Fairmont State Foundation Announces its 2021 Scholarship and Stewardship Award Recipients

The Fairmont State Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the organization’s 2021 philanthropy awards. Awardees will be celebrated during the Fairmont State Foundation Scholarship and Stewardship Banquet planned to take place this fall. 

“Congratulations to all the philanthropy award recipients. Your support of Fairmont State is surely a testament to you and of our fine University and the important role it plays in the life of our future leaders.” said President of the Fairmont State Foundation, Gary K. Bennett.

Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year

Tulasi and Marilyn Joshi have been named Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year for 2021 for their proven record of exceptional generosity and demonstrated civic and charitable responsibility. Dr. and Mrs. Joshi committed funds in the fall of 2020 in support of international student recruitment through the newly named Tulasi and Marilyn Joshi Office for Educational Pathways for International Centers & Students.

Dr. and Mrs. Joshi have also been inducted into the Column Society for giving more than $25,000 in their lifetime. They hope their philanthropic support will provide the chance for other international students to seek the dream of education and opportunity and provide the University with a broader global perspective. 

Dr. Joshi is a Fairmont State University emeritus faculty member and has been part of the Falcon Family since 1972. He is originally from Nepal and continues to be an advocate for international students.

Gary K. Bennett Philanthropy Leadership Award

Kevin and Tina Rogers earned the Gary K. Bennett Philanthropy Leadership Award for 2021. Named for long-time Fairmont State Foundation board member and current Foundation President Gary K. Bennett, the award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership skills in coordinating and motivating other donors to follow their philanthropic lead for the benefit of Fairmont State University.

Kevin is President of Rogers Electrical, that he founded in 2011. Before founding Rogers Electrical, he operated a similar business for 15 years. Despite his busy work schedule, Kevin always finds time to be an advocate for Fairmont State University. He is a former member of the Fairmont State Foundation Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Fairmont State University Board of Governors.

Philanthropic Corporation of the Year

The 2021 Philanthropic Corporation of the Year Award was given to Equitrans Midstream. To qualify for this award, a corporation must demonstrate outstanding commitment through its financial support and engagement of others in activities that support and advance philanthropy at Fairmont State University.

Equitrans Midstream provided funds for the construction of the Equitrans Midstream Sustainable Shelter, which will cover the purchase of materials, supplies, labor and insurance. The shelter will be used as an outdoor learning space after completion.

As one of North America’s premier midstream services companies, Equitrans has a steadfast commitment to sustainability and understands their responsibility to manage the environmental, social and governance issues that matter most. Through safe, responsible operations and ongoing environmental stewardship activities, their pledge is to conduct business in a socially responsible and ethical manner, respecting their employees, communities, business partners and all stakeholders. 

Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation

The Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation award went to the Datha & Gene Smith Foundation. To qualify for this award, a foundation must demonstrate outstanding commitment through its financial support and engagement of others in activities that support and advance philanthropy at Fairmont State University. 

In the spring of 2021, the organization generously committed funds supporting The Datha & Gene Smith Fellows Program, a summer bridge program designed to prepare first-generation college students for their transition to student life at Fairmont State University. The program is in development and will begin in the summer of 2022.

Legacy Leaders Award

Bob and Susan Hawkins, who were also inducted into the 1865 Heritage Society for planned giving, were named Legacy Leaders this year. This award seeks to honor a generous donor for their dedication and commitment to the programs and students at Fairmont State University through legacy gifts.

Both Bob and Susan are retired educators who met while studying in the doctoral program at Virginia Tech. They believe in supporting future educators and for that reason they established the Dr. Bob and Susan Hawkins Endowed Scholarship in 2016 for West Virginia students majoring in Education. In the fall of 2020, they again committed to supporting future educators by arranging a gift as part of their estate plan to increase the impact of their existing scholarship. 

“Fairmont State is blessed by the generosity and love of these individuals and corporations,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “Fairmont State strives to inspire and empower not only those among our campus community, but also the larger communities who support us. We simply could not uphold that mission without the philanthropical leadership of these award winners, and we are indebted to them.”

In addition to these awardees, the Mon Health Medical Center Foundation is being honored for their induction into the Fairmont State Foundation President’s Circle, a giving society that honors individuals and organizations who have provided more than $500,000 to Fairmont State University. Mon Health has been a vital supporter of the University’s College of Nursing, helping numerous students during their nursing education and throughout their careers in the healthcare sector in West Virginia.