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Former WVU at Parkersburg president leaves a large donation to the school

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West Virginia University at Parkersburg will be able to make one large gift keep giving.

Former WVU Parkersburg President Eldon Miller died one year ago, but Miller left a trust, which has grown to nearly $1 million.

The trust will provide academic scholarships for students at WVU-P for several years. Miller asked for the scholarships to be administered through the college’s foundation.

“For a community college president to leave this large of a gift is unprecedented,” said Senta Goudy, executive director for the WVU at Parkersburg Foundation. “Mr. Miller’s decision to include us in estate planning will have a tremendous impact on the futures of hundreds of students.”

Prior to working at WVU-P, Miller served as an academic dean at the Dallas Community College District, an executive level administrator at the Community College of Denver, associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and director of the Higher Educational Management Institute at the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges in Washington, D.C.

When Miller retired from the college in 2000, he called his 18-year relationship with both the school and the Wood County community "one of the most significant parts of my career and life."

Miller died May 31, 2013 at age 77 and was WVU Parkersburg’s longest-serving president from 1982 to 2000. He worked in higher education for more than 30 years and founded the Community Colleges of Appalachia Association. In 2009, WVU Parkersburg constructed a student plaza on its main campus and named it the Miller Plaza. The plaza includes a clock tower and memory garden with named bricks to honor and remember those who have contributed to the college. 

Current WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage said the school was grateful for the generous gift. 

“Eldon loved this college so much and remained involved for more than a decade after he left,” Gnage said. “It is so inspiring to see this level of dedication to the mission of community colleges.”