Fairmont State University alumni create scholarship for College of Education, Health and Human Performance studentsFairmont State University alumni create scholarship for College of Education, Health and Human Performance students
Two Grafton, West Virginia natives have established a new endowed scholarship for students at Fairmont State University.
David and Barbara Riggleman, both Fairmont State alumni, chose to support the College of Education, Health and Human Performance through the David and Barbara Riggleman Endowed Scholarship because of the impact that educators had on their lives.
“We were the first members of our families to attend college, so attending Fairmont State enabled us to feel we were a part of the Falcon Family. Small class sizes enabled us to feel connected to our fellow students and our professors,” said Barbara. “Our lives were greatly enriched with all the experiences we received through our high school years and at Fairmont State, and we want other students to have the same opportunities.”
David completed his business degree at Fairmont State in 1969 and taught at a technical school while he served in the United States Air Force. Following his military service, he enjoyed a 36-year career at Monongahela Power Company. Barbara finished her degree in English in 1976 before going on to enrich the lives of students at Grafton High School as an English teacher.
“It is through the loyal and generous support of David and Barbara Riggleman that future students may be able to complete their educational dreams. With the increases in costs of higher education, more students’ scholarships are woefully needed at Fairmont State. Scholarships help relieve part of the financial pressure faced by most students today,” according to Gary K. Bennett, President of the Fairmont State Foundation.
Nearly 90% of students at Fairmont State rely on some form of financial aid to cover the costs of pursuing a degree.
“David and Barbara Riggleman are perfect examples of what it means to have a Falcon Heart,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “Hard-working and generous, they know the impact a Fairmont State education had on their own lives. Through the David and Barbara Riggleman Endowed Scholarship, they’re enabling that transformative opportunity to remain accessible for future generations of Falcons.”
The David and Barbara Riggleman Endowed Scholarship will be available to students in the College of Education, Health and Human Performance with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. First preference will be given to students from Taylor County, West Virginia.
Alumni and friends of Fairmont State University contributed more than $361,000 on Thursday, October 28 during the Third Annual Falcon Day of Giving.
This year, the Fairmont State Foundation set a goal to raise $325,000 in 24 hours, and 605 donors helped exceed that goal. Funds raised during the 2021 Day of Giving will provide support to 39 different programs campus wide, filling departmental needs and providing academic scholarships.
Donors provided nearly $70,000 for academic and athletic scholarships, along with more than $179,000 earmarked for athletic programs. Almost $59,000 was provided for the Falcon Fund, which supports the greatest needs of the University. More than $45,000 was received for individual colleges to use in support of departmental scholarships, faculty initiatives and special projects. The College of Science & Technology earned the most individual donors (67) and greatest dollar amount ($13,875) for an academic unit. Women’s softball secured the most donors for athletics programs at 49, and women’s basketball had the highest dollar amount of all athletics programs this year at $41,940.
“This fundraising effort gives the various areas extra funding over and above any state budget amount that they receive to run their operation,” according to Gary K. Bennett, Fairmont State Foundation President. “This gives them money to do the things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. It affords student scholarships in addition to what the state provides. It provides for some lab equipment that folks are interested in. It provides for some additional instructional equipment that wasn’t in the budget this year. It’s for those extra things they believe are needed to provide a better education experience for the students.”
Throughout the year, the Foundation works to secure matching funds in support of the challenges offered during Day of Giving. Some of these generous matching gift donors include Fairmont State Board of Governors member, Kevin Rogers and his wife Tina, who provided matches for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs. Tom and Lori Kliethermes provided match gifts made in support of academic and athletic scholarships.
Fairmont State alumnus, Robert “Buck” Thompson, also matched gifts to the women’s basketball, men’s tennis and women’s tennis programs. William Laughlin and his wife Lois Muto Laughlin matched gifts in support of academic programs and athletic scholarships.
Additionally, the Foundation received corporate sponsorships from DQE Communications, Fairmont Kitchen Center, Coal Country Miniature Golf and Keystone Realty Group (Christina Gouzd, Broker).
“Once again, the Falcon Family has proven to be second to none when it comes to demonstrating their support,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “We shattered our goal. The funds raised are vital to the University. Through our donors’ generosity, dreams will be realized – academic and athletic programs will get stronger, and our faculty, staff and students will soar even higher. I am so grateful for this family each and every day.”