An altruistic mentor to fraternity members, a posthumous inductee influential in improving the dining experience across campus and a licensed social worker devoted to helping students in recovery will be honored for their outstanding contributions to West Virginia University.
The Division of Student Life will recognize Jack Thompson as the recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award, and induct Les Carpenter and John Spraggins into the 2023 Hall of Fame during a ceremony beginning at 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 9, in the Mountainlair Ballrooms.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony as well as a preceding reception that begins at 3:30 p.m.
As the University’s director of corporate relations, Thompson is responsible for leading operations and setting strategic direction for corporate engagements and relations. Prior to being promoted to director in 2018, he served as the corporate relations manager.
Thompson has an extensive background in corporate and business development and has devoted his expertise to the Greater Morgantown Area for more than 15 years. He has served as director of corporate development for the Chesapeake Energy Corporation, director of business development for the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce and special projects manager for the Greater Morgantown Convention & Visitors Bureau.
He also volunteers his time as the campus chapter advisor for the Sigma Nu fraternity. Described as a caring and accessible mentor, Thompson has welcomed fraternity members snowed in during the University winter break to his home to celebrate Christmas with his family and made late-night pizza deliveries to students in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in history from WVU.
After 31 years of service to WVU, Carpenter retired in 2018. Prior to his retirement, he served as the chief business officer in the Division of Student Life for 15 years. In that role, he oversaw the budgets for more than 25 Student Life units, including Student Affairs Business Operations and Mountaineer Card Services. In 2015, Carpenter played an integral role in the expansion of Mountie Bounty to include off-campus locations, increasing flexibility and meal option variety for the WVU community.
Carpenter earned his MBA from WVU in 1983, and in 1987, he began working as an accountant in the Controller’s Office. In 1994, he accepted the position of manager for financial aid information systems, and during his time in what is now Student Financial Services, he served in several administrative positions, including as interim director.
He is fondly remembered for making frequent stops at Hardee’s on his way to work to purchase dozens of breakfast biscuits that he enjoyed sharing with his colleagues. His co-workers also looked forward to the gold and blue cupcakes he brought to the office each Friday before a Mountaineer home football game.
A former choir member at the First United Methodist Church of Clarksburg, he also enjoyed playing piano, antiquing and genealogy research.
Carpenter died on May 29, 2020.
A licensed social worker, Spraggins began his career at WVU in 1996 as the director of the Student Assistance Program, then located in Student Health Services. The program moved to the Carruth Center during the launch of WELLWVU in 2009 where he served as senior program administrator/counselor until his retirement in 2017.
Known for his warm approach to students, Spraggins provided an array of prevention and intervention services for more than two decades to students who were experiencing substance use disorders, anxiety and/or depression. As a seasoned therapist with more than 41 years of experience, he used a tailored counseling approach to help enhance well-being and promote the success of each student he encountered.
Friends and colleagues describe Spraggins as an outgoing, gregarious person who joyfully looked forward to making his interns waffles at the end of each semester.
A defensive end and linebacker for the Mountaineers from 1972-74, Spraggins earned his bachelor’s degree in social work in 1975 and master’s degree in 1977 from WVU.
Spraggins currently works as a part-time therapist at PSIMED in Morgantown, serves as a support group co-facilitator for the Suncrest United Methodist Church and volunteers his time at the Rape & Domestic Violence Information Center.
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