MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- With President Jim Clements' announcement of his departure to Clemson in January, West Virginia University students and faculty are abuzz with talk about the change.
WVU senior Patrick Garcia, 22, of Fairmont, said it is sad to see the president leave, but that opportunities are sure to be abundant for Clements, who had a reputation as a friendly face on campus.
"He's a family man with a young family, at that, so he'll have a lot of opportunities come his way," Garcia said. "Maybe this is just a new door for him to open."
Sophomore Eric Kinney, 19, of Bridgeport, said Clements will be greatly missed.
"Under his guidance, this university has grown immensely through fundraising and new facilities," Kinney said. "Dr. Clements is an inspirational leader and has made great advancements for our university. He is leaving behind big shoes for his successor to fill."
Although junior Nicole Curtin, 20, of Harpers Ferry, had never personally met Clements, she knew he has cared immensely about the university.
"It's obvious with the improvements and activities we can do on campus that he cares about us students being able to have a good experience here," Curtin said. "Hopefully, the next president shows just as much interest and support as Clements did."
Many students caught off guard by Monday's announcement.
Junior Nick Wesdock, 20, of Bel Air, Md., was one of the many surprised by the news. Wesdock can't help but wonder about the future of the university.
"I was shocked when I heard the news," Wesdock said. "I don't think anyone saw it coming, but I wish President Clements and his family the best at Clemson. But, as a WVU student, you have to wonder who will take his place and what effect this will have on our university."
Daniel Brewster, sociology professor, shared a personal moment with Clements he said he will never forget.
"I was deeply saddened to hear of President Clements' resignation. The morning I came out in the Daily Athenaeum, he called me and assured his support, and since 2011, he has maintained that commitment," Brewster said. "I'm disappointed to lose such a committed straight ally."