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WVU Foundation honors philanthropists

Outstanding Philanthropists 2017.feature

The 2017 Outstanding Philanthropists are Verl and Sandra Purdy, Jack Rossi, the Bernard McDonough Foundation and Dominion Energy. 

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The West Virginia University Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2017 Outstanding Philanthropy awards. 

This year’s recipients are Verl and Sandra Purdy, Milan Puskar Outstanding Philanthropists; Jack Rossi, Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist; the Bernard McDonough Foundation, Hazel Ruby McQuain Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation; and Dominion Energy, Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation.

Since 2005, the WVU Foundation annually honors individuals and companies who have histories of outstanding civil and charitable devotion to WVU. These honorees display exceptional generosity, commitment and leadership to the University.

“We are honored to celebrate this year’s award recipients for their loyal commitment to our University in so many ways,” said Cindi Roth, chair and CEO of the WVU Foundation. “Their passionate leadership and philanthropic support to WVU has made this a better place for current and future Mountaineers.” 

Verl and Sandra Purdy have shown tremendous support for WVU, from serving as leaders of various University initiatives to philanthropic support.

Their gifts have benefitted the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, College of Business and Economics, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Alumni Association.

Verl Purdy, a native of Poca, has remained a loyal Mountaineer since his graduation from the University in 1964.  A past chair and current member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors, he now serves as co-chairman of the Foundation’s highly successful “State of Minds” fundraising campaign.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from WVU and a master’s degree in businesses administration from the University of North Carolina.  He has been a very successful businessman and entrepreneur for over five decades. Today, he and his family own Cadrillion Capital, a company that invests in and grows businesses in the health care information sector. 

Purdy is a member of the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni, WVU Chemical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. In 2011, he was inducted into the WVU Order of Vandalia, the University’s highest honor for loyalty and service. In 2009, he earned an honorary doctorate of science degree from WVU, and in 2007, was named Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer.

Sandra Purdy is a native of Wisconsin and attended Carroll College in Waukesha. She began her career as the manager of Direct Relocation Services in Charlotte, NC. In 1991, she joined the AGDATA family of companies and served as executive vice president of marketing services for more than 18 years.

She is a founding member of Women of West Virginia University, an organization devoted to providing funding that enhances the female student academic experience. 

The Purdys are the parents of five children and 13 grandchildren. They divide their time between their homes in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Rossi has been a tireless advocate for the WVU Alumni Association and has led grassroots fundraising efforts for the Mountaineer Athletic Club.

His gifts to WVU have benefitted WVU Athletics, WVU Alumni Association and WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.

Rossi earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from WVU in 1970 with a concentration in accounting. He currently serves as the executive vice president of business development for Summit Community Bank. He was a partner with Arnett & Foster for more than 30 years. He retired from Arnett & Foster, now Arnett Carbis Toothman, where he served as managing partner (presiding member) for more than 10 years.

A certified public accountant in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, Rossi is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he served on the board of directors and as board chairman. He also has served as a member and past president of the West Virginia Board of Accountancy. Rossi has served as a founding member of the board of directors and as chairman of the board of the Charleston Area Alliance. He serves as a member of the West Virginia Investment Management Board of Trustees, where he is chairman of the committee on personnel.

He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Childhood Language Center and a member of the board of directors of Rea of Hope Inc. He also serves in various capacities in fund raising for charitable and civic organizations.

Rossi is a past recipient of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors "Volunteer of the Year" award for his volunteer work and fundraising efforts for the Mountaineer Athletic Club.  He is a former chairman and member of the board of directors of the WVU Alumni Association. In 2013, he was named Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer.

He served in South Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. 

Rossi and his wife Joy reside in Charleston.

The Bernard McDonough Foundation, located in Parkersburg, is the 2017 Hazel Ruby McQuain Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation.

Since its founding by self-made entrepreneur and industrialist Bernard P. McDonough 55 years ago, the Bernard McDonough Foundation has gifted more than $875,000 to WVU. The Foundation’s most recent gift was made to WV FOODLINK, a project of the Food Justice Lab, housed in the department of geology and geography at WVU.

Since 1962, the McDonough Foundation has funded thousands of grants statewide with a total value exceeding $40 million.

The Foundation’s mission is “to improve the communities within West Virginia,” and does so by providing funding to non-profits across West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio. Grants are made primarily in the areas of social welfare and health and medicine. 

After McDonough's death in 1985, his wife, Alma, further funded the Foundation to enable it to increase its granting initiatives. 

The WVU Foundation’s 2017 Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation is the philanthropic arm of Dominion Energy, the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.

Dominion Energy is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. The company is built on a proud legacy of public service, innovation and community involvement.

The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation strives to “protect the environment, promote education and help meet basic human needs” in communities served by the company. It awards about $20 million annually in community impact grants, environmental education and stewardship grants. 

Over the years, Dominion Energy has gifted more than $2.7 million to several different units and programs at WVU from Extension and 4-H to Health Sciences.



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