Jim Butch, a loyal supporter of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University, recently made three gifts, totaling $100,000 that will help support departmental activities and upgrade one of its labs with valuable equipment.

His first gift, a $20,000 donation to WVU’s Solar Decathlon team, came about as a result of a presentation students made at the College’s Visiting Committee meeting last year. Butch serves as a member of the committee, representing his alma mater, West Virginia University Institute of Technology.

“The students made a compelling presentation for support at our meeting in the spring of 2013,” said Butch. “I felt it was important to support their efforts to travel to California for the competition.”

“The funds that Jim contributed to the Solar Decathalon team made it possible for 20 students from the Lane Department to travel to Irvine, California, last October to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored competition,” said Brian Woerner, chair of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. “That kind of once-in-a-lifetime experience gave the students practical, real-world experience and a treasured memory of their WVU educational experience.”

A second gift, an in-kind donation of computer equipment valued at nearly $38,000, was made to the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. Butch serves as president and chairman of Eagle Research Corporation, a high-tech electronics company that provides measurement and control systems to the oil and gas industry.

“This in-kind gift to PNGE is intended to update its natural gas measurement lab with modern electronic flow computers like the ones found in industry today,” said Butch. “Access to this type of equipment will serve to better prepare graduates for the workplace.”

According to Sam Ameri, chair of the department, this gift will help set WVU’s offerings apart from other universities.

“No other university has a lab of this caliber,” Ameri said. “We are so delighted that Eagle Research will help us to build upon this excellent facility and we are grateful to Jim Butch for this donation and his continued support of our College.”

Butch’s final gift, totaling $42,000, will provide discretionary funds to support the mission and goals of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

“Jim Butch has been extraordinarily generous with his time and resources to the Lane Department at WVU and to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at WVU Tech,” said Woerner. “The funds that he has contributed have made it possible to outfit our senior design labs with modern equipment and for senior design students to carry out meaningful and relevant projects as part of their capstone experience. His continued support is greatly appreciated.”

A 1975 engineering graduate of WVU Tech, Butch has been recognized by his alma mater as its Alumnus of the Year 1994 and was named to WVU’s Woodburn Circle Society in 2008. He was inducted into the WVU’s Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering’s Distinguished Alumni Academy in 2012.

The gifts were made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.” The $750-million comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2015.

For more information on “A State of Minds” visit http://www.astateofminds.com/.



CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4086, Mary.Dillon@mail.wvu.edu

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