Two sisters from Marion County, along with family and friends, have chosen to honor the life of their mother with a gift to Fairmont State University, totaling $26,000. The gift will establish the Estaline May Fleming Memorial Scholarship supporting students in the College of Education, Health and Human Performance.
Fairmont native, Estaline May Fleming studied Family and Consumer Sciences at Fairmont State, earning her degree in 1976. Fleming was active in the Fairmont community, serving as a life-long member of the Rock Lake Club, remaining engaged with her sorority, participating in the Mountain Heritage Quilters Guild of Marion County and volunteering with Meals on Wheels.
“By honoring the life and legacy of Estaline May Fleming, her children, family and friends pay exceptional tribute to her support for higher education at Fairmont State University. Establishing a scholarship in her name ensures that her enthusiasm for her community will endure through the educational pursuits of deserving students in the College of Education, Health and Human Performance.” said Gary K. Bennett, President of the Fairmont State Foundation.
Fleming’s daughters, Dr. Judie Charlton and Nan Murray, have chosen to honor her memory with this scholarship because of their family history with the University. Mrs. Fleming and her husband, William “Hoppy” Fleming, were avid supporters of Fairmont State, regularly attending games and events and enjoying the camaraderie of students, employees and fans of the Institution.
“Supporting Fairmont State is important because my family grew up in Fairmont and Fairmont State was always an intricate part of our foundation. My mother and father attended Fairmont State, and my sister and I started our college experience at Fairmont State," Murray said. "Fairmont State has always been a key part of our community."
The Estaline May Fleming Memorial Scholarship will be available to students in the College of Education, Health and Human Performance with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
“We are so grateful for this gift from the family and friends of Estaline May Fleming,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “She had such a deep love for her community – a love borne out by her commitment to service and giving back. Fairmont State shares those values, and The Estaline May Fleming Memorial Scholarship helps us continue to give back to the communities that help us in our mission to provide a transformative education. Scholarship gifts like this one are vital to the University. This scholarship specifically supports students in the College of Education, Health and Human Performance – a college filled with students pursuing degrees in high-need fields – and will have a profound impact on these programs and students, as well as our communities, for years to come.”
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 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.