It was just a small story, and perhaps you didn’t read it.
And the amount wasn’t a gigantic figure in today’s world, but it certainly was quite substantial to the organization receiving it.
We’re talking about the $730,000 gift left to Fairmont State University by William Claude “Bill” Waters, who passed away in July 2012 at the age of 93. The gift was left to Fairmont State through a bequest from Waters’ estate.
University officials were certainly thrilled with the gift.
“Mr. Waters’ gift is a very thoughtful expression of support and will have an enormous impact on campus,” said William B. Armistead, president of the Fairmont State Foundation Inc. He explained that “naming Fairmont State as a beneficiary in a will, life insurance policy or retirement plan builds long-term financial strength and allows a donor to create a meaningful legacy for future generations of Fairmont State students.”
The man who presented this most generous gift had a rather amazing story. He was a graduate of Clay-Battelle High School, located in Blacksville. He then served his country as a U.S. Army Air Corps paratrooper in World War II. He returned to Fairmont State and graduated from the local college in 1946 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education.
Mr. Waters went on to earn his master’s degree from West Virginia University and was employed by the Monongalia County Board of Education. He worked his way up the educational ladder and eventually became assistant superintendent of schools.
But he wasn’t through with work when he retired from that position. He wound up his career with the Merrill Publishing Co. as a textbook salesman and continued in that position until he retired once again — this time on a permanent basis.
And years prior to this generous donation, he had presented his alma mater with a gift of $63,000.
His cousin, Arden Fisher of Fairmont, described him well.
“He took care of himself and his family. He maintained contact with his roots throughout his life. He was generous and humble. He never directly said so, but I’m sure that his focus and purpose was providing opportunity through education,” Fisher said.
“As a Fairmont State alumna, I know firsthand the life-changing power of education. The university is grateful for Mr. Waters’ support during his lifetime and for this generous bequest. His forward-thinking will enrich the lives of many future students,” said FSU’s president, Dr. Maria Rose.
Another recent gift, this one from a Fairmont State University alumna and former employee, also shows the impact that’s possible through planned giving.
A bequest from the Mary K. Kaiser and John P. Kaiser Family Trust will provide more than $330,000 to the Fairmont State Foundation Inc. that will be used for FSU student scholarships.
A Fairmont native, Mary graduated from East Fairmont High School in 1946 and from Fairmont State in 1950. She was a bookkeeper and secretary to the registrar at Fairmont State from 1947-50.
Such gifts are not only very much appreciated by Fairmont State University, they are very much needed as well, and Bill Waters and Mary Kaiser must have been fully aware of this fact.
It was just a small story, and perhaps you didn’t read it.
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
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