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WVU educations have changed many lives

Education changes lives - and West Virginia University has changed tens of thousands of them. The beneficiaries of a WVU education never forget it.

Now many WVU grads are changing education in return, so others will have such advantages in the future.

WVU Alumni Mike Bodnar is just one such alumnus to announce gifts to the university.

Bodnar graduated from WVU in 1969 in civil engineering. He went on to serve as chief executive officer of Shoney's, as the largest franchisee of Wendy's, and as developer of several other restaurant chains.

His company now develops real estate and is a start-up consultant for restaurants.

Bodnar gave a Taziki's Mediterranean cafe to the Mountainlair in 2010. Its profits go to the hospitality management program at the WVU College of Business and Economics, which also uses the restaurant as a working lab for students in the program.

This past week, Bodnar went on to give $1 million to Business and Economics to establish an entrepreneurship and innovation endowment and hospitality and tourism support fund.

WVU alumnus Doug VanScoy and his wife, Pam, gave $1.5 million to the WVU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to the hospitality and tourism program, and to the dean's discretionary fund of the college of Business and Economics.

VanScoy earned a finance degree in 1966 and a

masters in 1968. He is founder and partner of Pit Partners, a hospitality business in South Carolina.

Mike and Joan Petruski of Charlotte, N.C., pledged $25,000 to retire the building debt of the alumni center.

Petruski graduated from WVU in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in biology and went on to get a masters from Western Connecticut State University. He served as an executive with the capital finance division of Wells Fargo Bank in Charlotte and is now an executive vice president with Great American Group.

Snippets can't do justice to the stories of any alumni.

Suffice it to say that the WVU Foundation's State of Minds campaign to raise $750 million to strengthen the university has raised $569 million to date.

There's still time for others to pile on.

The effort runs through December 2015.

 


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