Marshall University get engineering professorship grant - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Marshall University get engineering professorship grant

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Marshall University's engineering department is getting a much needed boost thanks to a timely gift.

According to a press release, the estate of J. Robert "Bob" Fletcher donated $721,000 to the university to fund an engineering professorship. That professorship will bear Fletcher's name.

Officials say bequest from the Fletcher estate could be matched by the "Bucks for Brains" West Virginia Research Trust Fund. If that happens, that would mean $1.4 million would be available for the professorship.

"This gift will continue the tradition of J. H. Fletcher & Co.'s leadership in supporting engineering at Marshall University and will carry on Bob Fletcher's legacy as a leader in catalyzing economic development in this region," Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp said. "Marshall University owes a debt of gratitude to the Fletchers for their generosity and foresight in establishing this endowed professorship."

J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering will provide funding for a full-time mechanical engineering professor. Fletcher was a Huntington businessman, founding J.H. Fletcher & Co. The company makes roof support systems for mines. He died in 2009.

"My parents Bob and Kae Fletcher always felt that an education was of the utmost importance for a young person to achieve success in life," said Sally Fletcher Duncan, Fletcher's daughter. "We hope this bequest will help many deserving Marshall students graduate from college and become successful and contributing members of our society."