PARKERSBURG - West Virginia University at Parkersburg has received a nearly $1 million trust for scholarships from a former college president.
Eldon Miller passed away May 31, 2013, at age 77. He was WVU-P's longest-serving president from 1982 to 2000. He worked in higher education for more than 30 years and founded the Community Colleges of Appalachia Association.
The college recently learned Miller bequeathed a trust of almost $1 million to the college which will be used for students scholarships. Miller asked that the scholarships be administered through the West Virginia University at Parkersburg Foundation.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg Board Chairman Gerard El Chaar and president Marie Foster Gnage; and WVU-P Foundation Board chair Robert Wright and executive director Senta Goudy stand with a portrait of former college president Eldon Miller.
"For a community college president to leave this large of a gift is unprecedented," said Senta Goudy, executive director for the foundation. "Mr. Miller's decision to include us in estate planning will have a tremendous impact on the futures of hundreds of students."
Prior to working at WVU-P, Miller served as an academic dean at the Dallas Community College District, executive level administrator at the Community College of Denver, associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and director of the Higher Educational Management Institute at the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges in Washington, D.C.
Upon his retirement from the college in 2000 he said, "My 18-year association with WVU-P and the Wood County community has been one of the most significant parts of my career and life. I have immensely enjoyed being a part of this campus community and contributing to the institution's evolving maturity."
"We are so very grateful for this generous gift. Eldon loved this college so much and remained involved for more than a decade after he left," said WVU-P President Marie Foster Gnage. "It is so inspiring to see this level of dedication to the mission of community colleges."
In 2009, WVU-P constructed a student plaza on its main campus and named it the Miller Plaza. The plaza includes a clock tower and memory garden with named bricks to honor and remember those who have contributed to the college.
Bricks are available for purchase through the WVU-P Foundation office by calling 1-304-424-8340.