West Virginia University officially welcomed it's new interim president today. Gordon Gee will return to WVU as president after Jim Clements steps down. The university held a welcoming reception and press conference at the Erikson Alumni Center.
He was first named president at WVU, where he was then dean of the law school, in 1981 at age 36. He would go on to serve as president of the University of Colorado (1985-1990), Brown University (1998-2000), Vanderbilt University (2000-2007) and The Ohio State University (1990-1997 and 2007-2013).
"I thanked the Board (of Governors), personally, for this opportunity to return to the place I love and appreciate," Gee said at a news conference preceding the reception. "I want to thank the people of West Virginia. At the age of 36, they gave me opportunity to have an extraordinary life."
It has been quite awhile since Gee has been working at WVU but the crowd of faculty, staff, students, and community leaders lined up to welcome him back.
"This is not a job for me; it's a calling," Gee said. "It's a responsibility and an opportunity to thank the people and pay it forward."
Gee said he will serve as president for the university until a new president is found. He will start on the first day of the upcoming spring semester.