Davis & Elkins trustees create presidential chair

Davis & Elkins College trustee June Myles has announced the creation of the G.T. “Buck” Smith presidential chair.

Established by members of the Board of Trustees in honor of the college’s 13th president in appreciation for his years of service from 2008 to 2013, it is funded with initial commitments totaling $1 million from members of the Board of Trustees.

In addition to supporting the president’s salary, the endowment provides discretionary funds for the president to underwrite initiatives that add to the distinctive quality of Davis & Elkins College.

The surprise announcement was made during a board dinner prior to the college’s “Notes of Thanks” concert.

Smith expressed his surprise for the honor, responding in brief comments: “The privilege of serving D&E these past five years is reward enough. To experience such an expression of gratitude is overwhelming.”

Myles noted the difference Smith has made during his tenure at Davis & Elkins College. Under his leadership, D&E increased its full-time enrollment by more than 50 percent, paid off all of its external debt and completed more than $10 million in campus improvements. His six-step game plan, announced on his first day as president, was to reduce expenses, recruit students, retain students, raise funds, renew programs and reach for new opportunities. His student-centered initiatives, including the Highlands Scholarship, have received widespread attention, including national press coverage.

Myles said the G.T. “Buck” Smith presidential chair will be formally dedicated during Homecoming 2013 on the D&E campus. President-Elect Dr. Michael Mihalyo will be the first holder of the Smith chair.

More information about D&E College is available at www.dewv.edu or 304-637-1243.