OVU honors longtime supporters

VIENNA – Ohio Valley University honored two of its longtime supporters Tuesday by naming the college’s information technology and business school in their honor.

“Humbled,” is how both Gene and Joyce Wharton described their feelings after Tuesday’s dedication ceremony in the Roberts Chapel of OVU’s Stotts Administration Building.

“I think humbled is the right word,” Gene Wharton said, agreeing with his wife’s description of how they felt Tuesday.

“It’s been exciting years with the school,” he said. “They are doing great work and we’re just privileged to be a part of that.”

OVU President Harold Shank conducted the dedication ceremony formally naming the Gene and Joyce Wharton School of Information Technology and Business, which is housed on the third floor of the Stotts Building at the school.

During the program, Shank talked about the support the Whartons have provided to the college for more than 30 years.

The Whartons founded Charton Management in 1979 and began their long relationship with OVU by employing students in their Burger King restaurants.

Gene Wharton joined the college’s Board of Trustees in 1981 and has continued to serve for 33 years, including working as its chairman from 2001-2004. He also served as an elder of the Grand Central Church of Christ.

Joyce Wharton has assisted in the coordination of activities for women at the Church of Christ for many years, including developing a Bible study for women. She has organized and was host of many church dinners and events.

“OVU has a long and wonderful relationship with Gene and Joyce,” Shank said. “They champion the opportunity of faith-based higher education and all that it means. Our students receive a quality education within a Christ-centered environment. We offer a unique environment that nurtures leadership, community service, innovative thinking and character- the same qualities the Whartons have humbly demonstrated in their own lives and work. We’re honored to recognize their love and passion,” he said.

Members of the Wharton family were joined by school officials and community leaders attended Tuesday’s program.

“We are delighted to be the first of the schools at OVU to be named after a university benefactor,” said Larry Barchett, chair of the newly named school. “We seek to uphold the highest standards and prepare our students in the best possible way. The Whartons’ model is perfect for our institution,” he said.