WLU Foundation receives third-largest estate gift

By Jalyn Bolyard, Online Editor

The West Liberty Foundation has accepted an estate gift of over $800,000 from former professor Dr. Lawerence H. Talley’s estate. 

The estate gift will fund four-year, full-ride scholarships for incoming College of Sciences freshmen students majoring in either chemistry or biology. 

This estate gift is the third largest ever received by the WLU Foundation. The largest was a gift of over 2.1 million dollars from the estate of Irene Meagel, which funds about 60,000 dollars’ worth of scholarships each year. The second-largest gift was over $1.3 million dollars from the estate of Hazel Jane Gilliland. 

Photo from yearbook Winding Road, 1960. The first staff photo of Dr. Talley.

“We are very excited that Dr. Talley has left money to award scholarships to students in the College of Sciences,” said Dean Dr. Robert Kreisberg. “These scholarships will enhance the College of Sciences. I believe this will allow students who receive the scholarship(s) to focus on their education.”

The first scholarship will be awarded in the fall of 2017. There is no application process for the scholarship. Instead, the College of Sciences faculty will pick the recipient based on one’s ACT/SAT scores, high school GPA, class rank at high school graduation, and at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor or administrator, according to WLU Foundation Executive Director Angela Zambito-Hill.

 “The estate gift from Dr. Lawerence Talley is incredibly meaningful to the WLU Foundation,” Hill said. “It helps grow the Foundation’s endowment and will provide significant opportunity to many students in the future.”

Talley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on Aug. 16, 1927 and passed away on Feb. 13, 2016 in St. Clairsville, Ohio. He is buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling. 

Talley earned his bachelors and masters in physical chemistry from Ohio University and his doctoral degree in education from West Virginia University. His work as a chemist opened a variety of doors for him, from developing isotopes to fuel the first atomic bomb for the Manhattan Project during World War II to being vice-president of research at the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wis.

Photo from 2001 book, “West Liberty State College” by Robert W. Schramm. Pictured at a 1996 commencement, left to right, are President Zaccari, Professor Kay Clawson, Dr. Lawerence H. Talley, and Professor William E. Corkle, Jr.

Talley became a professor of chemistry at West Liberty State College in 1959. Over the years, he took on a variety of roles, ranging from Dean of the school of Science and Mathematics, academic vice-president, and briefly the college’s interim president in 1984. He eventually retired from the college in 1993, after which he was in San Diego volunteering with the Scripps-Howard Institute.  

“Dr. Talley was a former WLU science professor, who cared deeply about higher education and WLU. We are so fortunate to carry his legacy on by providing opportunity to many worthy students through his generosity,” Hill said.

Photo credit: Media Relations