WesBanco gifts WLU $100,000 to build endowed professorship

President Dr. W. Franklin Evans with WesBanco CEO Todd Clossin

West Liberty University announced a momentous gift of $100,000 from WesBanco on March 23, 2021, around 2:30 p.m. in the Board Room located on the second floor of Shaw Hall. Reportedly, the money will be used to fund the university’s first-ever endowed professorship.

According to a press release by WLU Director of Media Relations, Maureen Zambito, “The planned professorship means that the university can attract quality applicants and will strengthen the education of students studying Liberal Arts at WLU.”

WLU President Dr. W. Franklin Evans stated in the press release his gratitude towards WesBanco and to President and CEO Todd Clossin “for placing trust in our university to deliver a solid return on this investment.” Evans also states the “empowering” gift will help strengthen academics here on the Hilltop.

Clossin stated his thoughts regarding the endowment saying, WesBanco is “pleased to support the endowment of the Kenneth B. McMillen Distinguished Professorship in American Studies.” Clossin went on to say Dr. Evans’s passion for expanding and strengthening WLU’s educational experience for both faculty and students is “inspiring”. [Quote Source: Press Release linked above].

In attendance at the announcement was Executive Director of the WLU Foundation, Angie Zambito-Hill, who expressed her thanks for the gift which is already established to Kenneth B. McMillen Fund. She was quoted saying, “The gift raises the bar especially for a small state college.” Zambito-Hill added the university’s goal is to reach $500,000 in this particular endowment fund by the end of the 2023 fiscal year; in addition, the foundation is currently looking for additional donors who value Liberal Arts Education.

Interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Jeremy Larance, was quoted in Zambito’s release saying the professorship provides students with “a unique opportunity” to experience American Studies courses “under the supervision of a scholar dedicated to study of American culture, history, and politics.”

The professorship is in honor of Kenneth B. McMillen who was an associate professor of Political Sciences at West Liberty from 1946-1980. McMillen died in 1985, and the fund was created by his wife Muriel in memory of her husband. Zambito’s release also mentions a “special plaque” will be installed in Elbin Library to honor Professor McMillen as well as major donors to this endowed professorship.

News Reporters from various stations were present in the board room during the announcement; in particular, news reporter Aliah Keller with WTRF-7 had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Evans regarding the gift. Keller’s interview with the president can be viewed on WTRF-7’s website.

For more information regarding the information in this release, please contact Zambito at [email protected] Information on donating to the McMillen fund can be found by contacting the WLU Foundation at 304.336.5635.