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Alumni Distinguished Service Honorees

Below is a list of the WVU Potomac State College Alumni Distinguished Service Award Honorees.

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

1975 - Ralph J. Bean ’32

1976 - Ernest E. Church

Dr. Church holds the record for length of service as the second president and sixth head of Potomac State College. During his 28 years as president (1936-1964), the College enlarged its faculty from 16 to 47, its student body from 260 to 800, and greatly expanded its course offerings.

Dr. Church rendered service to Potomac State College above and beyond the call of duty throughout his tenure. Under his leadership, the Alumni Office was opened on campus in 1961. He also spearheaded the reorganization and incorporation of the Alumni Association that same year and helped to establish the Alumni Foundation, incorporated in February, 1962.

1977 -  Ervin L. “Ikey” Dayton

Professor Dayton taught economics at Potomac State College of West Virginia University from 1937 until his retirement in 1970. After retiring, he continued supporting the College in various venues and was a valuable source of information.

1978 - Isabella R. Clifford

“Miss Isabelle,” as she was affectionately known, gave devoted service not only to her position as cook, but also in the performance of many duties in connection with her job, such as assisting with College parties and receptions. Statement by PSC Alumni President Joseph W. Kessel.

Serving the students of Potomac State College was a most important part of her life, one in which she took considerable pride. In his retirement letter to her in 1970, Dr. Todd H. Bullard, former president, said, “You have made an excellent contribution to the life of this College, and it will not soon be forgotten by the members of the faculty, staff, and student body.”

1979 - David G. Nuzum

Professor Nuzum taught English at Potomac State for 39 years. In naming Nuzum as the Distinguished Service recipient, the awards committee cited the devoted service he brought to his position. He worked tirelessly for the betterment of the College, and in his unstinting service placed the College foremost in his priorities 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He and his wife, Leontine, established the David and Leontine B. Nuzum Scholarship.

1980. - Elizabeth Atwater Alexander

Professor Alexander devoted 39 years of service to the College. In addition to a full-time teaching schedule, she directed the Players for 11 years (1939-1950), served as director of public relations for 33 years (1939-1972), and for 39 years was adviser to the campus newspaper, the  Pasquino. 

Dr. Alexander served on numerous College committees through the years and also conducted an annual competition for area high school students in speech events and an annual workshop for high school journalism students.

1981- Joseph W. Kessel ’48

“Joe Bill” worked for the benefit of the College as well as its Alumni Association and Foundation for many years. Instrumental in the reorganization of the Alumni Association in 1961, he was one of the incorporators of the Potomac State College Foundation established in 1962. He later served on its board of directors and chaired a fund drive in 1965. He was vice-president of the Alumni Association from 1973 to 1976 and president from 1977 to 1979. He was of considerable assistance to the College during his three terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1954 to 1960 and as a member of the College’s Visiting Committee from 1970 to 1974.

1982 - James T. Handlan

In choosing Professor Handlan for the honor, the selection committee noted that during his tenure at Potomac State he had given basic preparation to hundreds of students for their careers as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, medical technologists, and allied fields. A constant supporter of the Alumni Association, he was particularly concerned and helpful during his stint as academic dean from 1965 until 1968.

1983-William E. Michael

Professor Michael is known not only for his excellence in classroom teaching which has touched hundreds of professional alumni, but also his extreme love for and dedication to the Circle K Club which he established, nurtured, and guided from its inception in 1952 until his retirement in 1979. He is also remembered for his many efforts on behalf of Potomac State College and of higher education in West Virginia.

1984-Leonard G. Withers

Professor Withers is noted not only for his excellence as both teacher and pianist, but also for his successful direction of the Potomac State Singers for 27 years and his many years of devoted service to the College and its students. As director of the Potomac State Singers, he appeared before many student and area audiences. His Singers performed at 46 high schools over the years. They were well known for high standards of excellence in performing throughout northern West Virginia and the tri-state area.

1985-Elizabeth P. Hanlin

Professor Hanlin gave outstanding service to the Alumni Association. She was instrumental in the reorganization of the Association in 1961 and served on the board of directors for several years. She was also one of the incorporators of the Potomac State College Foundation. A master teacher, as evidenced by her selection as an outstanding teacher on two occasions, she was also a much sought-after committee member or chairperson because of her ability to accomplish.

1986 - James H. Swadley, Jr. 

A native of Keyser and graduate of its public schools, Attorney Swadley graduated from Potomac State College in 1936. Swadley was a member of the Board of Governors of West Virginia University from 1958 to 1967 and served as president of that body in 1962-63. During his tenure on the board, he was a member of the sub-committee on Potomac State College. He was instrumental in the development of the institution during those years.

1987 - Mary Shipper Byrer

Mrs. Byrer gave dedicated service to the College for 35 years, from 1938 until her retirement in 1973, and she always maintained an active interest in and gave assistance to the Alumni Association.

Mrs. Byrer was honored by the College in 1977 through the designation of the library building as the Mary F. Shipper Library.

1988 - Thomas J. Conlon ’48

In choosing Conlon for the award, the selection committee noted that he had dedicated 30 years of service to the Alumni Association. He was elected president of the Alumni Association in 1959 and served until 1967. During that time, he helped to institute a program of alumni scholarships and then worked to organize the Potomac State Foundation to administer those scholarships. He served as president of the Foundation from 1962-1964.

1989 - Kenneth F. Haines ’50

Professor Haines devoted 38 years of service to Potomac State College and the Alumni Association. In 1952, he joined the faculty as an instructor in foreign languages and English. In 1954, he became secretary-treasurer of the Association, then served two terms as president and afterwards returned to the secretary-treasurer position.

Since the reorganization of the Alumni Association in 1962, Professor Haines worked during summers on class reunions and the Alumni Newsletter, which he served both as editor and associate editor. 

He was secretary of the Potomac State College Foundation, Inc., since its establishment in 1962 and served as treasurer of that organization from 1962 to 1982.

Professor Haines served the College in a variety of ways during his tenure including being in charge of dramatics; president of the Faculty Club; faculty sponsor of Student Government; faculty representative to Sigma Phi Omega; and faculty advisor to Sigma Phi Omega.

1990 - Mary Evelyn Coffman ’36

Mary Coffman was the first alumni director for the College and held that post for 25 years. Under her guidance, the Alumni Association underwent reorganization and grew from a file of 400 names to well over 9,000. The Potomac State College Foundation was established shortly after her arrival. She helped greatly in nurturing it to more than $500,000 in investments at her retirement.

1991 - Kenneth Malone ’47

The late Kenneth M. Malone, professor emeritus of agriculture, worked constantly for the benefit of the College being particularly active in the recruiting of outstanding agricultural students and representing the College at various educational fairs. Professor Malone is remembered by his former students as a dedicated teacher who always had a cheery “hello” for them and always took time to talk with them when they needed him. 

His family established the Kenneth M. Malone Agriculture Scholarship. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Alumni/Foundation Office at Potomac State designating the Malone Scholarship on the check.

1992 - Richard Smith 

Richard A. “Rich” Smith served Potomac State College in various venues for 47 years; cafeteria, custodian, and a member of the Department of Public Safety. His rapport and ease in dealing with young people endeared him to thousands of former students. Rich said, “I mainly try to keep students out of trouble. Whenever I am successful in doing that, I feel I have done my job well.”

1993 - Bonnie Newcomb Harvey

Bonnie Harvey began teaching biology for Potomac State in 1966 and continued until her retirement in 1976. After her retirement, Mrs. Harvey continued to serve Potomac State as a member of the Visiting Committee and its secretary for nine years.

Mrs. Harvey was closely involved with students and colleagues during her years of service. She was particularly active on behalf of the medical secretarial students. She was also one of the original planners of Earth Week for the College.

1994 - Irene Brown Hartman

Irene Hartman taught secretarial and office administration classes for 30 years providing her students with many field trips; served on several committees at the College; and represented Potomac State at hundreds of college days and career days at high schools not only in West Virginia but also in surrounding states. Of prime importance, was her assistance to the Alumni Association. She aided in Homecoming mailings and was extremely helpful in assisting Alumni Director, Mary Evelyn Coffman, in expanding mailings tenfold for the  Alumni Newsletter.

1995 - Jerry L. Mezzatesta ’66

In choosing House Speaker Mezzatesta, the Distinguished Service selection committee noted his dedicated service to Potomac State as a member of the West Virginia Legislature. He was instrumental in securing legislation favorable to the growth of the College.

1996 - Oscar H. Gustafson ’48

From the day Oscar Gustafson arrived on campus in 1956 until his retirement in 1988, he tirelessly trekked across the state and bordering states to offer opportunities for students in agriculture at the College. During his tenure, the two-year agriculture, pre-veterinary medicine, horticulture and forestry programs became extremely competitive and of high quality. 

His selfless commitment, dedication, and loyalty to Potomac State College and to the State of West Virginia, as well as a sincere love for young people and a fostering of their hopes and dreams, have been the driving forces behind the man all knew to be “Mr. Gus”.

1997 - Katharine Church

Mrs. Church, a graduate of WVU and the Chicago Musical College, did post-graduate work at both Columbia University and the Christiansen Choral School and is well known throughout the area for her musical accomplishments. Her teaching career extended from individual instruction through elementary, secondary, and college levels. In 1936 she came to Potomac State College to head the music department and in 1939 she married Dr. Church, then president of the College. She was actively involved in the Keyser and College communities and traveled extensively with Dr. Church during his lifetime.

1998 - Glen A. Ryan ’50

Glen A. Ryan’s association with Potomac State College was long standing, first as a student and later as president of the Potomac State College Foundation, Inc. He was a charter member of the Potomac State Athletic Cat Club and served pm the Visiting Committee for the College. He also served on the PSC Athletic Hall of Fame committee.

1999 - Harry W. Boggs ’47

Dr. Harry Boggs graduated from Potomac State College in 1947. He served the College well as a member of the alumni association as well as a member of the PSC President’s Advisory Board.

2000 - C. Reeves Taylor ’54

Judge Taylor is a life-long resident of Keyser and has served the community and Potomac State College well. Potomac State affiliations include president of the Alumni Association, and membership on the Foundation Board, the Board of Visitors, and the Board of Advisors.

2001 - Tom ’46 & Thelma O’Connor

Tom and Thelma have served Potomac State College well as employees and as volunteers. Thelma began her 29-year career as assistant librarian to Mary Shipper in 1955 and Tom a teacher and a coach. Tom and Thelma have assisted in mailings for the Alumni Association, attended many alumni functions, and have served on the Alumni Achievement Award committee. Tom served on the President’s Advisory Board and served on the Athletic Hall of Fame committee since its inception.

Mausby William “Bill” Rogers ’48

Bill was an active member of the Potomac Alumni Association for many years serving as president for several terms. He served as a member of the President’s Development Advisory Council and served on various committees including the Athletic Hall of Fame. Bill was a faithful attendee of alumni regional dinners and attended several annual Capital Classic Luncheons in Charleston on behalf of the College.

2002 - Patricia Arnold Hovis ’52

Pat Hovis has been a very active volunteer serving on various boards and committees at PSC. She held president status of the Alumni Association from 1991-1994, served as secretary/treasurer in 1996, and served as treasurer of the association from 1997-2001. She served as a member of the Board of Visitors, the Alumni Achievement Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Homecoming committees.

Pat is always ready to give of her time to support Potomac State. Annually she travels to Charleston, WV to attend the WVU Capital Classic Luncheon. She also participates in regional dinners and campus fundraisers.

2003 - A. Craig Rotruck

Craig Rotruck was the organist for Potomac State College’s commencement since the early 1980’s. He also served on the Alumni Board as well as the Potomac State Foundation Board.

2004 - Linda Gardner Hicks ’69

In supporting Potomac State College, Linda has served on the Alumni Board of Directors, the Board of Visitors, the Board of Advisors, and the PSC/WVU Transition Committee. She was responsible for creating and designing the alumni newsletter, orchestrating PSC’s first Alumni Directory, and for producing and distributing “ The Legend,” a booklet of stories about former Coach Dana “Horse” Lough as told by fellow alumni. She organized numerous alumni events and served on the Alumni Achievement Committee for several years.

2005 - Jennings Stickley ’57

Jennings Stickley has been involved with Potomac State for many years in various capacities. He served on the Potomac State Executive Dean Search committee, the Board of Visitors, the President’s Advisory Board, the Alumni Board of Directors, the Athletic Hall of Fame committee, and the Alumni Golf Outing committee. 

Jennings often volunteers at the College helping with activities for the students, faculty and staff. He believes that showing loyalty and dedication to the College cultivates a better relationship with the students thereby assuring future involvement from former students.

2006 - Glenn “Tink” Smith

Glenn “Tink” Smith has been a long-time supporter and advocate of Potomac State College. Even at the age of 95, he regularly attended basketball games, open houses, plays and other events held at the College. 

He has generously provided his photography to schools and libraries throughout the area, donating a sizable collection to Potomac State which is on permanent display in Friend Hall. He has also donated pictures to various offices around campus.

2006 - Don Starcher (posthumously)

Don Starcher began his tenure, which spanned an impressive 24 years, with Potomac State College of West Virginia University in 1978. During his time here, Starcher worked with the greenhouse, served as the Ag Club advisor and as coordinator of farm operations. Starcher was a staunch staunch advocate of agriculture and always encouraged his students to strive for greater achievements. 

Longtime friend and former co-worker, Rick Woodworth, summed it up best by expressing these sentiments, “Don impacted Potomac State in several ways: yesterday-in the students he encountered; today-in recognition of his accomplishments; and tomorrow-in the trees he planted on campus, but more importantly, where he planted the seeds of knowledge in the individuals who are now horticulturists and agriculturists”.

2007 - Jack Canfield ’61

A former  Pasquino editor, Jack has been press spokesman for a West Virginia congressman and three West Virginia governors, a member of the West Virginia Legislature, vice president of the state’s largest medical center, a radio and television broadcast journalist, and an advertising and public relations executive. He is owner of Jack Canfield, LLC, a marketing, public relations and research firm in Charleston, WV.

Jack graduated from PSC in 1961 and has been a staunch supporter of the College over many years, especially during substantial legislative sessions at the State Capitol. He assisted in making Potomac State College a division of West Virginia University, chaired the board and headed the provost search.

2007 - Anthony “Skip” Delligatti

“Skip” Delligatti graduated from Potomac State College of West Virginia University in 1958 and has continuously been an avid supporter of the College. He participates regularly in Homecoming events, Athletic Hall of Fame banquets, actively recruits students, and has served on many alumni committees. Skip has been a member of the Alumni Board for several terms and has chaired the Alumni Golf Outing. He has also organized several alumni dinners in the Fairmont, WV area.

2008 - Harvey & Betty Moses

One afternoon several years ago, Harvey Moses stopped by the College to obtain information about making a donation to the music department and since that time, he and his wife, Betty, have taken a full-time interest in Potomac State. They attend sporting events, musical productions, receptions and alumni events. They have given monetary support for renovations to the library, funded scholarships and often take a personal interest in helping those around them; including sponsoring nine PSC students on a study abroad program to Switzerland.

2008 - Margaret Vorous

Margaret “Marge” Vorous not only attends many of Potomac State College of West Virginia University’s functions, but she also volunteers her time assisting the Alumni/Development Office with events such as coordinating regional dinners in her area to serving on the Alumni Board and organizing fundraisers. Always eager to jump in and help whenever needed, Vorous is a vocal cheerleader for the College as well, recruiting students and informing them of the wonder experience they will have at PSC.

2009 - Patricia Harman

Though she never attended Potomac State, Patricia Harman has been a strong supporter of the College for more than a decade. Her dedication to PSC began in 1998 with the establishment of the Chester D. Harman, M.D. Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship, named in memory of her husband, provides financial support for a freshman and sophomore majoring in pre-medicine or pre-pharmacy from either Grant or Pendleton Counties.

Harman has made multiple donations to the College enabling such projects as the preservation and exhibition of the West Virginia Prep Cistern Collection, which is housed in the Mary F. Shipper Library. She also contributed to the mounted statue at the campus entrance which welcomes students and guests to “Catamount Country”.

2010 - Charles Whitehill, Ph.D.

In addition to serving as chair of the music department at Potomac State, Charles Whitehill also chaired the Division of Arts and Humanities for many years and was twice named “Outstanding Professor of the Year”. He founded the College/Community Concert Band and Jazz Band, spending tireless hours at competitions. Dr. Whitehill was one of the founding members of Highland Arts Unlimited, Inc.

Charles and his wife, Becky, own Potomac Highland Vineyards and have given tours to agricultural students from the College. Dr. Whitehill attends numerous events at the College; he has been and continues to be a faithful and loyal advocate for Potomac State.

2011 - Sally Bartling & Jim McCune

Sally Bartling and Jim McCune, serve as instructors and as co-advisors of the Campus & Community Ministries Club at the College. In the capacity of co-advisors, Sally and Jim volunteer their time with students for Bible study, community service projects and spend one-on-one time with students, helping them to adjust to college life. The two coordinate an annual spring break service project where students and community volunteers undertake renovations including repairing roofs, building wheelchair accessible ramps, cleaning up after floods, and installing floors and kitchens.

2012 - Anita Marstialler Hardesty

Alumna Anita Hardesty, Class of ’58, is an avid volunteer alongside Libby Nichols, alumni/development associate in the Alumni Office at Potomac State. Anita is a current Alumni Board member and has served several terms on the board.   She assisted with the Flower and Garden Shows, attends regional alumni dinners and currently serves on the Capital Campaign Steering Committee “A State of Minds.” Anita travels to Charleston for the Capital Classic Luncheon each year and is also a financial supporter of the College. She has also served on numerous other PSC Committees as well. Besides volunteering at the College, Anita also volunteers at Heartland of Keyser Nursing Home, serves as a co-director of the After School Program, Chair of Outreach Programs, is a member of the Mineral County CEOS, and is a member of her Church/Children’s Ministry at First United Methodist Church. Additionally, during her 30-year career in education, Anita was named Mineral County Teacher of the Year for 1987, WV Teacher of the Year for 1987 and was featured in  Celebrated Women-Women’s Day Magazine 1988.

2013 - Edith Ludwick

Edith Ludwick worked tirelessly with Potomac State through her connection to Highland Arts, and because of this commitment is honored with the Distinguished Service Award.

Edith has been involved with Highland Arts since its inception in 1972 when she was contacted by then Director of the Arts Commission, Jim Andrews, who invited her, along with several others, to serve on an arts committee in order to bring the arts to all communities in West Virginia.

Highland Arts was chartered in 1973 and since that time has been responsible for bringing plays, music, speakers, etc. to the College’s Church-McKee Arts Center for the enjoyment of students and the community.

Besides volunteering, Edith served several terms as chair of Highland Arts. She also served as a past member of the Board of Advisors for Potomac State. Additionally, Edith spent 20 years as a member of the Arts Commission, which was responsible for awarding grants to various groups in support of art projects.

In the community, Edith and her late husband, Carl, accomplished several initiatives together, including: teaching a youth group class at their church, teaching Bible School during summers, hosting foreign exchange students, and owning and operating a successful business in Keyser, WV.

Edith also volunteered her time with the Garden Club, serving as president for many years; as a choir director with the Keyser Church of the Brethren; as a member of the Main Street Committee; as a member and officer of the local branch of the American Association of University Women; and as a first grade teacher for a year.

2014 - Dolly Cox 

Alumna Dolly Cox, Class of ’53, was involved with many activities while attending Potomac State where she majored in general secretarial science. During her sophomore year at the College, Cox gained secretarial experience while working in the office of Dr. E.E. Church.  Following graduation, she served as a secretary to Dean K.S. McKee as well.

Cox also served in the following capacities: freshman representative for Student Council; vice president of the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society; parchment editor for the Sigma lota Chi Sorority; secretary/treasurer and president of the Folio Book Club; and was a member of the Potomac State Singers. Additionally, Cox choreographed the 1953 May Day Dances, was a member of the Royal Court at Homecoming and earned an athletic letter as a PSC Cheerleader.

“Today, Dolly is truly an advocate for the College networking with former classmates and encouraging them to return to campus for events such as Homecoming,” said Libby Kalbaugh, Alumni/Development Associate.

After earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree at George Mason University in Virginia, Cox served as an executive stenographer for the United States Air Force in the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence. She also served as chairman of the Business Department at Woodbridge Senior High School in Woodbridge, Va. and as an instructor for 19 years. Additionally, Cox served as director of religious education at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Grove City, Pa.

Cox has also been active in her community, receiving the Team Leader Award from the National Chapter March of Dimes Walk America, for serving as a sponsor for 12 years. She was appointed to the Steering Committee for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. She is a member of the Personnel Committee in her current church. And she has performed over the years with various church choirs.

Cox and her husband, Norman, reside in Dumfries, Va. and have been serving as Rules Officials for the Mid-Atlantic PGA and Virginia State Golf Association since 2000.

2015 - Larry and Joan Bolyard

Larry Bolyard has had a long affiliation with the College, including a career of 30-plus years which began in 1964 serving as the baseball coach, assistant football coach, assistant men’s basketball coach, as well as the men’s and women’s head basketball coach.

Joan Bolyard earned her associate in home economics from Potomac State College while she and Larry raised three children. She then taught for the Allegany County Fort Hill School District for 18 years and taught nutrition at Potomac State College for 10 years.

Larry also served as a professor and the coordinator of physical education, director of intramurals, coordinator of athletics, chairman of the PSC Athletic Hall of Fame and master of ceremonies at the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet. He received the title ‘Professor Emeritus’ in June 1999.

“Potomac State College has been an integral part of our family, with our children growing up on its campus.  Our boys, also graduated from PSC.  Our daughter attended one year and then transferred to Shepherd.  I feel very fortunate to have taught and coached so many good students and to have worked with a dedicated and caring faculty,” said Larry.

Larry’s professional associations have been numerous and included the West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association, NJCAA Region XX Volleyball and Football Committee and West Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

The Larry G. Bolyard, Sr. Scholarship was recently established at Potomac State College of West Virginia University by Joan and Larry Bolyard, Sr.  The endowment will provide scholarships to West Virginia residents enrolled in the physical education program at the College who maintain a 3.0 grade point average, with first preference given to student-athletes.

2016 - Gary A. Seldomridge, Ph. D.

Dr. Seldomridge, who recently retired from the College after 41 years of service, also volunteered much of his time to enhance the students’ learning experiences. He was involved with the establishment of STEM at the College, serving as the coordinator for two years.

Dr. Seldomridge has given numerous math presentations ranging from first-grade students to attendees at international math conferences.  He wrote the guidelines for and directed the Governor’s Honors Academy for middle-school students for two years as well as creating the RESA 8 Honors Academy.

He has served on committees with the West Virginia State Department of Education dealing with math standards and has been involved with writing grants for well over a million dollars. He was also instrumental in creating the Faculty Assembly at the College as well as serving on several different committees.

Dr. Seldomridge and his wife, Debbie (who is also a retired math teacher), are currently volunteering their time at the First Methodist Church in Keyser in order to tutor students from first grade to college level who want help with math problems.  They will also be heading to Kenya, Africa in the future to conduct a math camp at a local high school there.

Dr. Seldomridge earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Davis and Elkins College in WV and both his master’s and doctorate degrees in mathematics from WVU. 

2017 - Mara Boggs

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

Prior to going to work on Capitol Hill, Boggs served 13 years of active duty in the United States Army in Iraq, as an engineer officer in the 82nd Airborne Division.

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

2018 -Theresa G. Falkowski

Theresa Falkowski, along with her late husband, Henry, have long been strong supporters of the College.  Her love and dedication to PSC began in 1978 when she attended the College as a biology major.

Some of her major contributions include: The West Virginia Prep Cistern Collection which involved collecting, cleaning, identifying, numbering, and assisting with photographing items recovered from the cistern below the College; the Fort Fuller Collection involved collecting, cleaning and identifying artifacts, logo design, assisting with displays, and the donation of Civil War models; and the Woodrow Wilson Barr WWII Military History Collection.

Theresa also located and purchased the Catamount Statue and plaque, the current PSC mascot costume, holiday entrance lighting, the PSC campus lighting replacement project, headed up the PSC academic mace project, and the PSC historical marker project.

She co-authored and donated funds for the publication of 100 Years of Davis Hall: Residence Hall & Conference Center, as well as banners, framed photographs and framed pennants in celebration of the 100th birthday of Davis Hall.

Additionally, Theresa has donated funds for the Chester D. Harman, MD Memorial Scholarship; paint and supplies for the repainting of

the Catamount Statue; books and equipment for the Mary F. Shipper Library; baseball caps for distribution to all students in the dinosaur class each year along with a trip to the Carnegie Natural History Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa.; framed pictures of PSC dignitaries; and custom designed Frisbees which were given out during the annual STEM Festival.

In addition to being published in The Eberly College Magazine, Theresa authored Laboratory Manual for Chemistry 112 which is currently used in the Chemistry 112 class.  She also serves as the scientific materials manager for the PSC general chemistry laboratories. 

2019 - Tara M. Hulsey, Ph. D., RN, CNE, FAAN

Tara Hulsey PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN is the vice president of Health Promotion and Wellness for West Virginia University and the dean of the WVU School of Nursing.

During her tenure as dean, enrollment at the WVU School of Nursing has doubled, and as a result, Dr. Hulsey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Potomac State College in June 2017 to offer the Bachelor of Science in nursing degree on the Keyser campus.  In July 2018, the College received final approval for the BSN degree, with the first cohort of students offered in fall 2018.

Dr. Hulsey worked closely with the College, visiting Potomac State throughout the process as she often observed the progression of the high-tech simulation labs and classrooms.  During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dr. Hulsey acknowledged her excitement and commitment to WVU’s BSN program being offered on the Keyser campus and the opportunity it creates for students.  She also oversaw the move of the WVU School of Nursing campus from Montgomery to Beckley.

Under Dr. Hulsey’s leadership, the School is adding a number of new nursing programs on the Morgantown campus, including an MSN/MBA; a post-masters mental health nurse practitioner; a post-masters adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; and a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Anesthesia. Additionally, test scores are on the rise for first-time test takers of the national nursing certification exam (NCLEX).

Dr. Hulsey was appointed by the Governor of West Virginia to serve on the West Virginia RN Board of Examiners and was elected to serve two terms as board president. She has also been appointed by the Governor to serve on the board of the West Virginia Center of Nursing.

Prior to joining WVU, Dr. Hulsey served as the dean and professor at the College of Nursing and Allied Health, Charleston (SC) Southern University; and the associate dean for Academics and the associate dean for Faculty at the College of Nursing, Medical University of South Carolina. In addition, she has held a number of teaching, leadership and nursing positions during her career. She has served as the principal investigator on more than 20 research projects and has written numerous published articles, book chapters and abstracts.

2021 - A. Jay Root

Root has been extremely helpful to the College since the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. He has been instrumental in providing return to campus COVID testing for faculty, staff and students in the fall 2020 as well as surveillance testing throughout the fall of 2021. He has served as a knowledgeable county resource for COVID-related data and important public health issues. Additionally, he has supported several COVID and flu vaccine clinics on campus. 

Root is a native of Keyser, having graduated from Keyser High School. He attended Potomac State College and went on to graduate from WVU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology.

He started his public health career in 1999 with the MCHD focusing on environmental health as a sanitarian identifying risks and enforcing environmental regulations, health and safety.

Then, in 2005 he took on the role of administrator for the MCHD, a position he has held for the past 16 years. He also serves as the Regional Threat Preparedness Coordinator for the Eastern Public Health Response Team.

Throughout his career, Root has served on more than 30 local and state committees including the WV Association of Local Health Departments, WV Public Health Partnership, and the Public Health Threat Preparedness Oversight Committee.  He served as vice president of the WV Extension Service Committee, Family Resource Network and Building Safety Enforcement Agency. He served as president of the WV Association of Local Health Departments, WV Association of Sanitarians, Mineral County Pre-K Policy Council and the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Root resides in Keyser with his wife of 21 years, Betsy and their three children, Peyton, Brayden and Jayden.

2023 - Carl D. "Denny" Avers

Portrait of Denny Avers

Carl Dennison “Denny” Avers, is a native of Keyser, WV. He enrolled at WVU in 1960. During the summers of 1959 through 1961, Denny attended Potomac State College. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University, in 1964 and 1965, respectively. While at WVU, he was elected to the Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Phi honor societies.

His professional career was as an engineer and executive at IBM Federal Systems Company where he worked for 30 years in positions related to national defense, commercial systems development, and international programs. He was the senior representative of IBM Federal Systems in West Virginia.

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

Winning the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Award in 1956 launched his passion for learning about local history. He enthusiastically shares the fruits of his research, in presentations and publications.

Denny has received numerous awards for his career achievements and for his volunteer efforts to ensure excellence in engineering education nationally and internationally, including the 1998 Alumni Achievement Award at WVU-Potomac State College. He was recognized as a Distinguished West Virginian by the Governor of West Virginia in 1996. More recently, he was chosen by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History as the 2021 West Virginia History Hero, nominated by his history-loving peers in Mineral County, WV.

Denny has provided financial gifts that enhanced WVU Potomac State College’s commitment to preserving and disseminating local history records and information. The initial result was the digitization and distribution of all archived issues of Keyser newspapers. The success and popularity of that effort has, with Mr. Avers’ continuing support, led to the digitization of numerous other newspapers. This has established the WVU-Potomac State College Mary Shipper Library as West Virginia’s premier resource for online research of historical newspapers. The collection is available, free of charge, to the public at