A Fairmont family has pledged $25,000 for the creation of a new scholarship at Fairmont State University in memory of Stephen Guentert, a Fairmont State alumnus who passed away in February of 2021. The Stephen L. Guentert Memorial Endowed Scholarship will provide financial support for computer science and cybersecurity students in the College of Science and Technology.
“What a wonderful gesture by the Guentert family to create this legacy in honor of Stephen,” said Fairmont State Foundation President, Gary K. Bennett. “This scholarship will provide the support so many of the students dearly need.”
Stephen Guentert, a husband and father of three, graduated from Fairmont State in 2001. He completed his degree in computer science, and went on to work as a software engineer. His wife Beverly and their children Isabella, Miranda and her husband Canon Fancher, and Isaak wish to continue his legacy and love for family with the Stephen L. Guentert Memorial Endowed Scholarship.
“He was an amazing father and husband who was always there for us no matter what,” said his daughter, Miranda Fancher. “In our household there was always an emphasis on how important our education is and how to build a future for our families.”
The Fairmont State Computer Science and Cybersecurity Programs are designed to provide students a broad range of theoretical foundations and hands-on learning opportunities in the field. These programs prepare graduates for a variety of careers including programming, systems analysis, software development, database administration and information security analysis.
“We chose to support computer science students at Fairmont State University because Stephen went to Fairmont State with the same goals in 1996. Going to college and providing for his family were a huge part of his life, so we wanted to contribute to another individual at the University with the same goals in his memory. We know he would be so proud to be able to help students at Fairmont State,” Fancher added.
The Stephen L. Guentert Memorial Endowed Scholarship will be available to Fairmont State University students with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, enrolled in a computer science or cybersecurity program.
“We are so grateful to Stephen’s family for this generous gift to the Falcon Family,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “This gift ensures that our excellent science and technology programs can not only ease the financial burden for deserving students, but they can also continue to meet the regional demand for top-notch computer science and cybersecurity professionals.”
Sidney and Judith Underwood of Parkersburg, West Virginia have pledged $27,000 to create a scholarship in memory of their son Eric, who passed away in July of 2020.
“The generous gift from the Underwoods is greatly appreciated. Their kind remembrance of their son will have a lasting benefit to Fairmont State students,” said Fairmont State Foundation President, Gary K. Bennett.
The Eric W. Underwood Endowed Scholarship will provide support to full-time students in the College of Science and Technology at Fairmont State University.
“We choose to honor Eric with this scholarship because he would want future generations to continue to pursue advanced education in this field of study,” said the Underwoods. “As a young man, he collected model planes, ships and enjoyed watching trains. He loved drawing and it was natural that he studied drafting and engineering in college. Eric was fascinated with how machines, such as trains, worked. He studied them and could explain how the mechanics of their engines and brakes worked. As an avid rail fan and member of the B&O Historical Association, he also enjoyed riding all the scenic rail works of West Virginia. He loved music and learned to play guitar as an adult. He also enjoyed nature; hiking, riding bikes and taking photos. During his time at Fairmont State, Eric held great respect for his instructors and the educational standards at the University.”
Eric received an Engineering Technology degree from West Virginia University at Parkersburg before going on to complete a bachelor’s degree from Fairmont State in Mechanical Engineering Technology in 2018. He also earned a master’s degree in Technology Education from WVU. Eric was skilled in the areas of educational leadership and curriculum development.
“We are touched beyond words by the Underwood’s generosity,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “Eric’s love for science and technology will not only live on through this gift, but it will also help us to continue to fill the need for qualified engineering professionals throughout this region and beyond. The Eric W. Underwood Endowed Scholarship will honor Eric’s passion for science and technology, and it will ignite and nurture that same passion in future Falcons.”
The Eric W. Underwood Endowed Scholarship will be available to Fairmont State University students enrolled full-time in the College of Science and Technology. Applicants must be West Virginia residents with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
“With the establishment of the Eric W. Underwood Endowed Scholarship, Eric’s legacy will continue forever here at Fairmont State University,” said Fairmont State Foundation Development Officer, Tori Anselene. “Students pursuing a degree within the College of Science and Technology will greatly be impacted because of Judith and Sidney’s generosity.
Fairmont State University’s Academy for the Arts has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the George W. Bowers Family Charitable Trust. The grant will allow the Academy for the Arts to provide scholarship opportunities to new and current Academy for the Arts K-12 students. Students currently attending Blackshere Elementary, Monongah Elementary and Middle School, Fairview Elementary and Middle School, Barrackville Elementary and Middle School, Mannington Middle School and North Marion High School will be eligible to apply for a needs-based scholarship.
“Fairmont State University’s Academy for the Arts provides a unique and vital arts training environment for the surrounding area,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “We couldn’t do what we do at Fairmont State without the terrific support of our community. This grant from the George W. Bowers Family Charitable Trust enables us to uphold our commitment to our community, and add to its cultural richness.”
Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts is dedicated to providing students with quality training and exposure to the arts. Instruction in visual art, music and theatre enables students to appreciate, perform and create. The academy utilizes Fairmont State facilities and highly qualified instructors drawn from Fairmont State faculty and area teachers. The Academy follows the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts standards as a base for its curriculum. This program is integral to Fairmont State University’s long-standing identification with its community, in particular the cultural and social development of the region.
The Academy for the Arts consists of three departments, music preparatory, theatre, preparatory and visual arts preparatory. The Music Preparatory Department provides the highest level of instruction in music to students of all ages and abilities. This includes opportunities to perform in a safe, positive atmosphere to encourage the creative and artistic growth of members. The program’s primary objective is to stimulate growth and inspire the creativity of the individual student and to identify and address the musical needs of the community at large.
The Theatre Arts Preparatory Department provides quality instruction in the theatre arts based on a sequential, age-appropriate curriculum taught by qualified instructors. In cooperation with the Academy for the Arts Youth Theatre Company, the Theatre Arts Preparatory Department also provides students opportunities to apply their learning in an environment that fosters teamwork, creative thinking and professionalism.
The Visual Arts Preparatory Department provides all ages with a range of visual art media and experiences. Classes include quality age-appropriate instruction taught by qualified instructors. Children are encouraged to explore creative problem solving, while adults enjoy revisiting artistic interests or learning a new skill through hands-on activities in a group atmosphere.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer exciting new scholarship opportunities to North Marion area students. Thanks to funds from the grant provided by George W. Bowers Family Charitable Trust, we will be able to offer full and partial tuition scholarships to deserving North Marion area students throughout the 2021-2022 school year,” said Director of Performing Arts Outreach and Development, Leigh Anne Bolyard. “For many years we have seen the incredibly talented young artists that come from the North Marion attendance area. This is a great opportunity for new families to join our program, and current students to further their arts education and training. Whether they are a beginner or an experienced performer or artist, our phenomenal staff of instructors will help students hone their craft.”
Students of all skill levels will be eligible to apply for a scholarship. No prior experience or training is required. The Academy for the Arts offers private lessons and classes in Music, Visual Art, Dance and Theatre for ages 5 to adult.
For further information or to obtain a scholarship application, contact email@example.com.