Gilmer brings team building program to WVU-P staff

Faculty and employees at West Virginia University-Parkersburg gathered in the school’s multipurpose room for the Building Bridges program with Christopher Gilmer, the school’s president. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

PARKERSBURG — President Christopher Gilmer begins his first semester next week as the inaugurated president of West Virginia University-Parkersburg.

On Tuesday, the faculty and staff got an example of a program he has demonstrated at other schools he has served at – Building Bridges.

The faculty-and-employees gathering is something Gilmer said he has done “all over the country. No leader is better than their team. There is a need to come together at times to do something more than what they do daily. What we can’t accomplish alone, we can accomplish together.”

The event was intended to encourage team building.

Among the items found in an envelope given to each member were an index card, a bendable straw, a lasagna noodle, a rubber band, a piece of construction paper, dried marshmallows, a crayon, a wooden Popsicle stick, among other odds and ends.

West Virginia University-Parkersburg President Christopher Gilmer reads a slide during a Power Point presentation near the conclusion of Tuesday’s Building Bridges program. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)

One of the activities was to construct a bridge surface in which a 20-ounce bottle of soda pop could be passed under and strong enough to support the bottle when placed on top of it.

“The bridge building at conferences was devised a long time ago,” Gilmer said. “It’s to remind everyone we can do so much more together than alone. We should be serious about what we do with the students. But it’s essential we have fun doing this and enjoy coming to work every day.”

Gilmer said estimates have WVU-P at 2,200 students enrolled for the upcoming semester “but that is going to change and climb higher. We are still enrolling students and will know the total number of students soon.”

Chad Crumbaker, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs for WVU-P, said this coming Monday “is the first day of classes. It’s going to be the last day for returning students to enroll unless their first day of class is a Tuesday.”

For new students at WVU-P, Friday is the last day to enroll, according to Crumbaker.