William and Loulie Canady, long-time supporters of the College of Creative Arts, have been presented with the College’s Distinguished Friend Award, a special recognition given to individuals who are not alumni of the College, but who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and contributions to both the College and to West Virginia University.
The recipients of the award are selected by the College of Creative Arts Visiting Committee.
The Canadys’ award was presented during the Pittsburgh Symphony Concert, held Nov. 4, at the WVU Creative Arts Center. The Canadys have sponsored the orchestra’s Canady Symphony Series at WVU since 2006, in memory of their daughter Valerie. The Series includes three Pittsburgh Symphony concerts at the Creative Arts Center each year. In addition to sponsoring the series, the Canadys also provide discounted tickets to the concerts for WVU students.
“We are so blessed to have ‘Distinguished Friends’ like Bill and Loulie Canady,” said Dean Paul Kreider of the College of Creative Arts. “Their dedication to the College over several decades makes them deserving of this recognition. Bill and Loulie have given undying service to the College. Their many generous gifts to support the College’s many programs, its faculty, and its students, are greatly appreciated by all. Their love for the arts and for education is an example for us all to follow.”
Since 1996, the Canadys have also presented the Canady Scholarships in the College of Creative Arts, through the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation.
The scholarships are named for their daughter, Valerie Canady, a WVU graduate, who was among the 270 people who died in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.
In addition to a high grade-point average and faculty references, the scholarship requires that recipients be fluent in two languages. Valerie was a great believer in everyone speaking more than one language and, an accomplished linguist, was studying French and Italian during the last few months of her life.
Valerie Canady graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from WVU with bachelor’s degrees in Business and Economics (Accounting) and Spanish. She also held an Master of Business Administration from WVU and a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Madrid, having earned both degrees simultaneously and again graduating summa cum laude.
Valerie worked for the Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. in their London office and, at the time of the plane crash, was on her way home for the Christmas holiday. For this reason, the Canadys present the Scholarship Awards annually in December.
The Canady Scholarship is one of the most prestigious awards offered through the College of Creative Arts and each of the student winners is the kind of person who can continue to build bridges among cultures, as Valerie was so accomplished at doing.
The number of students who receive the Canady Scholarships has grown tremendously over the years. This year, the Canadys gave scholarship awards to 19 students in the School of Art and Design and the School of Music.
In 2012, William and Loulie Canady also presented the second dedicated Steinway piano to be purchased for the WVU School of Music since the College of Creative Arts announced the previous year that it would become an All-Steinway school.
As with all of their gifts, the Steinway Model D grand piano was given in the name of Valerie, who was an artist in different media of expression, especially in piano. The new Steinway piano also greatly contributes to the artistic development of students in the School of Music.
The Canadys are residents of Morgantown. Loulie Canady is a long-time supporter of the WVU School of Music and Dr. William Canady is professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry in the WVU School of Medicine.
CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts
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