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Highway named after oil leader

July 11, 2013
By John Wickline - Upshur Bureau Chief , The Inter-Mountain

A stretch of West Virginia Route 20 leading into the community Thomas Dunn loved so much was named in his honor Wednesday during a ceremony at the Microtel outside of Buckhannon.

West Virginia Sen. Sam Cann, D-Harrison, read the Senate resolution to honor the memory of the late Dunn with the highway designation. On hand for the ceremony were several West Virginia high school students who are attending the Thomas Dunn Leadership Academy at West Virginia Wesleyan College. A 1964 West Virginia Wesleyan College graduate and former member of its Board of Trustees, Dunn passed away last year in Florida.

Dunn made his fortune in the oil and gas industry, quickly rising through the ranks to become the president of Union Drilling in the 1980s. He donated his time and money to various causes in Upshur County, including his alma mater, St. Joseph's Hospital and recreational opportunities.

Article Photos

The Inter-Mountain photo by John Wickline
Surrounded by high school students attending a leadership academy, West Virginia Sen. Sam Cann, seated far right, presents a copy of the sign that designates West Virginia Route 20 as the Thomas Dunn Memorial Highway. Joining Cann in the ceremony are members of Dunn’s family, seated from left, Mark Cunningham, Grant Cunningham, Tracy Dunn Cunningham and Carol Dunn. The Thomas Dunn Memorial Highway dedication and the Thomas Dunn Leadership Academy are being held in conjunction with the annual West Virginia Oil and Gas Trade Show, which starts today at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

"He loved the oil and gas industry with all of his heart," said his wife Carol Dunn. "Having a highway named after my husband will always be dear to my heart."

Carol Dunn also said her husband would have been proud to know he is helping students interested in the oil and gas industry through the Leadership Academy.

"You have no idea how important this field is," Carol Dunn told the students. "We are proud to have the opportunity for the Dunn Academy, where each one of you students will find the interest and intrigue of the industry."

Carol Dunn said the Leadership Academy is an exciting adventure for the students.

"Hopefully, these young students will get an insight as to how important the oil and gas industry is to our future," she said.



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