Dr. Robert L. Totterdale characterizes himself as a lifelong learner, and established an endowment in his mother’s name in the academic area that represents the second segment of his life’s education. As a result, the Dorothy F. Totterdale Scholarship will be offered at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics to foster that desire to learn in management information systems students.
Totterdale is a native of Wheeling, so first preference for the award of the scholarship is given to West Virginia residents from Ohio and Marshall counties. Recipients must be a full-time student at WVU in good academic standing by maintaining a 3.2 grade point average.
“Helping students pay for their education will allow them to spend more time concentrating on their education versus the cost of the education,” Totterdale said.
The scholarship was established in 2015 and Totterdale made an additional contribution to the fund in late 2016. He is a 1974 statistics graduate of the WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, but also has a strong connection to B&E.
“Prior to my senior year at WVU, an advisor suggested that I consider public accounting (management consulting) as a potential career choice since I was undecided on what to do after graduation. Because public accounting firms at the time required a minimum of 12 hours of accounting to be considered for employment, I was fortunately able to take those courses through the business school and upon graduation, began a successful career in business and technology,” he said. “My wife Kathy and I decided to create the scholarship not only to acknowledge the support I received from the business school, but also to support the new degree in information systems. We decided to name the scholarship after my mother since she instilled in me the critical importance of education in my life.”
After enjoying a 28-year career in information systems and consulting as a partner with Accenture, Totterdale retired at age 49 and decided his next act would be to further his education, earning both his masters and doctorate at Robert Morris University. Today, he is an assistant professor of information systems at Florida Gulf Coast University.
“Management information systems is a fascinating field that brings together both the technology and business worlds. We are so pleased that our major is able to provide our students such exciting and robust careers, said Virginia Kleist, chair of the management information systems department at B&E. “For a professional with more than 30 years of experience in both the industry and now academia to not only nurture this type of education at his own institution, but here at West Virginia University, is something truly remarkable. We are beyond grateful to Dr. Totterdale and his generosity to our students.”
In 2003, Totterdale and his brother, Gregory, also established a scholarship for students in the Eberly College in honor of their father, William Totterdale.
“In addition to helping students pursue their dreams with these scholarships, we wanted to recognize our parents’ contribution to our development,” Totterdale said. “Both my mother and father were really supportive of us, helped us get through college. So, this is really kind of a way to honor that.”
The gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The private fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of WVU runs through December.
CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and