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University Major Donor Receives National Philanthropy Day Award

WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Nov. 14, 2014 — Gary E. West is a name that is known to just about everyone in his hometown of Wheeling, W.Va. A 1958 graduate of West Liberty University, West is a generous leader and an alumnus that has endowed the Hilltop campus with many gifts, most recently the West Family Stadium. He also is a lifelong supporter of Oglebay Resort and donor of its West Spa.

In recognition of his ongoing support for higher education and the Wheeling community, West was selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western Pennsylvania Chapter (AFP-WPA) at a special dinner held on Nov. 13, 2014. He is the first West Virginian to be honored in this manner.

“West Liberty University is proud to join the Pennsylvania Chapter in honoring our friend and benefactor Gary West. There is no one more deserving. Congratulations to both Gary and Flip for this National Philanthropy Day honor,” said President Robin C. Capehart.

West is one of seven individuals and organizations from the region selected for 2014 National Philanthropy Day Awards. The presentation of the award took place at a special dinner held at the John Heinz History Center and hosted by Randy Baumann of the WDVE Morning Show, a former National Philanthropy Day awardee.

“Gary is the first honoree from the state of West Virginia to achieve this designation. It’s wonderful that this forward thinking businessman, generous donor and friend has been selected for this impressive honor. We thank him again for all he’s done for Oglebay Resort, West Liberty University and the entire community,” said Randy Worls, chairman of the Oglebay Foundation

As a successful businessman, West bought the Wheeling-based Valley Welding Supply Company and grew it from a one-shop operation to a business with 84 locations in 16 states and annual sales in excess of $250 million. West is also president of West Rentals, Inc., President Plymouth Holding LLC, and GEW Real Estate, LLP, as well as president and secretary of Acetylene Products Corp.

West was named West Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year, is a member of Who’s Who in West Virginia Business and was inducted into WLU’s Alumni Wall of Honor in 1993. In 2006, he was inducted into West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics West Virginia Business Hall of Fame.

West has invested considerable personal and financial assets in his alma mater, where he earned a degree in business administration. He and his wife Flip established the Guy H. and Mary Ann West School of Business Scholarship Endowment, and he has served in the past as chair of WLU’s capital campaign, which he supported with the largest lifetime gift commitment by individuals in the history of the university.

He also is a member of West Liberty University’s Foundation Board of Directors and serves on its executive committee.

Established in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, National Philanthropy Day is celebrated in more than 124 communities across the country. For more information on the AFP awards or event, please visit afpwpa.org.

— WLU —