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Students ‘dive in’ with pool project

D&E Student Assembly pledges $200K for new roof

September 21, 2012
By Beth Christian Broschart - Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Students at Davis & Elkins College have issued a challenge gift of $200,000 toward replacement of the school's pool roof. The terms of the gift call for an additional $400,000 in matching gifts from alumni and friends of the college.

The surprise announcement was made by Davis & Elkins College President of Student Assembly Alex Torres during the college's Founders' Day convocation Thursday.

"We thought as students we could do something significant to help the college," Torres said. "D&E College does so much for us."

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Davis & Elkins College Chancellor Dr. Michael P. Mihalyo welcomes faculty, students and visitors to the Founders’ Day Convocation held Thursday at Harper-McNeeley Auditorium.

The 38-year-old roof overhang of the Hermanson Center pool collapsed during Easter weekend. It was discovered that the inner steel structure of the roof was corroded. The only choice was to replace the entire roof and pool ventilation system, officials said. The total cost for the project is $891,000.

The project has been dubbed the "Raise the Roof Campaign." The total cost will be paid by $300,000 in initial gifts in hand, the $200,000 challenge gift from the D&E Student Assembly and the $400,000 matching gift from alumni and friends.

D&E College Chancellor Dr. Michael Mihalyo said he was astounded when he met with Scott Goddard, the school's vice-president for student affairs, and Torres over the summer to discuss this venture.

Fact Box

"It is in giving that we


The Rev. Kevin Starcher,

Chaplain, Davis &?Elkins College

"In my mind, I expected Torres to say the Student Assembly would help with $20,000 toward the pool roof project," Mihalyo said. "It was staggering to hear that they would commit to $200,000. They are willing do this because of all the college had contributed to them."

Mihalyo said what is significant about the donation is not just the money, but the students' desire to leave a legacy at the school.

"D&E is a family," Mihalyo said. "Families live, grow and work together. We may be separated by time and space, but that gives us a point of reference as to who we are."

Also during convocation, student honor program awards were presented to Conner W. Berkey and Loran A. Davis. Berkey received the L. Newton Thomas St. Memorial Scholarship and Davis received the Dr. R.B. Purdum Memorial Scholarship.

Awards were presented to the highest ranking students for the previous academic year. Freeman J. Daniels Academic Achievement Awards were presented to Berkey, junior class; Cacie K. Armstrong, sophomore class; and Meredith D. Hill, freshman class.

Mihalyo announced that Karen Seel, assistant professor of nursing, received tenure and Dr. Robert R. McCutcheon, professor of English, received special recognition for all of his work over the years.

Special recognition of the endowed chairs went to Dr. R. Carol Cochran, S. Benton Talbot Chair in the natural sciences and nursing; Dr. Peter T. Okun, Thomas Richard Ross Chair in history and the humanities; Dr. Gloria M. Payne, James S. McDonnell Foundation Chair in business and economics; and Rev. Kevin M. Starcher, Benfield-Vick Chair in Christian ministries and services.

Starcher led the convocation in invocation and benediction. He reminded those in attendance to be givers.

"It is in giving that we receive," Starcher said.



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