshire Review and a part-time reporter for the Cumberland Times and the Washington Post.

Upon graduation he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Army and served at the Redstone Arsenal from 1959-61 as Special Services Officer/publicity director and later as information officer at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, Fort Brag, NC.

From 1961 to 1968, he was an information specialist with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center Public Affairs Office, working in various areas of public relations including protocol, community relations, visual presentations, press relations, script-writing, exhibits, and television. During this time, he delivered more than 500 lectures on NASA’s Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.

Ed conceived and directed an educational series “Today in Space” which he hosted. He also produced a 30-minute TV program “The Next Twenty-Five Years in Science and Technology” featuring the late Dr. Wernher von Braun. He also wrote and produced eight other TV shows and a film “Freedom to Explore” which won six national awards. He has authored two books, “Man’s Journey to the Moon” and “The Story of Space Travel” and has also appeared on national TV news and talk shows.

In 1968, he was selected to direct the planning and development of a visitors’ information center and space museum, now the largest of its kind in the world. He is responsible for the operations, exhibit design and construction, and promotion of the facility. The Center currently contains missiles and exhibits valued at over $35 million. The complex includes a missile and space park, indoor exhibition area, information center, teachers’ resource center, and library.

At Potomac State he was president of Phi Kappa Omega Fraternity and a member of Roth Military Honorary Society. He belonged to the journalism honorary while a student at WVU where he was named a Distinguished Military Graduate.

Ed is married to the former Lois Gayle Colbert of Fayetteville, TN. They have three daughters, Jana, Jill, and Jackie.         

1982 - John F. (Jack) Gillooly

Gillooly, a retired U.S. Navy captain, had a long and distinguished career of over 30 years with that branch of the service. An experienced naval aviator, he rendered outstanding service as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS WASP and as commander of the Orlando, Florida, Naval Training Center.

A native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, he was a prominent athlete on the football team at Washington Irving High School and later at Potomac State College under the late Coach Dane G. “Horse” Lough. He attended West Virginia University after leaving Potomac State and was graduated from the United States Naval Academy during World War II. During that time, he was a member of two Navy football teams. He later received a master’s degree from Stanford University in California.

As executive director of the Orlando, Florida, International Airport, Gillooly’s responsibilities included not only the recently opened $300,000 dollar airport, billed as the “Airport of the Twenty-First Century,” but also the operations and management of the 1,225 acre Orlando Tradeport and the general aviation facility, Herndon Municipal Airport, of which he was formerly deputy director.

While deputy director, he was actively involved in the construction of the terminal complex, the internationalization of the airport facility, and both domestic and international marketing and sales activities to increase airline services.

“The top challenges at Orlando International Airport are the attraction of international carriers directly to Orlando and the accommodation of the continued growth of commercial aviation in the Sun Belt,” says Gillooly.

He is a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, several aviation associations, and the Florida Council of International Development. He chaired the Governor’s Conference on World Trade held in Orlando in 1979. He has also served for a number of years as a member of the Governor’s Tourism Advisory Committee.

Gillooly and his wife, Ursula, have five children, Bryn, John, Paul, Lowndes and Irene.  

1983 - Neal Baisi

A native of Norton, WV, Baisi graduated from Elkins High School in 1942. While a student there, he played football, basketball, and ran track. He was a member of the All-State High School Football Team.

After four years of service in the United States Army Armored Division in World War II, Neal attended Potomac State College from 1946 to 1948. While at Potomac State, he played football under the late Coach Dana G. “Horse” Lough and was a member of the 1947 team that won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Football Championship.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the West Virginia Institute of Technology in 1950 and completed his master’s degree at West Virginia University. He was an All-Conference football player at Tech in 1948 and 1949, with the team being the only undefeated squad. He has since been named to the West Virginia Conference’s All-Time Football Squad.

With a football-laden past, Baisi took over as head basketball coach at Tech in 1955 after having been a coach at Montgomery High School. He immediately changed the nature of the game with his innovative “zone and man-to-man press”. His 1955 team averaged 111 points per game against stunned opposition. His was the first team, at any level-high school, college, or professional, which averaged more than 100 points a game.

Baisi introduced the concept of pressing defenses to the basketball court. Bob Davies, a former professional basketball player and coach of the Gettysburg (PA) College team, was shell-shocked by Tech in the first round of the Hofstra (NY) Tournament. He called Tech’s style of play “organized chaos”. He noted that Baisi’s Golden Bears were five years ahead of basketball and said, “This WV team is going to change basketball”. It did with Baisi as the teacher.

Before his 12 years as a head coach were over, his Golden Bear teams had averaged over 100 points a game in five different seasons and had led the nation in scoring six times. His teams won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season titles in 1957, 1958, 1964, and 1965; and the WVIAC tournaments in 1956 and 1963.

Because of his zone press, Baisi became the nation’s most sought after authority on basketball, speaking at clinics across the country. His book, “Coaching the Zone and Man-to-Man Pressing Defenses, published by Prentice-Hall, has had nine printing and sold over 50,000 copies. In addition, he presented materials for coaches’ notebooks for coaching associations and clinics in Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Known as the “Papa Bear”, Baisi left his role as Tech basketball coach in1965 to become the school’s director of athletics. He left behind a record of 319 wins and 76 losses as well as a new way to play the game.

Baisi received such honors as West Virginia Conference Coach of the Year, and he was inducted into the West Virginia Hall of Fame.

Neal married Geraldine Davis in 1950. They have three children, twins Patrick and Michael and a daughter, Deborah; and three grandchildren.

1984 - Francis Light

Having been the president and chief executive officer of Sun-Diamond Growers of Stockton, California, Francis Light is well known to have achieved considerable success in the business world through a variety of responsible positions, culminating in the presidency of a marketing cooperative with sales of over $500 million annually.

Sun-Diamond Growers of California was organized in July, 1980, as a cooperative consisting of Diamond Nut Growers, Sun-Maid Growers, Sunsweet Growers, and Valley Fig Growers. Francis received the position of president of the Sun-Maid Growers, raisin producers, in December, 1972.

Francis is a native of Cumberland, MD, and a graduate of Fort Hill High School. He attended Potomac State College from 1946 to 1948 after which he transferred to the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce of the University of Pennsylvania from which he earned a bachelor of science degree in economics in 1950. Afterwards, he served in the United States Army Medical Corps until 1952 and then began his career with Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation as an internal auditor. In 1956 he graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in business administration.

Light served from 1970 to 1972 as president of Acme Fast Freight, Inc., and was vice-president of Acme’s parent company, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., from 1969 to1972. For ten years (1959-69), he was associated with Ryan Aeronautical Company.

From 1964 to 1968 he rose from assistant controller to vice-president and controller of Continental Motors Corporation.  

1985 - Charles E. Ryan

Charles E. Ryan is the founder and president of Charles Ryan Associates, Inc. in Charleston, West Virginia, which in 1985 was ranked 44 in the top 50 Public Relations Firms in the country.

Ryan founded his firm in 1974. In 1983 it became an associate of Hill and Knowlton, one of the top two public relations firms in the U.S. at that time. He is a former broadcast journalist and television director. Prior to 1974 he had served in the sixties first as a reporter for station KTVI-TV in St. Louis. He later became a broadcast news editor for the Associated Press and news editor for WSAZ-TV in Huntington, where he was responsible for coverage of the Charleston metropolitan area. He was also a news director of WCHS-TV in Charleston, where he anchored a nightly newscast and created extensive public affairs programming, all before founding his company.

1986 - Edward C. Furlong, Jr.

From 1947 until his retirement in 1979, Morgantown native Edward C. Furlong, Jr. served Stetson University in Florida as a professor and the dean of the School of Business Administration, where he was also an alumnus after transferring from Potomac State College. He joined the faculty of that institution in 1938 as an instructor in economics and also served as business manager from 1957 to 1983. After retiring from Stetson University, Furlong continued teaching economics at Daytona Beach’s Community College.

Active in civic and community affairs, he served as mayor of DeLand from 1953-55. Prior to that he was Commissioner from 1949-53. He was president of the DeLand Chamber of Commerce in 1961-62 and a charter member of the West Volusia Co. Industrial Board.

In 1969, he was honored with the position of president of the Stetson Business School Foundation, Inc. He has also served on the Governor’s Tax Study Committee and the DeLand Housing Authority.

He is a veteran of the United States Army (1942-46) having risen from private to captain during his tour of service. He was also awarded the Army Commendation Ribbon in 1945.

1987- Juliann Ritter

A Clarksburg native, Juliann Ritter was graduated from Victory High School in 1939 and Potomac State College in 1941. She earned a bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine from West Virginia University in 1943 and graduated the same year from St. Mary’s Hospital of Nursing where she then taught anatomy, chemistry, and pharmacology to over 150 nursing students from 1946-50.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing education at the University Of Minnesota School Of Nursing in 1951 and taught a class there in practical nursing. From 1951 to February, 1952, she was on loan by the West Virginia Nurses Association to the Memorial Hospital of Charleston as Assistant Director of Nursing Services to help staff and open new 111-bed hospital.

In 1954, Miss Ritter was promoted to Executive Director of the West Virginia Nurses Association, a position she devoted herself to until she resigned at the end of 1977.

As lobbyist she successfully guided nursing bills through the State Legislature. Among them were the first law to license practical nurses in West Virginia, an amendment to the professional nursing act to make it mandatory that a registered professional nurse be licensed in the state before practicing, and one of the early and strongest nurse midwifery laws to be passed in the United States.

In May of 1974, Miss Ritter was honored with the honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Morris-Harvey College (now the University of Charleston). She served three years as a member of President Johnson’s Defense Advisory Committee of Women in the services. She was one of two members of the West Virginia Nurses Association to serve on Governor Hulett Smith’s task force for better health and the only nurse on the State Advisory Committee for the Administration of the Medicare Act.  

1988 - W. Robert Biddington

A Piedmont native, W. Robert Biddington attended Potomac State College in 1942-43. He then spent a year at Hapden-Sydney (VA) College after which he transferred to the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Dental School, University of Maryland, from which he was graduated cum laude in 1948 with the degree of doctor of dental surgery. Following graduation and U.S. Navy Service he was appointed instructor in the Department of Clinical Pathology at Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, where he served from 1949 to 1952. From 1952 to 1956 he was assistant professor there in the Department of Oral Medicine. He then served as associate professor of that unit from 1956 to 1959.

In 1959 he was named professor and chairman of the Department of Endodontics, School of Dentistry, at West Virginia University, serving in that position until 1968. In 1966 he was appointed assistant dean of the School of Dentistry and in ’68 was named dean. He has also served West Virginia University as interim vice-president for academic affairs (1979-80) and interim vice-president for health sciences (1981-82).

1989 - Melvin L. Brown

An Emoryville, West Virginia native, Melvin L. Brown is a graduate of Elk Garden High School. He attended Potomac State College and then spent a year at Shepherd College, after which he returned to Mineral County to teach from 1939 to 1941. While in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he attended Maryville (TN) College in 1943.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Fairmont State College in 1945 and a Master of Science degree from West Virginia University in 1948. In 1957 he was awarded a doctor’s degree in biology from the University.

After graduation from Fairmont State College, Dr. Brown served as a teacher and coach in the Garrett (MD) County schools from 1945 to 1952. While there he developed an outdoor education area and botanical garden though the activities of his science classes. After leaving Garrett County, he served as head of the science department of Beall High School, Frostburg, MD, until 1965. He was also a member of the summer school faculty at West Virginia University from 1958 to 1965 and at the University of Maryland from 1961 to 1964.

He joined the faculty of Frostburg State University in 1965 as professor of biology and became department chairman in 1971 until his retirement in 1979.

1990 - Robert A. Gustafson

A Keyser native, Robert A. Gustafson graduated from Keyser High School. After graduating from Potomac State in 1970, he transferred to West Virginia University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972.

He was among the first inductees to the Keyser High School Legion of Honor in November, 1989. At PSC he was president of Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society, secretary of Circle K and a member of Roth Military Honor Society. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, arts and sciences honorary, at West Virginia University.

Dr. Gustafson began a general surgery residency at the WVU Hospital in 1976 following his graduation from medical school. He was chief resident in 1980-81 after which he began a thoracic surgery residency.

Being known nationally, Dr. Gustafson was known for his success rate in repairing a congenital heart defect known as hydroplastic left heart syndrome, the same defect that brought the renowned Baby Fae case to the attention of the world. Only two other centers in the United States were known for this surgery at the time, and they were in major metropolitan areas. Dr. “Gus” averaged about 175 surgeries a year.  

1991 - Henry Gates, Jr.

Formerly at Duke University and then a member of the Harvard faculty, Dr. Henry Gates, Jr. was nationally recognized as the leading scholar in the United States on black literature in 1991. He wrote and edited two books of seventeen books in his field, earning him an interview by TIME magazine on April 22, 1991.

After leaving Potomac State, he attended Yale University, graduating summa cum laude in 1973. He then went to Clare College of the University of Cambridge, England, from 1973 to 1979, earning a master of arts in English language and literature in 1974 and a Ph.D. in the same field in 1979, the first black American to do so.

He was appointed assistant professor of English and Afro-American Studies at Yale in 1979 and promoted to associate professor in 1984. Cornell University recognized his scholarship with an appointment as full professor of English, Comparative Literature, and African Studies in 1985. In 1988 he was named the W.E.B. DuBois Professor of Literature. In 1990 he joined the English faculty at Duke University.

Elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year at Yale, he received honorary degrees from Dartmouth, West Virginia University, and the University of Rochester. He was a Scholar of the House at Yale in 1972-73; a Mellon Fellow (1973-75); and held a lectureship at the Princeton University Council of the Humanities in 1985.

1992 - Joseph P. Griffin

After graduating from Potomac State, Joseph P. Griffin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia University in 1964 and his M.D. degree from that same institution in 1969. He interned at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City in 1969-70. He later served St. Vincent’s as resident and later chief resident of anesthesiology. He held fellowships in anesthesia for cardiac surgery both at St. Vincent’s and the Clinico San Giovanni Bosco, Rom, Italy.

Dr. Griffin also attended anesthetist at the University Hospital, SUNY, Brooklyn, and also at Long Island College Hospital. He served as student advisor to third-year medical students in anesthesiology at SUNY, Brooklyn.

He was president of the Kings County Hospital Center Medical and Dental staff from 1988 to 1990. He served as staff anesthesiologist at the U.S. Naval Hospital from 1973-75. He chaired the Operating Room Committee at KCHC from 1981 to 1990 and also headed the Resident Evaluation Committee at HSCB from 1985 to 1989.

1993 - Karen Vance Harper

Dr. Karen Vance Harper has been recognized as outstanding in her field and has made national and international presentations of scholarly papers. She received the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Social Work at OSU in 1979-80 as well as the award of Outstanding Service in 1982.

After graduating from Potomac State, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and English from Glenville State College (1964). She was awarded the Master’s degree in social work from West Virginia University in 1969. In 1983 she received not only the Ph.D. in social work but also an additional Master’s degree in public administration.

Dr. Harper taught English in the Garrett County (MD) school system for one year following graduation from Glenville. She then became a remotivation technician at Abilene (TX) State Hospital for 1965-66.

In 1966 she was appointed pre-MSW caseworker for the West Virginia Department of Welfare, remaining there as a staff training supervisor until 1970 when she accepted the position of director of the Social Services Department of the Fairmont Clinic Health Center, Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers, Inc., where she remained until 1974.

She served as assistant professor of social work at West Virginia University from 1974 to 1976 when she became chair of the Department of Social Work of Saginaw Valley State College, Division of Public Service, Michigan (1976-79). She was also assistant dean of the College of Social Work at Ohio State from 1983 to 1985, assistant professor from 1985 to 1991, and then appointed associate professor in 1991 and MSW program director in 1992.

1994 - J. Scott Bosley

A native of Keyser and graduate of its high school, J. Scott Bosley earned an Associate in Arts from Potomac State in 1963, and a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from West Virginia University. Following graduation he joined the  Akron (Ohio)  Beacon Journal as a sports writer. He was assistant sports editor for four years while continuing to report on collegiate sports and professional golf.

He was switched to reporting government and politics in 1972, was named city editor at the  Beacon Journal early in 1974 and metro editor later the same year. In 1976 he was appointed assistant managing editor, and from 1977 through 1979 he served as managing editor.

In 1980 he joined the Detroit  Free Press as Sunday and features editor. He became managing editor for features in 1982 and general managing editor in 1984.

He was named editor and vice-president of Knight-Ridder/Tribune News (KRTN_ Information Services in Washington in September, 1987. In his role he was responsible for KRTN’s News Wire, Graphics Network, and Photo Service.

He joined  The Journal of Commerce, a daily business newspaper covering international trade and transportation, at the World Trade Center in New York as editor and vice-president on April 1, 1991. He is responsible for all news operations and the editorial page.

During his nearly 30-year affiliation with Knight-Ridder newspapers, he has completed a number of business and management programs. Most prominent among these were Knight-Ridder’s internal, graduate-level Executive Leadership programs, two newspaper management programs at the American Press Institute, and a Harvard University-American Newspaper Publishers Association marketing course.  

1995 - William L. McLaughlin

A graduate of Keyser High School in 1945, William L. McLaughlin earned an Associate in Arts degree from Potomac State in 1947 and Bachelor of Science in physics summa cum laude from Hampden-Sydney College, VA, in 1949.

He did graduate work at Duke University in 1949-50 and studied at the University of Tubingen, Germany, (1950-51) on a coveted Rotary International Fellowship. He later earned a Master of Science degree in physics from the George Washington University in 1963 and continued his studies in 1964 at the Enrico Fermi School of Physics in Varenna, Italy in 1964.

In 1951, he joined the staff of the Radiation Physics Laboratory in Gaithersburg, MD, with time out for the U.S. Army Signal Corps (1954-56) at Fort Monmouth, NJ, and the Marshall Islands.

In November, 1994, he was awarded the Ninth International Radiation Processing Award, a prestigious award recognizing his major contributions to the success of the radium processing industry.  

1996 - John P. Kidner

Retired Air Force officer John P. Kidner was born in Keyser, graduating from its high school in 1941. Exhibiting an early interest in flying, he soloed at age fifteen and made his first exhibition parachute jump at seventeen.

After high school he continued to fly, work nights at the Celanese Corporation, and attend Potomac State College. He enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps in December 1942, color blindness preventing his becoming flying cadet.

After completing airborne gunnery and communications schools, he became a B-17 gunner and radio operator. After combat crew training he was sent to Avon Park, FL, where his crew was put on “combat alert” and due to ship out at a moment’s notice.

On May 2, 1944, while on his fourteenth mission, Kidner’s plane was shot down. He bailed out, landing directly in a prison labor camp for British soldiers. Captured at once, he was taken to nearby Brux, Czechoslavia for a brutal interrogation by the local SS. He said his landing within the confines of a prison camp probably saved his life; members of other crews shot down that day were lynched by townspeople. He was later moved to the Luftwaffe’s formal interrogation center in Frankfurt, Germany for further solitary confinement and interrogation. Ultimately, he was imprisoned in Stalag Luft IV in northeastern Germany. Then in February, 1945, in the face of the Soviet westward advance, he and countless other prisoners of war (POWs) were marched aimlessly across Germany to avoid the Russians. The march and starvation and abuse (he weighed 90 lbs. and had been bayoneted) ended with his liberation by the British near Hamburg, releasing him from confinement in a Nazi concentration camp and a year as a POW.

Upon return to the United States he was discharged into the reserves. Determined to become a career Air Force officer, he was admitted to St. Louis University’s school of aeronautical engineering, and its ROTC program. He earned his degree in three years, was named a distinguished military graduate, and commissioned a second lieutenant.

After advanced electronics and armament schools, Kidner was assigned to the 47th Bomb Group at Royal Air Force Base Sculthorpe, Norolk, England, as the Group Electronics Staff Officer, overseeing the maintenance and performance of communications, radar, and bombing equipment aboard three squadrons of medium range B-45s. Significantly, these bombers were NATO’s first nuclear strike deterrent against further Soviet aggression.

After four years at VAFB Colonel Kidner was among three officers chosen Air Force Wide to be sent to Purdue University to obtain a master’s degree in industrial management. After graduation, he was assigned to the Pentagon’s newly created Defense Intelligence Agency.

During his tour with DIA, he requested and received duty in Vietnam where he supervised the maintenance, battle damage repairs, operations and defense of six remote radars. When visiting these sites, he and his first Sergeant often rode convoy with the U.S. infantry and participated in firefights during enemy ambush.

After 28 years in the military, Kidner asked for retirement to care for his wife Christine who was destined to live at home as a quadriplegic for the next 25 years due to a horrific car accident. Not long after retirement from the military, he began his writing career with  The Kidner Report, a scathing satire on Washington’s bureaucracy. His book was well received, getting him two appearances on Johnny Carson’s  Tonight Show as well as other network and local TV radio shows. At the same time he began speaking to groups across the country, treating them to his particular brand of satire.  

1997- Anthony J. Papa

Dr. Anthony J. Papa came to Potomac State College in the fall of 1949 where he played for Coach Dana G. “Horse” Lough on a football scholarship from William and Mary College. His football career was short lived, however, when he broke his leg during a game against Concord College on October 22, 1949 at which time his interest turned to the study of chemistry.

Dr. Papa graduated from Potomac State in 1951 and earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemistry from West Virginia University in 1955 and 1957, respectively. He was then awarded a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Washington State University in 1960 and then did postdoctoral research at Purdue University for a year. He began his professional career at DuPoint’s Experimental Station in Wilmington, DE, in 1961 and in 1966 moved to Charlestown, WV, to work for Union Carbide.

1998 - Carl “Denny” Avers

A native of Keyser, Carl D. (Denny) Avers attended Potomac State College and received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University, where he was elected to the Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Phi honor societies. He received IBM’s prestigious President’s Award twice and was an inaugural member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at West Virginia University in 1989.

Avers worked 30 years at IBM Federal Systems Company, where he held a number of executive and technical positions related to national defense, commercial systems development, and international programs and was the senior representative of IBM Federal Systems in West Virginia. He published several papers and was the keynote speaker at the Nordic Industrial Conference in Iceland and at conferences in Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

He served as a member of the Boards of Directors for West Virginia Special Olympics, the Software Valley Foundation, and the WVU Alumni chapter in Washington, D.C. He was also a member and chairman of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Visiting Committee.

In 1996, Governor Gaston Caperton presented the Outstanding West Virginia Award to Dr. Avers in recognition of his achievements and meritorious service to West Virginia.

1999 - Paul E. Gates

Dr. Paul E. Gates received an Associate of Arts degree from Potomac State College in 1964, a BA from West Virginia University in 1966, a DDS from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1970, and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1992. He did his internship and residency in oral surgery from 1970-1973 at Harlem Hospital and Medical Center in New York. He received a fellowship from the American Council of Education in 1984.

He served in various capacities at Fairleigh Dickinson University from 1977-1990, including acting dean, assistant vice president for academic affairs, and director of minority affairs, to name a few. He has been a visiting professor at the University of South Carolina and an attending faculty at Seton Hall University. He also served as Director of Dentistry and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery of the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center and associate professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Gates has been active in various scholarship programs and has served on African-American committees and published numerous articles in various journals.

1999 - W. Robert Grafton

W. Robert Grafton began his career with Arthur Anderson LLP in 1963 after graduating from West Virginia University and in 1973 he was admitted to the partnership of Arthur Anderson. Grafton served as the managing partner of the Baltimore office, as managing partner in Audit and Business Advisory Practice in the Washington office, as well as Southeast Region Managing Partner.

In 1991, he was on the Anderson Worldwide Board of Partners and from 1994 to 1997 he was chairman.

In 1999 he was national director for the National Association of Accountants. He was also chairman of the S.E.C. Committee of the District of Columbia Institute of Certified Public Accountants and president of the National Association of Accountants—Washington Chapter.  

1999 - Charles “Skip” Homan

Charles “Skip” Homan was president and chief executive officer of the Michael Baker Corporation from 1994 until his resignation on September 3, 1999. During his career there, he implemented the reorganization of Baker’s engineering, construction, and operations and maintenance groups into five market-driven business units: Transportation, Buildings, Civil, Energy, and Environmental.

Homan attended Potomac State College from 1961-1963. In 1965 he received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from West Virginia University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1990 and the Management of Managers and Executive Management Training programs at Pennsylvania State University.

In February, 1999, he was inducted into the West Virginia University “Distinguished Alumni Academy.” He was registered as a professional engineer in thirty-three states.  

2000 - Ralph D. Newbanks

Ralph D. Newbanks, Potomac State College class of 1957, served as Vice President and Senior Financial Consultant with Merrill Lynch in Charlotte North Carolina.

He worked as a broker from 1967-1975 in Zanesville, Ohio and later established and operated Merrill Lynch offices in Charleston and Huntington, West Virginia, and Ashland, Kentucky.

In 1980, Newbanks transferred to the Charlotte, North Carolina, office and became part of the private client group.

He has served on a number of boards, but his favorite was the years he served on the Board of the WVU Alumni Association in Morgantown, WV. While serving the board, he was on the Finance Committee, the Nominating Committee, and Co-Chair of the Marmaduke Dent Society.  

2000 - George K. Oss

George K. Oss, a corporate executive, is a 1955 graduate of Potomac State College experienced in management and engineering, particularly in the areas of rocket propulsion, data communications, and business management.

Oss graduated from Keyser High School in 1953 and then attended Potomac State College for two years on a Board of Governors Scholarship in pre-engineering. From the time Oss was a young boy he was intrigued with airplanes and the concept of flight. His interest in these areas convinced him at an early age that he wanted a career associated with aircraft and the field of aerodynamics. Reading about the accomplishments of “Chuck” Yeager, a native West Virginian reinforced his career decision.

Working various jobs during college, he took flight instruction and soloed at the age of 19 achieving his desire to become a pilot. Oss then transferred to WVU where he received a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering (now Aerospace Engineering) in 1958 and took graduate studies in Engineering Management at George Washington University.

Upon graduation from WVU, Oss accepted a position as rocket development engineer with Hercules at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory near Keyser.

In 1990, Mr. Oss was honored by the Aerospace Engineering Department of WVU by being selected as a Charter Member of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. In 1991, he was inducted into Keyser High School’s Legion of Honor, a similar organization to recognize outstanding graduates. He also served as a member of the Advisory committee for the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at WVU.  

2001- T. Joseph Lopez

Admiral T. Joseph Lopez, a native of Powellton in Fayette County, WV, is an alumnus of Potomac State College (PSC), West Virginia Institute of Technology, and the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Admiral Lopez enlisted in the Navy in September 1959 and was commissioned am Ensign via the Seaman-to-Admiral Program in December 1964. He was one of the only two flag officers in the history of the U.S. Navy who had achieved four-star rank after direct commission from enlisted service. Upon being commissioned, Admiral Lopez was assigned to USS Eugene A. Green and was deployed to both the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Tonkin. After attending the U.S. Naval Destroyer School in Newport, RI, he was assigned weapons officer onboard the USS Wallace L. Lind, which was deployed to Vietnam. Admiral Lopez received his first command in September 1969, when he assumed duties as Commander, River Assault Division 153.

From his offices in Virginia, Admiral Lopez directed all global government operations including London and Australia when he was senior vice president of government operations at Brown & Root Services, a division of Kellogg Brown & Root. In April 2000, he became the chief operating officer for North and South America and Worldwide U.S. Government Projects.

He has been awarded numerous medals and honors, including two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Navy Distinguished Service Medals, three Legion of Merits, the Bronze Star, three Navy Commendation Medals, and the Combat Action Ribbon.  

2001- Joseph B. Reed

Dr. Joseph B. Reed attended PSC from 1953 to 1955. He earned a BA in pre-med from West Virginia University (WVU) in 1957 and MD Degree from WVU School of Medicine in 1962.

Reed did postgraduate training at Memorial Hospital in Charlestown, WV, rotating internship and general practice residency. While serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he was appointed to the Ireland Army Hospital in Fort Knox, KY.

He was a member of the medical staff of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon and served as president in 1993 and 1995. He has served on various committees including Utilization, Perinatal, Med-Surg, Surgery, Continuing Education, and Library, and was a board-certified member of the American Academy of Family Practice. As a member of the West Virginia Chapter of American Academy of Family Physicians, Reed rotated through all offices from secretary to chairman of the board.

In 1999 Reed was the first recipient of the Volunteer Clinical Faculty award from the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society at WVU.  

2002 - Donald L. Clem

Fourth generation native of Keyser, Donald L. Clem graduated from Keyser High School and went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 to 1957. After returning to civilian life, he earned an associate of arts degree in pre-business at Potomac State College in 1959. Clem credits PSC for providing him with an ideal transition into college life following a three-year stint in the Marine Corps. Clem earned a B.S. in business administration from West Virginia University and is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.

Clem is a retired vice president of Westvaco Corporation where he worked for 33 years. He first joined Westvaco in 1962 while residing in New York City. He was pleased to accept the opportunity to transfer to the company’s Luke Mill location, near his hometown. Throughout his career, Clem has held several leading positions including commercial analyst, goals coordinator, assistant to the production manager, production planning and control superintendent, commercial superintendent and administration manager.

Clem served as the general manager of Westvaco’s Mills in Tyrone and Williamsburg, PA. He returned to Westvaco’s headquarters in New York City as Fine Papers Division Sales Manager, was named Division Sales and Marketing Manager in 1987, and was elected a corporate officer in 1990.

Throughout his career, Clem was considered a leader in his field. He served in several advisory capacities to the printing, publishing, and paper industries. Most remarkably, he was a paper industry representative to The Conference Board in New York City.  

2002- Guy H. Stewart

A graduate of Keyser High School, Guy H. Stewart went on to earn his B.S.J. degree in journalism from WVU in 1948 and his M.A. degree in history the following year. He earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois in 1957.

He has had extensive experience working in several aspects of the journalism spectrum. He began his career as a part-time reporter for such newspapers as the  Mineral Daily News-Tribune, the  Cumberland Evening Times, the  Wheeling Intelligencer, and the  Chicago Tribune.

He has served as assistant extension editor and as assistant university editor at WVU. Stewart worked as director of public relations at Tennessee Tech from 1950 through 1960. He served as director of graduate studies and professor of journalism at WVU from 1960 through 1969. In 1969, Stewart was named dean of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism and continued to serve as professor of journalism until 1989. Stewart taught such courses as, Introduction to Mass Communications, News Writing, Copy Editing and Make-up, Reporting for Public Affairs, and Introduction to Public Relations.

Stewart coordinated the committee work of the journalism school and served as principal fund-raiser. In that capacity he increased the journalism endowment fund to more than $500,000. He served as faculty advisor for Kappa Tau Alpha at WVU from 1969-1986.

2002 - Roy H. Whipp

Roy H. Whipp is a 1967 graduate from Potomac State College of WVU. After graduating he went on to receive a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering at WVU with high honors. He received recognition in Phi Lambda Upsilon (Ch.E.), Omega Chi Epsilon (Chem.), and Tau Beta Phi.

He began his extensive career as an engineer in a process group and later served as a group manager where he assisted in process design, hazards evaluation and troubleshooting for the EXXON Research and Engineering Company from 1980-1979. He went on to be technical manager, plant manager, and the technical adviser to the general manager at Fior de Venezuela from 1979-1986.

From 1986-1991, Whipp served as a private consultant and both project and construction manager on the Guayana Project at Sivensa (Venezuela). He also served as consultant at Orinoco Iron from 1991-1996 and eventually project director at that same place.

Whipp holds several copyrights, numerous patents and is the author of many published technical articles. He is also a Legion of Honor member at Keyser High School.  

2003 - Reginald R. Cooper

Reginald R. Cooper attended Potomac State from 1948 to 1950, majoring in pre-medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from WVU where he graduated with honors in 1952. Cooper earned a doctor of medicine from the Medical College of Virginia in 1955, and a master of science from State University of Iowa in 1960.

Cooper’s post graduate work was completed at the University of Iowa, college of Medicine, and department of Orthopedic Surgery. Post graduate education was completed at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, and at the University of Chicago. He completed an internship and his residency at the University of Iowa. Cooper served as a research associate in the Office of Research in Medical Education at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine.

Cooper served as an orthopedic surgeon with the United States Naval Hospital while doing a tour of duty. He performed research at John Hopkins Hospital, was an attending physician and chief of orthopedic section at Veterans Hospital, and professor of orthopedics at the University of Iowa College of Medicine where he later became chairman of the department of orthopedics. Cooper also served as chief of Rehabilitation Medical Service at the VA Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.

2003 - Donald S. Shaffer

Donald S. Shaffer earned an Associate of Arts degree from Potomac State in 1963 and a Bachelor of Science degree from West Virginia University. In 2003, Shaffer was the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), President, and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Dollar General Corporation. From 1999 to 2001 he served as president, CEO, and COO for Heilig Meyers Furniture Co. in Richmond, VA. Prior to that, Shaffer worked within the Sears, Roebuck and Co. in different capacities including: corporate director of strategic planning, national business manager, executive vice president, president, CEO, and COO. He has worked in the continental United States, Hawaii, and Canada.

Shaffer was responsible for orchestrating and completing the merger of Western Auto Supply Co. with Advance Auto Parts, where he improved gross margins. He opened 170 new stores, converted 210 retail stores from auto repair service orientation to a parts-only format, redirected marketing and advertising to reach a new customer base, and streamlined the distribution organization.  

2004 - Michael Gustafson

Michael Gustafson graduated from Potomac State College of West Virginia University in 1983. After finishing at Potomac State, Gustafson earned a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University (WVU) in 1984, his MD degree from the WVU School of Medicine in 1988, attended Northeastern University in Boston from 1996-97, and earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1999.

Postgraduate training after graduation from medical school included serving as a general surgery intern and junior resident at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH; as a surgical research fellow at Pediatric Surgical Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, and as chief resident and general surgery senior resident at Brigham and Women’s hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Gustafson has received the following licensure or certification: Massachusetts Medical Licensure, Advanced Trauma Life Support Certification, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification, National Medical Board of Examiner Certification and Ohio Medical Licensure. In addition, Gustafson has served as an instructor in the department of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.  

2004 - William Kennedy

William Kennedy is a 1962 graduate of Potomac State College of West Virginia University (WVU). Kennedy earned his Bachelor’s degree in finance from WVU in 1964. After graduation, Kennedy moved to Baltimore where he took a job with Eastman Dillon, Union Securities and began his career as a financial advisor in the investment business. After being promoted to branch manager at various locations, Kennedy was transferred to New York City in 1978 to become branch manager of the largest branch in the Eastman Dillon’s system.

In 1980, Kennedy joined Kidder, Peabody & Company where he became branch manager, then regional manager by 1986. During this time he also became an allied member of the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1990, Kennedy was appointed as the chief operating officer at Kidder, Peabody & Co. and was responsible for 50 branch offices and 1200 financial advisors. In 1995, Peabody & Co. merged with Paine Webber and Kennedy became the division manager for the newly created Mid-Atlantic Division.

When Kennedy retired in February 2002, Paine Webber renamed their management training program the “William F. Kennedy Leadership and Development Program” in honor of Kennedy.

2004 - James Mancuso

Jim Mancuso is a 1961 graduate of Potomac State College of West Virginia University. After graduating from Potomac State, Mancuso attended Columbia College where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in theatre arts and broadcasting in 1965. Mancuso also studied at The Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California, where he was a directing major. From 1966 to 1968, Mancuso directed local news and programming at an NBC affiliate in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. From 1968 to 1978, Mancuso was employed by NBC Burbank; it was during this time that Mancuso served as the production stage manager for  The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, which included approximately one thousand shows.

Other productions where Mancuso served as the stage manager include the Academy Awards (11 years), The Bob Hope Show, Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Donahue, All-Star Tribute to President Ronald Reagan, Grammy Awards, Rose Bowl Football (3 years), World Series Baseball, and the “Just Say No” campaign with Nancy Reagan. In addition, he also served as the stage manager for various college bowl games, specials, tributes, sitcoms, telethons, dramas and over a hundred pro-game sports.

He has also served as director and associate director in many different TV specials and even theatre productions.

2005 - Herbert Deremer

Herbert Deremer graduated from Fort Ashby High School in 1943 and from Potomac State in 1946. He went on to earn degrees from West Virginia University and Harvard before joining the Foreign Service and embarking on a lifetime of travel that would take him all over the world and familiarize him with everything from unstable dictators to camel-aided trips through the desert.

Deremer’s first assignment was in Iran where he had to deal with inconvenience such as extreme shortages of electricity and a trek through the desert with a string of camels. Soon afterwards, Deremer visited Yugoslavia, Libya, and Moscow.

Other Countries that stand out in Deremer’s memory are Hungary, which he describes as having “a vibrant people” and Afghanistan, whose descriptions are of a proud and fierce people who inhabit a virtual wilderness.  

2005 - H. Russell Potts, Jr.

H. Russell Potts, Jr. was raised in Winchester, VA, and began his career as a sports journalist writing for  The Winchester Star and the  Loudoun Times-Mirror. He had the distinct honor of being named the first director of sports promotions at the college level when he was appointed to that position at the University of Maryland and later became assistant athletic director. Potts also served as athletic director at Southern Methodist University and vice president of marketing and promotions with the Chicago White Sox before launching Russ Potts Productions, Inc. in 1982.

Potts attended Potomac State in 1958 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland in 1964. Having also minored in government and politics, Potts decided to run for state senator and was eventually elected to the Senate of Virginia, 27th District four times, in 1991, 1995, 1999, and 2003. He was named “Senator of the Year” and served as finance co-chair for the statewide Republican GOP Joint Caucus of Senators and Delegates.

He created the Georgetown-Virginia College basketball game, which is still the largest single television payday for a college basketball game in regular season. He was also responsible for creating the first national television coverage for a women’s basketball game in 1976.In addition to “frontiering” many other firsts, Potts was the recipient of the “Big D” award given by the Dallas Sports Association in 1978 and in 2004 he became the first promoter inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.  

2005 - Charles Elmer Ryan

Born and raised in Keyser, Charles Elmer Ryan earned an Associate of Arts degree in accounting from Potomac State in 1950. While pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at WVU in 1951, Ryan’s education was interrupted by the Korean War. Ryan enlisted and spent the next four years in the Navy as an airborne radio operator. Ryan earned a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Colorado in 1956 and his Master’s degree from Miami University of Ohio in 1959 in business administration.

Ryan is a retired senior executive of General Motors Corporation (GM), where he was employed for 36 years. He began his career with GM at the Frigidaire Division in Dayton, OH, after graduating from college. Ryan was quickly promoted to financial analyst and then to personnel representative. In 1962, Ryan accepted a position at GM’s Detroit headquarters and spent the next 30 years as part of GM’s Corporate Industrial Relations Staff in Employee Benefits Activity.

He served as a member of GM’s national corporate bargaining team for 30 years where he participated in negotiations with the United Auto Workers in both the United States and Canada. He also served as a trustee of the Council on Employee Benefits and was a founding board member of “ERIC,” a leading benefits lobbying group based in Washington, D.C.

Ryan served as chair of the pension committee of the National Association of Manufacturers, was a member of various benefit sub-committees of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and served as secretary to the Employee Benefit Plans Committee.

2006 - Keith Inskeep

While earning an Associate’s degree in agriculture from Potomac State, Keith Inskeep worked on the College farm and as a chemistry lab assistant. He received his Bachelor’s degree in dairy science from WVU, a Master’s degree in genetics and Ph.D. in endocrinology, both from the University of Wisconsin.

Inskeep’s employment at WVU began as an assistant professor in 1964. In 1965, he chaired the interdisciplinary graduate program in reproductive physiology and in 1974 became a full professor. Though Inskeep has distinguished himself nationally and internationally as an agricultural scientist and educator, his entire career has been spent with WVU.

Inskeep has received numerous awards including: the Research Award from the National Association of Animal Breeders, the Physiology and Endocrinology Award, the Fellow Award from the American Society of Animal Science, the Benedum Award for Research at WVU, etc.

He has travelled to 15 countries for his work, making presentations in Spain, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Venezuela. He has been published in over 175 journals and/or publications.  

2006 - Edward Williams

Edward Williams, who is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Arizona, has served as a Rockefeller Foundation Research Fellow, a Fullbright Senior Lecturer at El Colegio de Mexico, a Fullbright Senior Scholar with the Viadrina European University, and as a visiting research scholar with the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. In addition, he has served as a consultant with the United States Departments of Defense, State and Labor, and with leading companies in the private sector.

Williams attended Potomac State College of WVU, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree in 1958. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, and earned his Ph.D. from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, in 1966.

He has written numerous books and articles, given lectures at various events and locations, has served as a consultant and expert witness on Mexican business culture, political risk analysis and Mexican politics and public policy. He has been an invited guest to the inauguration of two of Mexico’s presidents and received the Consul’s Award from the government of Mexico in recognition of service and friendship to Mexico.

Williams has also served as president and executive secretary of the Association for Borderland Studies, and has been a member of the National Advisory committee on the North American Free-Trade Agreement’s pact on labor.  

2007- Llyod Coplin

While attending Potomac State, where he received an Associate of Arts degree in engineering in 1953, Llyod Coplin was a member of the Theta Sigma Chi Fraternity, Engineering Club, and the Circle K Club. After graduating of Potomac State, Coplin attended WVU, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in mechanical engineering in 1956.

He worked for Goodyear Aerospace from June of 1956 to October of 1964 as a design engineer, designing systems such as reconnaissance airplane radar, shipboard radar, flight stimulators, and ballistic missile early warning systems. He continued his education by training for the computer at Lancing Community College, Lancing, Michigan, (CADAM) computer aided drafting and manufacturing. In November of 1964, he transferred to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, where he was a design specialist and group leader in mold and equipment design for many types of tires. He retired from Goodyear in February of 1998.

2008 - Mark Riccardi

He’s taken high falls, wrecked on motorcycles, been in numerous car rollovers and fights, performed dangerous rappelling stunts, dirt bike stunts, and is experienced at precision driving. He’s even gone “where no man has gone before” in three different Star Trek series.

After graduating from Potomac State and WVU respectively, Mark Riccardi set his sights on the bright lights of Hollywood and has been serving as a stunt double for such stars as John Travolta and Alec Baldwin in movies like  Pulp FictionMichael and  Face-Off. He was also in  Live Free Die Hard and  A Civil Action. Riccardi has appeared in episodes of  CSIHeroesWithout a Trace, and  America’s Most Wanted.

He has worked with Warner Brothers, Paramount Studios, Universal Studios, Dead Horse Productions, Columbia Pictures, Disney Studios, FOX Television, and NBC Studios at various times in the capacity of stunt coordinator, stunt double, stunt driver, or as an actor.  

2008 - Patricia O’Connor Sanders

In addition to being recognized at the top of her field, Patricia O’Connor Sanders is renowned worldwide for her innovative research regarding the management of fungicide resistance in fungal pathogen populations, so much so that it has been stated, “…due to the significant contributions made by Patricia, all of mankind will benefit from her research, far into the future.”

Much of Patricia’s research was conducted at Penn State University, where she was employed for over 30 years. However, she also conducted research investigations at the University of California, the Agricultural University of the Netherlands and Jealott’s Hill Research Station in England.

Patricia has presented her findings in France, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and throughout the United States. She has authored more than 250 research and informational publications on the same subject, in addition to the diagnosis and management of turf grass diseases.

Since retiring, Sanders spends her time presenting workshops to various clienteles across the United States. She was also honored by the College in 2005 by having her name inscribed on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Academic Achievement Wall.  

2009 - Jeffry Kessel

Jeffry Kessel serves as a multistate tax partner with Deloitte and Touche, one of the four largest accounting firms in the world, where he manages a group of state tax specialists and provides state tax consulting services in western Pennsylvania, western New York, and West Virginia. Kessel has also served on the Editorial Advisory Boards for the  Journal of State Taxation and the Research Institute of America.

He attended Potomac State from 1976-1978 and graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University in 1980 with a Bachelor’s degree in business administration. In 1983, Kessel earned a Juris Doctorate degree from WVU, obtained his CPA license and was admitted to both the West Virginia and Pennsylvania bars.

Professional affiliations include: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and the West Virginia Bar Association.  

2010 - Earl Kesler

Earl Kesler, Ph.D., graduated from Potomac State in 1941 and earned both his Master’s degree and his Ph.D. from Penn State, where he served as Professor of Dairy Science for 36 years in the College of Agriculture.

Dr. Kesler authored/co-authored more than 140 scientific publications and mentored 65 graduate students who went on to distinguished careers, 18 of whom achieved doctoral degrees.

In addition to being recognized as a “Distinguished Alumnus” by both West Virginia University and Penn State, Dr. Kesler has received Habitat for Humanity awards and been named “Volunteer of the Yea” by various agencies for his tireless hours of volunteer work.  

2010 - H. Louis Moore

H. Louis Moore graduated from Potomac State in 1950 and currently serves as Professor of Agricultural Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, where he also earned a master’s degree in 1956.  Professor Moore has served as faculty member for more than five decades at Penn State and focuses his educational programs on marketing and farm policy.

In 1990, Professor Moore shifted his local point to the global arena. He has worked with 12 of the 15 Republics of the former Soviet Union as part of a faculty exchange program. In addition to hosting young economists from these areas, he has also hosted short-term visitors as part of the Cochran Fellowship Program.  

2010 - John Ziegler

John Ziegler, Ph.D., graduated from Potomac State in 1948 earning an associate’s degree in agriculture. He earned three degrees in animal science, a bachelor’s in 1950, a master’s in 1952, and his Ph.D. in 1965 from Penn State University, where he also taught in the Department of Animal Science for 21 years and in Food Science for 12 years.

Dr. Ziegler served Penn State in many capacities; he was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Department of Dairy and Animal Science and was the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award. In addition, Dr. Ziegler has served as a judge of his voting precinct and as a zoning board and council member for his township. He continues to have active memberships in the American Association of Animal Scientists, the American Association of Animal Scientists, the American Meat Science Association and the Institute of Food Technologists.  

2011- Frank Gault

Frank Gault attended Potomac State from 1952-1954 where he served as editor of the yearbook and as a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Circle K Club. After graduating from PSC, Frank earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. He has been an educator for 30 plus years, serving as a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools in Ohio.

Frank is a charter member of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, has served as a chairperson of numerous educational committees, is a member of the American Association of Retired School Administrators, and has served as past president of the Central Ohio School Administrators and the Licking County Athletic League. He was involved with the study and subsequent establishment of the Newark campus of Ohio State University.  

2011- Charles “Sam” Kalbaugh

Charles “Sam Kalbaugh earned his Associate degree from Potomac State in 1963. He has served in the educational field since 1973.

From 1990 to 2002, Sam served as Superintendent of Schools in Mineral County, WV. While here, he improved SAT and ACT scores, writing assessments, achievement test scores, increased college attendance, and decreased the dropout rate. He also implemented major curricular and organizational initiatives developed a comprehensive educational facilities plan which resulted in the construction of new middle and high schools, and provided updated technology with Internet access to all schools in the county.

Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and his master’s degree plus 45 hours in education administrations from WVU. He currently serves as an educational consultant with Neola, Inc.  

2012 - Dwight Calhoun

Dwight Calhoun ’53, began working for the Farmers Home Administration (FMHA) in 1956 and continued his career with FMHA until his retirement in 1987. While employed with FMHA, Dwight served as a Community Services Officer, a Division Director, an Assistant Administrator of Community Programs, Deputy Administrator for Management, and as Acting Administrator of The Farmers Home Administration in Washington, D.C. where he administered several billion dollars and more than 12,000 employees. He was awarded the Presidential Distinguished Executive Award from President Reagan in 1981 and also received the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award in 1985. During his time with FMHA, Calhoun was instrumental in developing and assisting with community projects, developing documents for loan portfolios and administering a nationwide program involving billions of dollars to finance rural water and waste disposal facilities, as well as administering loans for hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments, streets, roads, and other essential community facilities. Dwight is originally from Petersburg, W.Va. He and his wife, Norma Jean (Clark), have four children, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

2012 - John Herman

John R. Herman, Class of ’52 was a retired geophysicist and Renaissance man who will be honored posthumously. During his career, John published more than ninety scientific papers and reports and two technical books. He is an amateur historian, a poet, an artist, and a musician.  His historical articles have appeared in the  Boston Globe, the  Miami HeraldDAR Magazine and the  Lowell (Mass.)  Sun. Some of his poems were published in two different Anchorage, Alaska newspapers, while one of his oil paintings was featured in the  Melbourne (Fla.)  Today newspaper. Herman also played violin in the Long Bay Symphony Orchestra of Myrtle Beach, SC, the Melbourne (Fla.) Community Orchestra and second violin in the DBCC Civic Orchestra of Daytona Beach, Fla. He was also honored by the College in Spring 2006 with the inscription of his name on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Scholars Wall.

2012 - Victor T. Metz

Lieutenant Colonel Victor T. Metz, United State Air Force, Retired served in the Air Force Reserve as a bombardier specialist with the rank of First Lieutenant. After being recalled to duty, he flew night raids over enemy territory during the Korean War and was placed on ‘ready status’ with a B-47 jet bomber for possible duty over Russia.

Colonel Metz served for 13 years as Commander and Aerospace Science Instructor of the AFJROTC Unit CO-62 in Westminster, Colorado before retiring in July 1984. Additionally, he has served as an assistant professor and chairman of French courses at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Colonel Metz also spent six and a half years instructing pilots, navigators and others in the nuclear/thermonuclear field. He helped pioneer the first jet bomber program in USAF history and was awarded the EAME Medal with five battle stars and the Fir Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. He owned and operated a single-engine aircraft for 12 years as well.

Colonel Metz attended Potomac State in 1951; he completed his studies at West Virginia University where he earned bachelors and masters degrees.

2014 - Robert Harman

Robert Harman (Class of ’60) served as the Administrator/CEO of Grant Memorial Hospital from 1965 to 2010, making him the longest tenured hospital CEO on record in the United States, a distinction recognized by the American College of Healthcare Executives and by former Governor Bob Wise who presented him with the ‘Distinguished West Virginian Award.’

During his tenure at the hospital, Robert oversaw two major expansion and renovation projects, the development of patient and community service programs and created internships for high school students.

Robert was actively involved with hospital association endeavors, serving as chairman of the WV Hospital Association Board of Trustees and also in a variety of functions with the state including the areas of public policy development and healthcare educational services. He was instrumental in the formation of the Committee on Small and Rural Hospitals as well as serving on numerous advisory councils and committees.

He is the recipient of the 2006 American Hospital Association’s Board of Trustees Award and in 2008 received the Senior Level Healthcare Regent’s Award. The West Virginia Rural Health Education Partnerships presented him with the Outstanding Community Partner Award and he was also recognized by the American Hospital Association for “A Career in Outstanding Leadership.”

Robert earned his bachelor’s degree from Fairmont Stat in Fairmont, WV and his MBA in Health Care Administration from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Jo Ann, have two children.  

2013 - Edward Richards, Ph.D.

Edward Richards is a West Virginia native and graduate of Potomac State College (Class of ’53), West Virginia University, and Ohio State University where he received his Ph.D. in Agronomy in 1961.

Dr. Richards served as a research and technical service agronomist for 22 years with the International Minerals and Chemical Co., Continental Oil Co., Olin Corp., Smith-Douglass Division Bordens, Inc., and Sohio Chemical Co. He then became Director of the Southeast Research and Extension Center at the University of Arkansas and Head of the Department of Agriculture at the Monticello campus. Dr. Richards was one of the first 20 individuals to be certified as a Professional Soil Scientist and Agronomist. He was later appointed to the certifying board, serving twice as chairman.

Dr. Richards is the author of numerous technical articles and books. He received the American Society Agronomy’s Crop and Soils Award for Excellence in Agriculture Journalism, was listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest and in American Men and Women of Science.

In 2009, he published “ Cows, Classes & Co-Eds,” a depiction of his experiences which centered around the Potomac State farm, his classes and the camaraderie he shared with faculty and classmates at the College. He was a charter member of Circle K Clubs at both Potomac State and WVU.

In addition to his professional contributions, Dr. Richards was active in the community as a coach, athletic official, church leader, and political advocate.

He resides in Marshall, MO, with his wife Patricia Ann (Royster), who is also a native of West Virginia and graduate of Glenville State College.  

2014 - Alfred L. Barr, Ph.D.

While attending Potomac State, Dr. Barr served as the Farm News Editor for the Pasquino, the College newspaper. After earning an associate degree in agriculture from Potomac State in 1953, Dr. Barr continued his education at WVU earning a bachelor’s degree, also in agriculture. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Kentucky and his doctorate from Oklahoma State University, both in agricultural economics as well.

Prior to beginning his career at WVU, Dr. Barr worked for the U. S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service in Washington, D.C.

At the time of his retirement in 1997, Dr. Barr was serving as the associate director of the West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, where he was responsible for directing the establishment of research priorities; locating, securing and allocating funds; as well as the development of manuals and procedures.

In addition to serving as a faculty member for 36 years, Dr. Barr also served as an administrator in the College of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as the first director of the Division of Animal and Veterinary Sciences which included a dairy processing plant, a meat processing plant, three on-campus and three off-campus farms, and a bull performance testing station.

It should be noted that during his tenure as director, the graduate and research programs in Ruminant Nutrition and Reproductive Physiology were recognized as being among the best in the nation, with student enrollment soaring to an all-time high.    

Additionally, Dr. Barr and his faculty were responsible for securing funding for a bull performance testing facility in Wardensville, W.Va. and for new dairy facilities and a large animal research facility in Morgantown, W.Va.

Moreover, Dr. Barr co-authored a proposal for testing agricultural technology transfer in West Virginia; thereby, securing a million dollar grant which was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Professional honors and awards include “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” for 1968 and “Outstanding Alumnus” in 1983 with WVU’s College of Agriculture & Forestry.   He was also inducted into the “West Virginia Agriculture & Forestry Hall of Fame” in 2001.

Dr. Barr is a member of American Men and Women of Science and a life member of the West Virginia Poultry Association. He obtained Professor Emeritus status at WVU and is listed in Who’s Who in America. Additionally, he has served on numerous committees, councils and boards of directors.

2014 - Don Emerson

After attending Potomac State, Professor Emerson continued his education at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and at WVU where he earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degrees in biology and educational administration.

Additional post graduate work included: Claremont Graduate School in California where he researched oceanography, plant physiology, radiation biology, and desert ecology; Oklahoma State University (limnology); Cornell University in New York (natural history and conservation); New York University (conservation); Penn State University (educational methods); and Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Tennessee (radiation-radioisotopes).

To simply state that Professor Emerson taught classes at Frostburg State University for 25 years would be an understatement. Professor Emerson provided his students with hands-on conservation learning experiences by taking them on field trips to locations such as Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, Assateague Island, Crisfield, the Pocomoke Forest, and Solomons Island where they observed oyster shucking and canning, learned about turkey-rearing methods, collected fossils, gathered specimens to analyze, and listened intently as professionals in various fields detailed the research projects they were working on at the time.

Professor Emerson received several commissions, including an appointment by Governor Tawes in 1966 to the Maryland Department of Water Resources, re-appointment in 1967 by Governor Agnew and re-appointment in 1971 by Governor Mandel who also appointed him to the commission on Environmental Education.   He was twice-named to the Advisory Commission of the Maryland Water Resources Administration, once by Governor Mandel and the second time by Governor Hughes.

Professor Emerson has been the recipient of many awards, three of which were the National Science Foundation Fellowship Awards. He has served as a consultant and as a keynote speaker at numerous events, conferences and workshops.

2015 - James Miller

Miller completed his associate’s degree at Potomac State before earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from West Virginia University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Delaware.

Miller was associated with Imperial Chemical Industries Americas since 1966 providing senior executive, individual and group management and leadership for regional business. He held a number of key roles within ICI Americas utilizing his significant skill and experience in market definition and commercial development through focused business planning and process streamlining.

As vice president of Uniqema’s Latin Americas operations, he established five independent operations in the leading countries of Latin America and organized an overall executive management team for Latin America which is directing the strategic development of Uniqema’s businesses in the region.

Concurrently as vice president of ICI’s Chemicals and Polymers Businesses in North America, he oversaw a number of diverse operations and chemical business in the United States (U.S.) and Canada. In addition to directing the sales, marketing and operations, he simultaneously prepared the major businesses for divestment while ensuring the businesses’ value was maintained through the transition process.  

Previously, Miller led ICI’s commercial development department in North America. The business grew from $3 million to $390 million per-year. During this period Miller was involved in a number of acquisitions, toll manufacturing and new business ventures. These activities led to establishing ICI as a key participant in the U.S. markets in acrylics, replacement refrigerants, and synthetic lubricants. As director of the department he was instrumental in negotiating agreements with HCI (Hollanda Colombia) that transitioned this trading company into the fourth largest chemical distributor in North America and also positioned ICI as a leading importer of industrial solvents and chemicals. Fulfilling these responsibilities required direct business dealings with companies in Japan, France, Belgium, Holland, and throughout the United Kingdom.

After retiring from ICI Americas in 2002, Miller became president of Technical Marketing Enterprises, Inc. He was elected to West Virginia University’s Academy of Chemical Engineers, serves on the Board of the Salvation Army in Delaware, volunteered for SCORE Delaware, and is a member of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

2015 - Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wykle

Lieutenant General Wykle, a native of Ronceverte, WV, received his associate from Potomac State College in agriculture education, Wykle then graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education in 1963, where he completed ROTC and was commissioned a second lieutenant in field artillery. He also earned a master’s degree in psychology from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., and graduated from the United States Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa.

During his Army career, Lt Gen Wykle commanded a medium truck company in Vietnam and later taught military logistics doctrine and operations at the Army’s Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. He also served in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Korea, and across the United States.

Lt Gen Wykle was the 14th administrator of the Federal Highway Administration and the 20th overall chief road executive since the agency’s inception in 1893. The FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has 3,600 employees, a field office in every state and an annual budget of more than $27 billion. He was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1997.

He has received numerous awards throughout his military career, including the Department of Army and Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, both the Department of Army and Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit three times and the Army Commendation Medal and Bronze Star twice.

He retired in 1995 as a Lieutenant General serving as deputy commander-in-chief of the U.S. Transportation Command. From 1995-97, he was vice president for defense transportation at Science Applications International Corporation in Northern Virginia.

Lt Gen Wykle has participated in the National Security Management Program at Harvard University and served on the advisory council of the Center for Transportation Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

2016 - The Honorable James S. Getty

While attending Potomac State, Judge Getty served as a member of the Debate Club, the PSC Players, and was the circulation manager of the College’s student newspaper, the “Pasquino.”

After earning an associate degree in pre-law, Judge Getty attended the University of Maryland Law School where he earned his jurisprudence in 1947.  When asked about his time at Potomac State, Judge Getty stated, “I’m forever indebted to the college.  It not only gave me an education, but also provided me with my wife and family.”  His late wife, Betty Glover Getty, attended Potomac State as well.

Judge Getty served 45 years on the bench in Allegany County, 18 years as a trial judge and 27 years as a member of the Court of Special Appeals, of which he was appointed by then Gov. Harry Hughes.

Prior to becoming a judge, he worked for the Social Security Office before serving as the state’s attorney for Allegany County, Md. for 12 years.

Judge Getty also served in the U. S. Army during World War II.  When he entered the military he served in the Communications Division, then joined the G-2 Intelligence Division.

Judge Getty was an active member of the Lonaconing Lions Club and the Lonaconing Fire Company for many years.  His interest consisted of playing golf, shooting pool, grouse hunting, reading, and spending time with family.  

2016 - The Honorable C. Reeves Taylor

While attending Potomac State from 1952 to 1954, Judge Taylor served as a member of Theta Sigma Chi, serving as their Pan Hellenic Representative; the ROTH Military Honorary Society; the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society; and also played football under legendary Coach Dana Lough. After earning an associate degree in pre-law, Judge Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree from WVU and his jurisprudence from the WVU College of Law.

Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge Taylor practiced law in Keyser for 18 years.  He also served as the prosecuting attorney from 1961 – 1964.  In 1976, Judge Taylor ran for and was elected to the 21st Judicial Circuit Court of West Virginia, where he served for 20 years until his retirement in 1996.

Judge Taylor held memberships in the West Virginia Judicial Association and the State Bar, among others.  Furthermore, he

has served as president of the Mineral County Bar Association,

as president of the Potomac State Alumni Association, is a 50-year member of the Keyser Lions Club, and the Loyal Order of Moose, and currently serves on the board for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).  Judge Taylor stated, “One of my career highlights was serving as president of the West Virginia Judicial Association.”

Judge Taylor has served on many boards in the community as

well, including the Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Keyser-Mineral County Public Library and the Developmental Center and Workshop to name a few.

In 2000, Judge Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the PSC Alumni Association for his many volunteer hours to the College and for his support in other ways.

2017 - F. Scott Rotruck

In addition to attending Potomac State College, Rotruck is also a graduate of West Virginia University and Frostburg State University.  He is a certified Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship instructor and has taught courses at the WVU College of Business and Economics.

Rotruck currently serves as director of Energy and Transportation Services with Spilman Thomas & Battle Attorneys at Law, in the areas of Government Relations, Energy Group and the Shale Gas Practice Group.

Rotruck’s 30-plus years of experience in the energy and railroad industries includes serving with CSX Corporation; CONSOL; An-ker Energy; Norfolk Southern Corporation; and Chesapeake Energy, where he served as vice president of Corporate Development and State Government Relations.  He has served as an economic develop-ment director, and as senior advisor to former WVU President David D. Hardesty, Jr.

Rotruck was appointed by four West Virginia Governors to

chair several statewide boards including: economic development, tourism, venture funding, and the WV Board of Education.  He was the recipient of the 2013 West Virginia University Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Recognition Award and was inducted into the Keyser High School Legion of Honor in 2011. 

2018 - CAPT. Darin P. Rogers

CAPT. Darin P. Rogers, USN, Retired, has served as a performance-driven healthcare leader for many years.   He has extensive experience in project management roles, tactical planning, multi-site operations, business analysis, contract negotiations, integrated delivery systems, and oversight project planning and execution.

Darin currently serves as vice president and chief ambulatory operations officer with WVU Healthcare and as vice president of Provider Network Services with WVU Health Services in Morgantown.  He also serves as a board member of Healthworks in Morgantown.

In addition to prior experience at St. Vincent’s Healthcare in Jacksonville, Fla., Darin previously served as the chief operations officer in Navy Medicine Support Command in Jacksonville, Fla.; as an administrator at the Naval Health Clinic in Mayport, Fla.; as a senior director of Support Services at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.; as the senior healthcare administration adviser to Navy Medicine Chief Executive Officer at the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington, D.C.; and as the senior  director of Support Services at the Naval Medical Clinic in Pearl Harbor, Hi.

Other career highlights include serving as the department head of Patient Administration at the naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.; as a medical regulator with the 1st Medical Battalion for Desert Shield/Desert Storm; as medical administrative officer with the USS Saratoga (CV-60) in Mayport, Fla.; as the health facility planning officer with the Healthcare Support Office in Jacksonville, Fla.; and as director of administration in the 3rd Dental Battalion/U.S. Dental Center in Okinawa, Japan.

After earning an associate degree at Potomac State, Darin earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, W.Va.; a master’s degree in management from Troy University in Troy, Ala.; and is also a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

2019 - Charles H. Bishop, Jr. Ph.D. 

After attending Potomac State College for a year, Dr. Bishop transferred to the Morgantown campus where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology.  He earned a PhD, also in psychology, from the University of Georgia.

Dr. Bishop is the founder and CEO of The Profitability Formula, LLC a worldwide consulting firm in Chicago that specializes in marrying human capital with financial capital to assist organizations to be more innovative, productive, humane; and, ultimately more profitable.

He has authored the book, “Making Change Happen One Person at a Time” which was cited by the University of Michigan School Of Business as being ‘one of the ten best books on change in the past 40 years.’

Dr. Bishop previously served as the vice president of Leadership Development or the chief human resources officer in a number of highly visible Fortune 100 firms who were experiencing substantial changes, including FedEx, Baxter International, Bank of America, and ADT Corporation.

Dr. Bishop has been cited for his work by some of the most respected CEO’s and business leaders in American Business in a variety of industries…here is what they had to say:

  • Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx: One of the highest rated CEO’s in the World, according to the Forbes Annual Survey: ‘The necessity for change is now a universal business mantra. Charlie Bishop provides an excellent blueprint for making change a reality rather than a slogan’.
  • Laura Shapira Karet; the CEO of Giant Eagle Corporation--Pittsburgh: The Profitability Formula by Charlie Bishop significantly changed how our senior leadership team thinks about leadership and organization capabilities. A refreshing and simple approach, distinctive, immediately practical…a difference maker!

2021 - Kenneth Haines

Former professor Kenneth Haines taught at the college for 44 years and is remembered with fondness and gratitude for the impact he had on thousands of students, especially his guidance and encouragement in and out of the classroom.

Haines began his teaching career at the College in 1952 as an instructor of foreign languages. He taught French, Spanish, German and English until his retirement in 1996, at which time he was granted the designation of Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages.

In addition to being chosen as an Outstanding West Virginian by WV Gov. Caperton in 1996 and as a Distinguished West Virginian by WV Gov. Bob Wise in 2001, Haines was also recognized with the following honors: WVU Honorary Degree; Doctor of Humane Letters; Outstanding Professor Award; Distinguished Service Award; and the W.E. Michael Community Citizen Award. His name was inscribed on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Academic Achievement Wall at Potomac State College as well. 

A Keyser native, Haines earned an associate degree from Potomac State in 1950. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1952 and a master's degree in 1953, both from WVU.  He also studied at La Sorbonne in Paris, France via a Fulbright Fellowship; at Indiana University; Laval University in Quebec City, Canada; and at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

In 1988, a group of his friends established the Kenneth Franklin Haines Scholarship to assure that he will always be remembered for his outstanding service to the College, as well as his commitment to former and future students. Haines has also given back to the College with the establishment of the Dr. Nancy M. Miller Scholarship Fund.

Haines was an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Association of Teachers of French, German and Spanish; Phi Delta Kappa; the Modern Language Association; the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages; and the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association. He was also a faithful member of the Keyser Presbyterian Church and the Keyser Rotary Club, holding many leadership positions within those organizations.

Additionally, Haines served more than 20 years in the roles of secretary, treasurer and president of the College’s Alumni Association as well as secretary of the PSC Foundation, Inc. Furthermore, he served as president of the Faculty Club, was a faculty sponsor of the Student Government Association and served as a faculty advisor for 28 years to the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society.

Throughout his career and life, Haines enjoyed participating in activities and events at the College as well as volunteering his time to various projects.

2023 - Rudy Sites

Rudy Sites

The Pharmacist Oath states that the individual promises to devote themself to a lifetime of service to others through the profession of pharmacy. In fulfilling this vow, they will:

  • Consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering their primary concerns.
  • Apply their knowledge, experience, and skills to the best of their ability to assure optimal outcomes for their patients.
  • Respect and protect all personal and health information entrusted to them.
  • Accept the lifelong obligation to improve their professional knowledge and competence.
  • Hold themselves and their colleagues to the highest principles of our profession’s moral, ethical, and legal conduct.
  • Embrace and advocate changes that improve patient care.
  • Utilize their knowledge, skills, experiences, and values to prepare the next generation of pharmacists.

Pharmacists take these vows voluntarily with the full realization of the responsibility with which they are entrusted by the public.

Rudy Sites is an exemplary representation of the Pharmacist Oath. For six decades, he has fulfilled that oath not only in his career as a pharmacist but also in service to the Keyser community, children, and residents of Mineral County, WV.

The youngest son of a family of ten siblings, and a graduate of Petersburg High School, lettering in football and basketball, Rudy enlisted in the U.S. Army immediately after graduation. During his military service, he served as a cryptographer at Herzogenaurach Base in Nuremburg, Germany, at the end of the Korean War. To this day, Rudy applauds the GI Bill for the opportunity to further his education.

He chose to attend Potomac State College, as a first-generation college student, after his military discharge. Rudy attended Potomac State College from 1956-1958. He matriculated to West Virginia University in 1958, as there was no Pre-Pharmacy program at PSC, at that time, from which to graduate. Rudy continued his studies and graduated from the WVU School of Pharmacy in 1961.

Rudy returned to Keyser in 1962 as a pharmacist at Peoples Pharmacy on Main Street. He became the owner/operator of Peoples Pharmacy in 1971. In 1996, the pharmacy closed due to a structural fire that destroyed all inventory.

Even though he neared retirement age at that time, Rudy went on to continue a very fulfilling pharmacy career, which included Walmart, Rite-Aid, New Page Clinic, Sav-A-Lot, and Med-A-Save pharmacies, as well as serving as a Pharmacist Consultant with Heartland of Keyser and Dawn View Nursing Homes.

In 2020, the world came to a standstill, and life “as we know it” seemed changed forever. In response, the Mineral County Health Department, partnering with Med-A-Save Pharmacy, executed a very commendable distribution system of COVID-19 vaccines. Rudy was called upon to provide additional relief pharmacist services to the pharmacy, allowing the owner pharmacists to participate and assist in vaccine administration. Rudy answered that call without hesitation. At present, Rudy is among the oldest licensed pharmacists in the state of West Virginia. He has served as a mentor to many local pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. He is fondly known locally as everyone’s “favorite pharmacist at the old drugstore on the corner.”

Rudy’s commitment to serve cannot only be seen in his pharmacy career. As a young local businessman, in 1974 Rudy was chosen to serve on the Board of Directors of F&M Bank (later BB&T Bank) of Keyser/Winchester. After three decades of service, seeing the institution through many changes along the way, he was required to retire from the Board of Directors in 2004, due to an enforced retirement age of 70.

Rudy’s earlier public service included three years on the Keyser City Council and twelve years on the Keyser Parking Authority. Rudy was also appointed to serve a four-year term on the West Virginia Judicial Investigative Review Commission from 1986-1990. The Judicial Investigation Commission (JIC) is an independent body responsible for investigating complaints of judicial misconduct. It is composed of three lay people, three circuit court judges, one family court judge, one magistrate, and one senior status judge. The members come from different geographic locations within the State.

However, the highlight of Rudy’s public service is evidenced by his 18 years of elected service to the Mineral County Board of Education. During that time Rudy worked diligently with other school board members and school administration to improve the quality of education and the educational facilities throughout Mineral County. Rudy’s campaign, decisions, and actions were always based on the best interest of Mineral County students. His efforts are still being seen, as evidenced by the building of a new school in the Frankfort District, on property purchased with forethought by the Board of Education during his tenure.

Other activities include his role as a dam monitor and caretaker at Dam Site #1 in Keyser. In his spare time, Rudy enjoys outdoor activities at the White Poplar Hunting Club in Grant County, WV, where he currently serves as president and chief chef.

Rudy Sites outstanding work ethic and lifetime commitment to professional and public service is the reason he is being honored with the Potomac State College Alumni Achievement Award for 2023.