A Message from the Board Chair

Dr. J. Tim Berry, Board Chair

We have all heard the old adage, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. This is certainly not true for West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities (WVICU). This past year, 2017 brought plenty of new directions yielding greater opportunities. 

West Virginia Colleges and Universities adopted a new mission in 2017 which better reflects the current organization’s direction. The mission of WVICU now reads “The mission of the West Virginia Independent Colleges and Universities is to advance collectively the interest of West Virginia’s independent colleges and universities and their students.” In defining a clearer mission, core values were identified to guide decision making and communications. WVICU is dedicated to:  providing a personal and diverse education experience in West Virginia; responding quickly to student and societal needs; increasing student success; and, engaging the future of West Virginia. Three strategic priorities were adopted to move the new direction forward: government relations and advocacy; resource development and sustainability; and, governance and administration.

Changes undertaken to the governance and administration of WVICU included Amended and Re-Stated Articles of Incorporation as well as revisions to the Bylaws. The revisions adopted by the Board of Directors create a membership organization which is comprised of the eight private, independent institutions of higher education in West Virginia. The Board of Directors was streamlined to include all eight Presidents of the member colleges and universities and seven members representing business and industry. The Chairman of the Board is required to be a President of one of the member institutions. The revisions also reduced the number of Board Committees to better reflect the newly adopted mission. In addition, the Board of Directors is in the process of transitioning the Executive Director position from part-time to a full time position.

In keeping with the new emphasis on government relations and advocacy, WVICU released an economic impact statement for academic year 2017-2018 to the press on January 23, 2018 during Higher Education Day at the West Virginia Legislature.  West Virginia independent colleges and universities have a $375.9 million impact on our State. Combined we have over 8,500 students enrolled; provide almost 5,000 jobs in our communities; and, provide a total payroll in West Virginia of $221,990,035. West Virginia’s independent colleges and universities not only play an important role in educating students, we also stimulate the economy of the communities where we are located. As a follow-up to the press conference, the Presidents of the colleges and universities visited the editorial boards of the Charleston Gazette-Mail and the Ogden Newspapers.  

The new direction of WVICU was undertaken to provide increased opportunities for the institutions and their students by advocating for the role independent higher education plays in West Virginia and providing financial aid to West Virginia students attending these institutions. At a time when our state is striving to increase the number of its college graduates, in 2017 the independent colleges and universities graduated over two thousand students, over half of whom are West Virginians and over thirty-five percent are the first in their families to attend college. We are an active and essential component of our State’s educational, economic and cultural life.



Revised Mission
Reinstated Articles of Incorporation
Amended Bylaws
Streamlined Board Structure
Transitional Strategic Plan
Statewide Economic Impact Statement


Advancement of Independent Higher Education
Stronger Voice for WVICU Members
Increased Scholarship Aid for West Virginia Students
Lower Student Debt
Increased Number of College Graduates
Stimulating the Local and State Economies


Circle of Vision Scholarship Program



The Circle of Vision Scholarship Program provides a unique opportunity for West Virginia students to attend one of our eight private colleges and universities. Many of these scholars are the first in any generation of their family to attend a college or university. These students are motivated and successful.

The program passed the Five Million Dollar mark in 2015 with total scholarships awarded since the program was started in 1997.

Circle of Vision donors contribute $10,000 or more each year designated to the program. Circle of Vision Scholarships have been awarded to 3,250 students totaling $5,614,470.

In 2016-2017, Circle of Vision members provided $392,825 to our member institutions, assisting 65 students from West Virginia who demonstrated financial need and academic excellence. Please read the quotes from Circle of Vision graduates included in this report.

WVICU gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following 2016-2017 Circle of Vision Scholarship Program Sponsors:
  • Appalachian Power Company

  • BB&T West Virginia Foundation

  • The Council of Independent Colleges through its UPS  Educational Endowment Fund

  • The Dominion Foundation

  • The Driehorst Family Foundation

  • The Jeanne G. Hamilton and
    Lawson W. Hamilton, Jr. Family Foundation

  • The Hess Family Foundation

  • Highmark West Virginia

  • The Bernard H. and Blanche E. Jacobson Foundation

  • The Maier Foundation, Inc.

  • The Bernard McDonough Foundation, Inc.

  • The Nutting Foundation

  • The Schenk Charitable Trust

  • Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

  • The W. E. Stone Foundation

  • United Bank, Inc.

  • WVICU Legacy Endowment Scholarship Fund

  • The Cecil I Walker Charitable Trust

  • The H.B. Wehrle Foundation 

  • The Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle 
    Memorial Foundation

  • Wesbanco Bank

  • WVICU Board of Directors

The Legacy Endowment Scholarship

WVICU established the Legacy Endowment Scholarship Fund in 2010. By contributing to this fund, you can make a permanent and positive difference in the lives of deserving West Virginia college students through planned or current giving. Bequests from generous West Virginians helped establish this fund, which awards scholarships annually to West Virginia students at our member colleges and universities through the Circle of Vision Scholarship Program. 

Several large donations from individuals who believed in private higher education were combined to create this fund. Many others have contributed to the fund over time. 

The Legacy Fund has contributed a total of $120,000 to the Circle of Vision Scholarship Program over the last five academic years. An additional $20,000 has been pledged to the 2017 campaign.

The Legacy Fund’s goal is to provide more than two Circle of Vision Scholarships each year through additional contributions and investment growth.​


Featured Students

Leanna (Brittany) Singleton  

University of Charleston

As a recent graduate from the Radiologic Science Program at the University of Charleston, I was honored to have received such a scholarly award. The scholarship awarded by the WVICU made it possible to further my education, acquire memorable experiences, and make life-long friends.  During my time at UC, I am thankful for the help I received from my professors. This is one of many reasons that led me to come to UC. 

These achievements were accomplished by my professors taking time out of their day to assist me with the topics that I needed additional time to understand. By reflecting on my experience at UC, I do not regret my decision to receive my education at this college. In fact, if I had to do it all over again, UC would be my number one school of choice. Thankfully, I have been able to have a wonderful experience that will lead to a successful future because of generous gifts from donors like WVICU to provide the financial support I need to continue my education. 

I cannot express how grateful I am from the donations I received to allow my dreams to come true.

Hannah Reed

Appalachian Bible College

The WIVCU scholarship that has been given to me has helped me immensely in being able to attend Appalachian Bible College. Because of the scholarship, I am able to focus more on pursuing my elementary education degree. The elementary education program is taxing, because it requires much of my time and energy. This scholarship has not only provided financially for me, but it has also allowed me to give more time, energy, and attention to my studies at Appalachian Bible College.  I’m very grateful for the Maier Foundation for supporting me financially, and for encouraging me to further my education. 

The WVICU scholarship has greatly aided me in my pursuit of higher education at Appalachian Bible College.  Because I was awarded this scholarship, I have the opportunity to stay on campus in the elementary education program.  I cannot express how grateful I am to have been honored with such an outstanding gift from the Maier Foundation.


Featured Alumni

Fred Williams

Reflections from an independent university alum  

A native of Cameron, West Virginia, Fred was a 1974 graduate of Cameron High School. He is a 1978 graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University, 1981 graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law and 1984 graduate of the University of Florida’s law school with a Master of Law in Taxation. He is a Certified Public Accountant (West Virginia). I have practiced law since 1981 with the exception of time spent getting my master’s degree at the University of Florida’s law school and the two years that I spent in West Virginia State Government where I initially was Secretary of Tax and Revenue and State Tax Commissioner

then Director of Operations in Governor Gaston Caperton’s office.  I am married to Kara Cunningham Williams and have three children, Dolly, Louie and Jack. I am a tax lawyer and a partner at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC.and

"Wheeling Jesuit University was the perfect choice for me. Growing up in a small rural town, going to a small rural high school and being a first generation college student I needed a place that was not too large and where I could have a personal relationship with faculty and staff. WJU broadened my horizons, provided me with an excellent education and instilled in me the need to enrich my own community and to be a person of service with and among others."  


Honor Roll of Donors

Donors acknowledged in the Honor Roll provided gifts for Campaign (January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2017)

$50,000 - $99,999


BB&T West Virginia Foundation
The Maier Foundation

$10,000 - $24,999


The Nutting Foundation        
WVICU Legacy Endowment Scholarship        
Council of Independent Colleges through it’s 
   UPS Educational Endowment Fund        
Carbon Fuel Foundation Fund        
W.E. Stone Foundation        
H.B. Wehrle Foundation        
Wilbur Aldine Stutler Trust        
Schenk Charitable Trust        
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC        
United Bank, Inc.        
Cecil I Walker Charitable Trust        
Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle Memorial Foundation        
Driehorst Family Foundation        
Hess Family Foundation        
Carbon Fuel Foundation Fund

$5,000 - $9,999


Fenton Foundation
Huntington Federal Savings Bank 
Norfolk Southern Foundation 

$1,000 - $4,999


ECA Foundation    
The Imperial Charitable Trust    
Tri-State Roofing & Sheet Metal Company    
Joe Beeson    
John & Sharon Rockefeller, IV    
Harleigh Seely IRA    
Lynne & Ben Exley, IV Foundation    
Wilbur S Jones    
Frank & Camilla Baer Foundation    
W.P. Holloway    
L. Newton Thomas, JR    

Up to $999


The James and Law Company    
Earl & Jeane Curry Charitable Trust    
Kanawha-Roxalana Company    
K.E. McGinnis    
Bernard Twigg    
The Lynch Foundation    
Starvaggi Charities    
Steven & Diane Walker    
Wharton Auto Group

Bold denotes a board member
(*) Denotes a new donor
( ) Denotes number of years as a donor

Special care has been taken in preparing this report. We apologize for any errors or omissions. If your listing has not been printed to your specifications, we ask that you inform us by contacting wvicu.corporate@wvicu.org.


Board of Directors



Tim Barry, Chairman    
Chris Wood, Vice-Chairman (Academic)
Frank Baer, Vice-Chairman (Business)
John McCuskey, Secretary    
Julie Gurtis, Executive Vice President & Chief Commerical Banking Officer





President Daniel Anderson
Appalachian Bible College

President Joel Thierstein
West Virginia Wesleyan College




President Keith Stotts
Ohio Valley University

President Tamara Rodenberg
Bethany College

President Debra Townsley
Wheeling Jesuit University

President Edwin Welch
University of Charleston


Peter Holloway    
Eric Mohan
Cameron Nutting Williams
Fred Williams



Becky Ceperley




Designated & Restricted:


Gifts In-Kind:











Students: 8,464

WV Residents: 3,831

Budget: 192,844,789

Endowment: 181,624,599

2016 Graduates: 1,822