7 West Liberty Alumni preparing to enter Wall of Honor at Homecoming this fall


WLU Media Relations

Wall of Honor Inductees from left to right: Todd Bullard, Davie Jane Gilmour, Bill Beatty, Carol Frum, Gerald Crabtree, Barbara “Barb” Laifer and Aaron “AJ” Monseau.

West Liberty University plans to celebrate the induction of both 2020 and 2021 alumni entering the Wall of Honor during Homecoming festivities this fall. According to an article regarding the recognition banquet released by WLU Media Relations Director, Maureen Zambito, the university was unable to celebrate Homecoming last year due to the pandemic. In this same article, Ron Witt, executive director of alumni affairs, was quoted saying, “Last year we weren’t able to gather as a large group for our usual Homecoming festivities due to the pandemic so this fall, we’ve planned a safe and very special evening that will honor both this year and last year’s Wall of Honor recipients whose names will be added to this prestigious honor roll.”

The ceremony taking place is a part of the Impact of Philanthropy and the Wall of Honor Recognition Dinner taking place on Friday, Oct. 15 in the Wall of Honor alcove located in the Paul N. Elbin Library. Witt says the event will be extra special this year “because we are celebrating and dedicating a new space for the Alumni Wall of honor, located on the second floor of the library.” Tickets are currently available and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 304.336.5635. According to Witt, the tickets to attend the event cost $75 and all the proceeds will go towards the WLU Foundation Annual Fund. Reservations for this event must be made by Oct. 11, 2021.

The Wall of Honor Ceremony is the highest honor the Alumni Association can award to a graduate, according to Witt. “It is awarded to alumni and alumnae who, through their distinction in their chosen career, selfless service to society, dedication, and loyalty to the university, exemplify greatness and are worthy of induction,” explained Witt. Zambito furthered Witt’s comment saying, “West Liberty University’s Wall of Honor is a tradition that recognizes alumni of achievement. These are leaders in their professions and alumni who give back. We look forward to this annual celebration during Homecoming 2021 and invite all our alumni to join us this October.”

The 2020 Alumni Wall of Honor Inductees include Gerald R. Crabtree, class of 1964, Barbara J. Laifer, class of 1975, Carol L. Frum, class of 1960 and Aaron. J. Monseau, class of 2003.

Crabtree grew up outside of Wellsburg W. Va. and earned a medical degree from Temple Medical School in Philadelphia and later went on to complete his residency at Dartmouth College in 1985. According to Zambito’s press release, some of his scientific accomplishments include “discoveries related to the coding capacity of the human genome, the molecules involved in the immune response and the development of the nervous system.” Additionally, Crabtree co-founded three companies and is on the board for several charitable foundations.

Laifer is a Wheeling native who graduated from West Liberty in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts in music, speech and theatre paired with a minor in speech therapy. She earned two master’s degrees: one from Austin Peay State University in vocal performance and another in education in speech-language pathology from Tennessee State University.

“Looking back, my years at West Liberty were the happiest of my life, and I made friendships that have lasted throughout the years,” said Laifer.

Frum was a 1960 graduate from WLU’s Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene and was employed as a hygienist for 16 years prior to making her way back to West Liberty as an adjunct clinical laboratory assistant for the Dental Hygiene Department in 1975. Appointed full-time course instructor and clinical supervisor in 1980, she held the position for 16 years. Frum later earned a master’s degree from West Virginia University in 1983.

Aaron Joel “AJ” Monseau grew up in West Liberty and was on campus much of the time as his father, Vince, was a professor and coach and his mother was an administrative assistant. Completing a bachelors as a double major in biology and chemistry in 2003 as an Elbin Scholar, Monseau went on to earn his medical degree at West Virginia University.

The 2021 Alumni Wall of Honor Inductees include William H. Beatty, class of 1972
Todd H. Bullard, class of 1953 and Davie Jane Gilmour, class of 1976.

Beatty graduated from West Liberty with a degree in biology later becoming a “distinguished and well-known outdoor education specialist, naturalist and educator,” according to Zambito’s release.

He taught classes for people of all ages about nature and history and led the Mountain Nature Camp for 12 years. He served at the A.B. Brooks Nature Center (now known as the Schrader Center) as an Interpretive Naturalist for Oglebay Institute between 1972 to 1990. Upon his retirement from Oglebay, he founded his own consulting company known as “Wild & Natural.” The company specializes in programs about nature and environment programs as well as nature writing and photography.

Bullard graduated from West Liberty in 1953 with a degree in political science. Prior to earning his degree, he served in the U.S. Army. While he was at West Liberty, he founded the Chi Nu Fraternity and served as the student body president. Bullard went on to earn a masters from WVU and a doctoral degree from University of Pittsburgh, both in political science. He passed away on Jan. 1, 2009.

Gilmour earned an associate’s and bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene education from West Liberty and later earned a masters and doctoral degree in health education from Penn State. After graduation from West Liberty, she returned to the Harrisburg area and worked in private dental practices. Gilmour shared, “I am now a college president, since 1998, at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, Pa. West Liberty provided me the environment to become an independent thinker, reinforced self-sufficiency and empowered me to try and take risks.” Gilmour describes her experiences at the university as loving every day on campus. “I am humbled and honored. West Liberty offered a foundation that allowed me to grow. I will forever be grateful,” Gilmour said. Her advice to current university students is to make every day count, get involved on campus and “make your dreams a reality.”

For more in-depth information about each candidate, please visit Zambito’s original release published on Sept. 8, 2021, by following this link.