Former MIT President, Dr. Charles Vest died Dec. 13 at age 72 from pancreatic cancer. Vest was a WVU alumnus and a member of the Board of Governors and the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He was the 15th president at MIT and served from 1990 to 2004.
Charles Marstiller Vest was born Sept. 9, 1941, in Morgantown, W.Va.; 49 years later, in his inaugural address at MIT, he recalled his upbringing in "a warm family in a small town in West Virginia."
Jim Clements and David Hardesty provided statements following the news of Vest's death.
WVU President Jim Clements:
"Dr. Chuck Vest was one of the greatest men I have ever known. He was also one of the giants in higher education, and I am so blessed to have been mentored by him through the WVU Board of Governors. His loss is one that touches so many around the world because his impact was literally that far-reaching. In every conversation and in every meeting over the past five years, I always knew how incredibly fortunate I was that our paths crossed here at his alma mater. Words truly fall short in expressing my admiration of Dr. Vest. He represented everything that is so special about West Virginia and West Virginia University – strength, character and humility. Our hearts are with his family at this difficult and sad time, and I send sincerest condolences to them from the entire WVU community."
WVU President Emeritus David C. Hardesty:
"Charles Vest was a native West Virginian who loved the state and his undergraduate alma mater. He spoke eloquently of the mission of a land-grant institution when I was installed as president, and has served the University in many public and private capacities. He will be sorely missed on the national stage because of is important role as an advocate for WVU, higher education generally, and the engineering profession."
For additional comments from WVU officials, go to: http://go.wvu.edu/1csdszI.