Division of Science & Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

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WVU names engineering and mineral resources college for alumnus Ben Statler

January 12th, 2012

West Virginia University’s engineering and mineral resources school will be named the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in honor of businessman, philanthropist and alumnus Ben Statler, WVU President Jim Clements and other officials announced Thursday (Jan. 12).

Statler and his wife, Jo, both natives of Monongalia County, today pledged $34 million to the College – the largest single gift commitment ever to the University and to a college – at a special ceremony at Erickson Alumni Center; $11 million of the donation will qualify for a match from the state Research Trust Fund, making the total value of the naming gift $45 million. A portion of today’s pledge comes from a previously announced commitment.

With this historic gift, CEMR becomes only the third college at WVU to be named for a benefactor.

Over the years, the Statlers have supported many WVU initiatives including the comprehensive breast cancer program at WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center; the new Erickson Alumni Center building; the Basketball Practice Facility and other Athletics capital improvements, including the Coliseum scoreboards. The direct impact of their lifetime of support to WVU, including today’s gift announcement, is nearly $60 million.

Clements said the naming recognizes the generosity and support of two extraordinary individuals committed to academic excellence and WVU’s land-grant mission.
Click here to view the Statlers ’4-H Love Story’.

“This is an extraordinary gift from extraordinary people,” Dr. Clements said. “Ben and Jo Statler’s ties to WVU go back to their childhoods when they met in 4-H and through their many gifts those ties will go on forever. From health care, to athletics, to academics, the Statlers have been extremely generous in helping WVU help others,” he said.

“The College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is already outstanding on many fronts and this gift will truly take the College to the next level and benefit the students, faculty, and staff in countless ways. On behalf of a very grateful University community, I extend our heartfelt thanks to Ben and Jo Statler for their incredible support of excellence in our academic mission.”

The gift includes funds for the new advanced engineering research facility to be built on the Evansdale campus beginning in 2012, and the establishment of the Statler Research Scholars program.

This endowment, when matched with state RTF dollars, will provide scholarships and research support for 20 or more undergraduate students majoring in engineering. This College-wide initiative will provide an opportunity to reach a large number of meritorious undergraduates by easing their financial burden to attend WVU and enriching their education through a research experience.

The gift also creates and supports three endowed faculty chairs in energy research, and funds a graduate research fellows program to support research. The RTF matching dollars will be used initially for research focused on energy.

Read the entire story on WVUToday.