For 145 years, West Virginia University has helped to mold international leaders, business owners, entertainers, doctors and volunteers, among others. Its graduates have achieved international and national acclaim in their respective fields, including three extraordinary graduates who will be inducted into the WVU Alumni Association’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni on Feb. 25.

The 2012 Class includes Don Brodie, principal of Purolite, a leading supplier of specialty resins for the ion exchange, catalyst, absorbents and specialty applications markets worldwide; former Dallas Cowboy and Super Bowl MVP Chuck Howley; and Bob McNabb who has helped to recruit national and international leaders for Korn/Ferry. These Mountaineers will be recognized for their accomplishments during the induction ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. at The Erickson Alumni Center.

“We are so pleased to be able to honor and lift up the success stories of these amazing individuals,” said Stephen L. Douglas, President & CEO, WVU Alumni Association. “Don, Chuck and Bob truly represent the very best of the university and are wonderful examples of the success that can be achieved at West Virginia University.”

Don B. Brodie

Brodie received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1969. He and his brother, Steve, established a family-owned business, Purolite, in 1981. The company has grown into a global manufacturer of pharmaceutical production, microchips for purifying water, chemical and refining, food processing, metals extraction, finishing and electroplating, and nuclear power generation. Purolite, which manufactures products in China, Romania, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States, provides energy and cost-effective ways to manufacture products or clean the environment.

In addition to his business success, Brodie has dedicated his time and expertise to helping young Mountaineers succeed. He and his wife, Linda, established several programs, including the Brodie Discovery and Innovation Fund for students and faculty at the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences. The Brodies’ gift enriches research endeavors of students and faculty in the C. Eugene Bennett Department of Chemistry.

Brodie participates in many charitable groups such as the Weizman Institute, National Association of Manufacturers, Jewish Federation and the American Chemical Society.

As a proud WVU alumnus, Brodie served as chair of the Eberly Advisory Committee and recently joined the college’s Development Committee. A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Brodie brought to WVU a mind for innovation, as well as a loyal commitment and love for the Mountaineers.

Charles L. “Chuck” Howley

Howley made history at WVU as a rare five-sport letter winner. Along with football, he competed in track, swimming, gymnastics and wrestling. But his athletic career would not stop there. He later went on to an all-pro career with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys.

Excelling at guard and center for football coach Art “Pappy” Lewis, Howley compiled a 21-8-1 record at WVU, including a 21-7 victory over Penn State in 1955. Through most of his career he was hindered by injuries but still managed to receive third-team All-America recognition by the Williamson Rating Service as a senior. Howley played in three college all-star games—the East-West Shrine Game, the College Football All-Star Game and the Senior Bowl, where he caught the eye of the Chicago Bears.

Howley was selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1958 draft where he played one season before a serious knee injury during training camp in 1959 caused him to miss most of the next two years. He spent that time on the NFL’s inactive list while recuperating from the injury. In the meantime, he worked at a service station in his hometown of Wheeling.

In 1961, the newly formed Dallas Cowboys and their young coach Tom Landry decided to take a chance on Howley and it paid off in a big way. He became the Cowboys’ regular outside linebacker for the next 12 years, an important piece to the team’s famous “Doomsday Defense.”

He was named all pro six times while teaming with LeRoy Jordan and Bob Lilley to give the Cowboys one of the most feared defenses in the NFL. Howley played in the 1967 NFL championship game against the Green Bay Packers, today considered one of the most memorable games in NFL history.

His greatest moment, however, came in the 1971 Super Bowl, playing against the Baltimore Colts. Although Dallas lost the game 16-13, Howley still won game MVP honors—the only player of a losing team to ever receive that honor. He is also one of only three defensive players to ever win the Super Bowl award.
In 1972, the Cowboys again reached the Super Bowl, this time defeating the Miami Dolphins. Howley had another outstanding game with a 41-yard interception return, but quarterback Roger Staubach won the MVP award that year. He is one of twenty members of the “Cowboy Ring of Honor.”

After retirement, Howley ran a successful uniform rental business in Dallas and now involves himself in the Happy Hollow Ranch dedicated to breeding quarter horses in Wills Point, Texas.

Robert H. McNabb

McNabb is executive vice president of Korn/Ferry International and sits on the Global Operating Committee. For 20 years, he has been considered a leader and asset in the talent management industry. McNabb is responsible for the institutionalization of Korn/Ferry’s go-to-market strategy and his focus is to drive the transformation of Korn/Ferry into the world’s premier talent management organization.

Previously, McNabb was chief executive officer for Futurestep, Korn/Ferry International’s global outsourcing business. He also was president and chief executive officer of Corestaff Services and a senior executive officer with Kelly Services.

Not only does McNabb excel in the work force, but in volunteerism as well. He serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for Vanderbilt University, serves on the Council of Overseers for the Jones School of Management at Rice University and is an advisory board member of WVU’s Eberly College of Arts & Sciences. McNabb also served as a director of the Corporate Services Group PLC and

McNabb, a native of Charleston, was heavily involved at WVU. The 1970 graduate of the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences was a member of Phi Kappa Psi, Mountain Honorary, and served on the WVU Athletic Council.

The WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni honors West Virginia University graduates who have attained national or international distinction in their profession or discipline. The award has been established by the West Virginia University Alumni Association in cooperation with the University’s 13 schools and colleges. Since 1988, this prestigious award has been bestowed on nearly 100 West Virginia University alumni. For more information about these and other distinguished graduates, visit:

The event begins with a reception at 1 p.m., followed by a luncheon and induction ceremony at 1:30 p.m. To attend the luncheon, please contact the WVU Alumni Association at 304-293-0972. The cost to attend is $50 a person.

For more information, visit



CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Alumni Association
(304) 293-0972,

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