September 2021 

Why West Liberty University?

Enjoy and share this new informative video welcome (above) from President W. Franklin Evans and discover just what is the NEW — West Liberty University Way! 
Dr. Cecilia Konchar Farr
Dr. Ann Saurbier
Dr. Vincent Mumford
Dr. Bonnie Suderman
Changes Announced 
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 16, 2021 — West Liberty University began the new academic year with several changes, including the combining of two of its colleges, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Arts and Communication into the restructured College of Liberal and Creative Arts.

“This decision to combine the two colleges has been in the works since 2019 and is now coming to fruition," said Dr. W. Franklin Evans, WLU president. “The result will be a streamlined, more efficient and robust academic college to address the needs of our students, faculty and staff."

Dr. Cecilia Konchar Farr was selected after a national search to be the Dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts.

She previously was a professor of English and Women’s Studies at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn. Also, a Carondelet Scholar, Farr was employed at St. Catherine’s since 1994.

Farr earned a doctoral degree in literature and theory at Michigan State University, and both a master’s in literature and bachelor’s in English at Brigham Young University, (Utah). She earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and French at Slippery Rock University (Pa.).

Other academic leaders joining WLU this fall include:

Dr. Ann Saurbier was selected as Dean of the Gary E. West College of Business, also after a national search.

Prior to joining WLU, Saurbier was a professor of management at Walsh College, Troy, Mich., where she acted as Chair of Doctoral Programs and of the Management Department for a time. She joined Walsh in 1997.

Saurbier earned a doctoral degree in management in executive leadership and a master’s degree in management at Walsh. Saurbier earned her undergraduate degree in accountancy at Miami University (Ohio).

Dr. Vincent Mumford was named Interim Dean of Graduate Studies. Prior to this, he was a professor and Division Director for Sport Management at Central Michigan University. He has experience in multiple leadership roles including program director, executive director, assistant vice president for academic affairs, and vice president for academic affairs.

Mumford earned a doctorate degree from the University of Delaware in Educational Leadership, with a specialization in Administration and Policy. Additionally, he is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education. Mumford will hold this position at WLU until a permanent dean is hired.

Dr. Bonnie Suderman was named Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost. The university utilized the assistance of an outside agency to select Suderman who will serve in this position while a full-scale search is held to replace WLU’s recently retired provost.

Suderman most recently served at Louisburg College (N.C.) where she served as vice president of Academic Life and Dean of Faculty.

Suderman earned her doctoral degree from University of the Pacific, (Calif.), a master’s degree in literacy from California State University-Bakersfield, and her bachelor’s degree in humanities from Biola University (Calif.).

West Liberty University welcomed back its residential students in a safe, staggered fashion as students moved into housing from Aug. 19 – Aug. 22. Masks are required in all classrooms and buildings on campus. Graduate school classes began at the Highlands Center on Aug. 21 and undergraduate classes began on the main campus on Monday, Aug. 23.
From left (top) Alumni Wall of Honor 2021 inductees Todd Bullard, Davie Jane Gilmour and Bill Beatty, (bottom) Wall of Honor 2020 inductees include Carol Frum, Gerald Crabtree, Barbara Laifer and Aaron "AJ" Monseau. 

Recognition Banquet

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Sept. 7, 2021 — West Liberty University will celebrate both its 2021 and 2020 alumni entering the Wall of Honor at Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 15 - 17) this fall.  

“Last year we weren’t able to gather as a large group for our usual Homecoming festivities due to the pandemic so this fall, we’ve planned a safe and very special evening that will honor both this year and last year’s Wall of Honor recipients whose names will be added to this prestigious honor roll,” said Ron Witt, executive director of Alumni Affairs

The ceremony will be part of the Impact of Philanthropy and Recognition Dinner that takes place on Friday, Oct. 15 in the renovated Wall of Honor alcove in the Paul N. Elbin Library. Tickets are now available by clicking here or calling 304.336.5635.

The 2021 Wall of Honor inductees are: 

• Bill Beatty, Wellsburg, W.Va., naturalist, photographer, writer, educator
• Dr. Todd Bullard, deceased former college president and higher education leader
• Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, Williamsport, Pa., college president and higher ed leader

Beatty earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at West Liberty and went on to become a distinguished and well-known outdoor education specialist, naturalist and educator. His long career at Oglebay gave him a chance to introduce visitors of all ages to the natural world.

Bullard earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at West Liberty in 1953, prior to serving in the U.S. Army. He then earned both a master's and doctoral degree at WVU, also in political science. He went on to become a leader in higher education, including college president.

Gilmour earned both an associate degree in dental hygiene and a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene education at West Liberty. She went on to earn a master’s and doctoral degree in health education from Penn State. She then built a highly successful career and is now the President of Penn College.

The 2020 inductees include: 

• Dr. Gerald R. Crabtree, Woodside, Ca., a medical doctor and renowned professor
• Carol Spadafore Frum, Wheeling, W.Va., a dental hygienist and educator
• Barbara J. Laifer, Nashville, Tenn., an entertainer and educator 
• Dr. Aaron J. "A.J." Monseau, Morgantown, W.Va., a physician and educator

Crabtree grew up outside of Wellsburg, W.Va. and graduated from West Liberty in 1968. He went on to earn his medical degree from Temple Medical School in Philadelphia. Crabtree completed his residency at Dartmouth College in 1985 and shortly thereafter, joined the faculty of Stanford Medical School.

Carol Spadafore Frum graduated from WLU’s Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene in 1960. She was employed as a hygienist for 16 years before returning to the Hilltop and joining the Dental Hygiene Department as an adjunct clinical laboratory assistant in 1975 and moving up the ranks to associate professor.

A native of Wheeling, Barbara “Barb” Laifer is a 1975 graduate of West Liberty with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in music, speech and theatre with a minor in speech therapy. She earned a master’s in vocal performance from Austin Peay State University and a master’s of education in speech-language pathology from Tennessee State University. She is a singer, actor and educator.

Monseau grew up in West Liberty and was frequently on campus as his father Vince was a professor and iconic coach and his mother an administrative secretary. After completing his bachelor’s as a WLU Elbin Scholar in 2003, he earned his medical degree at West Virginia University. He completed his residency in Emergency Medicine followed by a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Michigan. He serves as an associate professor in emergency medicine and medical director for athletics at WVU.

To read more about these accomplished alumni, please click here
From left, WLU Foundation's Angie Zambito-Hill, student Josie Jarrett and Judy and Andy Paesani gather in Dr. Linda Cowan’s office for a photo celebrating the inaugural award from the Judith Bartell Paesani Vocal Music Scholarship fund. 

New Music Scholarship 

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. Sept. 2, 2021 — A new music scholarship is making one West Liberty University student sing for joy. Josephine “Josie” Jarrett of Benwood, W.Va. is the first recipient of the Judith Bartell Paesani Vocal Music Scholarship.

A music education major, Jarrett is the daughter of Melinda Gilmore of Benwood and Phillip Jarrett of Moundsville. A graduate of John Marshall High School, she plans to teach music and theater in the future.

“It is an honor to receive this scholarship and I’m very thankful to be the first. I will make sure it is justified,” said Jarrett, who is a member of the West Liberty University Singers. Jarrett also is an alumna of WLU, having earned a degree in theater in 2020.

According to WLU Foundation Executive Director Angie Zambito-Hill, “Judy and Andy Paesani established this endowed scholarship fund in December of 2019 with a gift of $75,000 and we are pleased to make the first disbursement during the 2021- 2022 academic year. Judy and Andy are loyal supporters of West Liberty University who know the value of assisting our students. We are truly grateful.”

“The endowed scholarship fund produced a $1,000 scholarship this academic year but it will grow to support even more music students in the future,” she added.

Judith Bartell Paesani recalls that she was heavily influenced by her mother’s love of music and singing and this scholarship seemed the perfect way to honor her mother, Aldene Miller Bartell, the wife of one of West Liberty’s iconic leaders.

“I recall singing and enjoying music with my mother at home when I was young. It was always a fun way to pass an evening, especially while my father was away,” recalls Judy. Her father was WLU’s legendary football coach Joseph Bartell and he took the car to away games since at that time, there was no school transportation provided to athletes and coaches.

Judy and Andy are both WLU alumni and are pleased to see the scholarship help music students at the university they love, while at the same time honoring her mother.

Her mother, Aldene Miller Bartell, studied piano as a youngster and loved to sing. While a teenager she even played the piano for silent movies. Judy recalls that her mother formed a vocal trio when she first arrived on campus from Fairview, W.Va., her hometown.

Dr. Joseph A. Bartell served at West Liberty in many capacities from 1933 to 1971, including football coach, athletic director, dean of men and dean of students. He was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame as a charter member in 1981. 

Judy earned her bachelor’s degree from WLU’s College of Education and went on to earn a master’s from the University of Connecticut. Andy earned his bachelor’s degree, also from the College of Education, and earned a master’s and doctoral degree from the University of Iowa.

Judy’s mom was an elementary school teacher and eventually went back to college to finish her degree at WLU, graduating in 1956, in part at Judy’s urging.

“I’m sure that she would be very happy to know that this scholarship is being used to support a future music teacher,” said Zambito-Hill.

The WLU Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization established in 1964. Its mission is to support, strengthen and sustain WLU through raising, investment and stewardship of private funds. For more information, please call 304.336.5635.
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