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A-B readies for graduation

May 8, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Commencement at Alderson-Broaddus College is set at 2 p.m. Saturday in Rex Pyles Arena in the Memorial Coliseum.

West Virginia businessman James C. Justice II is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech, "Lead with Passion," to 101 graduates.

The traditional baccalaureate ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in Wilcox Chapel. Senior Ashley Teets, a native of Terra Alta who is earning a bachelor's degree in visual arts with a minor in creative writing, will give the baccalaureate address entitled, "It Takes a Devoted College to Raise a Successful Student."

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In May 2009, Justice announced that his company purchased The Greenbrier resort and the buyout of the DPS interest in the Greenbrier Sporting Club, a private golf and residential sporting community located on the grounds of the resort. The purchase by the Justice Family Group LLC was made through the acquisition of the stock of The Greenbrier's holding company.

Justice is deeply involved in his family's business. Prior to his tenure at The Greenbrier, he started Bluestone Farms, which currently operates as Justice Family Farms LLC. The corn, wheat and soybean operation grew to more than 50,000 acres in four different states and is now the largest grain producer on the East Coast. He is a six-time national corn growing champion. During this same period, Justice developed Stoney Brook Plantation, a 15,000-acre hunting and fishing preserve in Monroe County, which has been a pre-eminent amenity of The Greenbrier Sporting Club.

Upon the death of his father in 1993, Justice became the president and CEO of Bluestone Industries Inc. and Bluestone Coal Corp. Over the next 15 years, a massive expansion of multiple businesses occurred, which included significant coal reserve expansion, Christmas tree farms, cotton gins, turf grass operations, golf courses, timber enhancement and land projects just to mention a few. Justice is the president and CEO of 47 different companies.

During late 2008 and early 2009, Justice successfully negotiated the sale of Bluestone Industries Inc. and affiliated companies, which comprised all of the family's West Virginia active coal operations to Mechel OAO a major global company in mining and metals.

The Justice family's Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia coal operations and the West Virginia, Virginia, North and South Carolina agricultural operations continue today under the parent James C. Justice Companies Inc.

Justice has carried on his family's tradition of being major supporters of youth programs. Every Christmas, he dons his custom-made Santa Claus suit as he goes to churches to greet many needy smiling faces.

Since 1992, he has been president of Beckley Little League. His participation has helped the program expand to more than 1,000 kids playing on 80 teams. He has coached basketball teams of all ages for the past 30 years amassing a coaching record of 761 wins - 156 losses. He is currently the head girls' basketball coach at Greenbrier East High School in Lewisburg. He has been director of the Mountain State Coal Classic since 1995. The basketball classic has enjoyed tremendous success awarding hundreds of thousands in scholarships and direct support to participating schools.

Justice played golf for the University of Tennessee and upon transferring to Marshall University he was captain of the Marshall University golf team his junior and senior years. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration from Marshall University in Huntington. He and his wife, Cathy, have two adult children, James C. III "Jay" and Jill.

Justice will be presented with an honorary degree, Doctor of Business, by Alderson-Broaddus College President Richard Creehan. Other honorary degree recipients will include U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., Doctor of Public Service; Jean H. Roy, Doctor of Nursing; and Archie R. Snedegar, Doctor of Divinity.



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