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State of University report draws crowd

Submitted photo Above, from left, after the session, is ABU’s new Business College Dean Drew Cicarrello talking with ABU’s First Lady Ronda Barry, county Delegate Chris Phillips, and local entrepreneur Judy Gain.

PHILIPPI — Several members of the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce, university personnel, and community leaders attended the annual State of the University Report presented recently by ABU President Dr. Tim Barry at Taj Moe Hal in Philippi.

The lunch crowd included Barbour County Delegate Chris Phillips, county Administrator Shana Frey, Philippi City Manager Jeremy Drennen, Wendy Madden representing Congressman David McKinley, ABU’s First Lady Ronda Barry, county commissioner Susie Cvechko, and the new Dean of the ABU Business School Drew Ciccarello. A set cold luncheon was provided by John Mosesso, owner of Taj Moe Hal and Li’l Moe’s sports pub next store.

Barry discussed the forthcoming 150th anniversary of Alderson Broaddus, its mission, its past, present and future, and the issues facing higher education in West Virginia and in the United States. He emphasized the importance of student satisfaction and the total involvement of faculty and staff in maintaining a “caring institution.”

Barry reiterated the receipt of a major loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the re-accreditation of the university, new articulation agreements with state institutions, and the 100% pass-rate on the national certifying examination of all the graduates in the Physician’s Assistant program. He highlighted the school’sincreasing efficiency, church involvement, and diversity of academic programs including new majors at all levels for several categories of students. The Business College, he announced, is seeking new ways for its students to assist the business owners in the area.

Barry concluded that, “overall, AB is an economic engine for Barbour and surrounding areas. We have had a 62.1% increase in the last decade in the economic impact on the community which is currently $52.9 million; increased the number of jobs to 299, an increase of 54.9%; seen a 44.5% increase in student enrollment, currently 913; and clocked over 40,000 hours per year of volunteer service by our employees to organizations at the local, state, regional and national level.” In summary, he said, “the local economy has significantly benefitted by AB.”