Benjamin M. Statler is a first-generation college graduate and the son of a coal miner. In fact, he was a third-generation coal miner himself, and worked the night shift at a mine not far from campus while attending West Virginia University.

That’s what makes his story special. That’s what makes him special.

The former senior vice president of mining for CONSOL Energy, entrepreneur, investment professional, philanthropist and WVU alumnus will speak at WVU Oct. 10 as part of the 60th Anniversary Celebration of WVU’s College of Business and Economics. The event is part of the speaker series known as B&E at 60, and will be held at 6 p.m. at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown.

“Ben Statler is a highly successful, self-made man,” said Jose V. Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean of the College of Business and Economics. “He has worked very hard throughout his life and has generously given back to make a better world. He is a great example for the student community, the University community and all of us.”

Born and raised in Monongalia County, Statler is a retired coal executive who lives in Naples, Fla., and McMurray, Pa. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from WVU in 1973. He actually began his career with Consolidation Coal four years prior to earning his degree, and held many positions before retiring from the company in 1999. He then formed his own mining consulting company which he sold in 2007.

Later in 2007, Statler and his wife, Jo, announced a $25 million commitment to WVU, the single largest gift in the history of the University. The bulk of the donation, $20 million, will be allocated over the coming years to health sciences programs, the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, Athletics and other University initiatives.

Another $5 million from the couple will support the comprehensive breast cancer program at WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. A major portion has been used to purchase a mobile digital mammography unit, called ””Bonnie’s Bus””:, to honor the memory of Jo Statler’s mother, who died of breast cancer. Additionally, two new faculty research positions were created.

Currently, Statler is co-founder and CEO of Gulf Coast Capital Partners, a private investment firm founded in 2008 that is focused on acquiring and providing capital to middle market companies in special situations.

Statler was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame in 2008 and is a member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and the Visiting Committee of the WVU Department of Mining Engineering.

“In scheduling the excellent speakers we have for the 60th Anniversary Celebration,” said Sartarelli, “we wanted to ask executives to speak who are highly successful, provide a great example for students and are an inspiration to us all. I think Mr. Statler more than fulfills all of those requirements.”

B&E at 60 will include additional speakers over the next several weeks. Executives confirmed to speak during the celebration include: Christine A. Poon, dean of Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and former vice chairman of Johnson & Johnson, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. in Lecture Hall 459 of the Business and Economics Building on WVU’s main campus; William M. Sheedy, Group President, Americas, Visa, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. in the Morgantown Event Center at the Waterfront Place Hotel; and Kelly S. King, chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation, Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center. The year-long speaker series will also see high-level business figures scheduled to speak over the course of the next several months.

For a complete schedule of events for the WVU College of Business and Economics 60th Anniversary Celebration, go to .



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CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, B&E, (304) 293-5131