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Hoylman family support spurs innovation at WVU Cancer Institute

Donna Hoylman Peduto speaks at a podium in the atrium of the WVU School of Medicine to a crowd of people gathered for an event.

Donna Hoylman Peduto speaks during the dedication of the Don Hoylman Family Atrium at the WVU Cancer Institute. (WVU Photo)

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More than 20 years ago, doctors treating lifelong West Virginia University supporter Don Hoylman discovered a football-sized tumor on one of his kidneys that was cancerous. He consulted physicians in Morgantown and elsewhere, but he ultimately decided to proceed with treatment at the WVU Cancer Institute.

Hoylman’s tumor was challenging, but it was successfully removed in its entirety — without requiring any additional treatment.

“When people said things like, ‘Why would you choose the WVU Cancer Institute?’ Dad always replied, ‘Why not? They’ve got quality people there that you can trust,’” his daughter, Donna Hoylman Peduto, said. “That ended up kind of being a defining thread in why he wanted to give and why our family wanted to give.”

Inspired by friends who battled cancer, Hoylman and his wife, Marcella, first began giving to the WVU Cancer Institute in the 1980s. Their giving escalated after Hoylman became a patient himself and culminated with a transformational leadership donation made through his trust in 2018.

Following his passing three years later at the age of 91, the Hoylman family’s generosity continues to spur innovation at the WVU Cancer Institute. The Don Hoylman Family Atrium was recently dedicated in recognition of his family’s ongoing support for research focused on advancing cancer care.

Their giving includes regular contributions to the Don and Marcella Hoylman Cancer Innovation Fund, which provides broad research support for laboratory work, clinical trials, educational outreach, and more at the discretion of leadership. Those dollars are especially beneficial as the WVU Cancer Institute pursues the state’s first National Cancer Institute designation.

Hoylman Peduto noted that her dad had tremendous confidence in WVU Cancer Institute Executive Chair and Director Dr. Hannah Hazard-Jenkins as a physician and leader.

“The Don Hoylman family legacy is cherished here at the WVU Cancer Institute,” Dr. Hazard-Jenkins said. “Don and Marcella’s transformational leadership gift will continue to impact our efforts for years to come, thanks to their family's ongoing support. We are grateful for their philanthropic spirit and commitment, which empowers our ongoing endeavor to lessen the cancer burden in and around West Virginia.”

Current Hoylman Fellow Dr. Stephen Yu conducts research focused on evaluating the efficacy of therapies used to treat a variety of cancers within the Appalachian population. Recent studies have targeted treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, among others.

“The generosity and continued support from the Hoylman family allow for the continued expansion of knowledge, research and innovation that provided grounds for WVU Medicine to become a flagship academic medical center in the state of West Virginia,” Dr. Yu said. “The contributions to the WVU Cancer Institute from the Hoylman family allow for access to novel and frontier therapy in cancer treatment for West Virginians and surrounding Appalachian states.”

The Hoylman Family Waiting Room, located inside the portico entrance of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, is also named in recognition of the family’s generosity. Hoylman Peduto said the waiting room became particularly meaningful as her late husband, Guy Peduto, went through treatment for lung cancer.

“My brothers and I really hope that our support enables the WVU Cancer Institute to find some lasting cures or medicines for these cancers and for West Virginia University to establish itself as a leader,” Hoylman Peduto said. “That’s why the trust keeps on giving, every year, a significant amount to the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center and the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. We want to see West Virginia University recognized for the excellent institution of higher education and patient care that it is.”

Don Hoylman grew up in Harrison County, where he became a passionate WVU fan as a child. He never attended the University, but his three children have earned a total of five degrees from WVU. Son Steven earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting; son Rod graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration; and Hoylman Peduto earned both a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in reading. His grandson Nick also earned a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Hoylman enjoyed a successful career as an energy industry entrepreneur with his wife’s help. She lobbied to get him a job with her employer — Industrial Engineering and Construction Company in Fairmont — after he completed his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. Twelve years later, he became the owner and president of Industrial Resources, developing the company into a major corporation in the design-building of coal preparation plants and the manufacture of products for the mining industry. He owned and operated several other businesses over the years, including Salem Mineral Processing Group, Victory of West Virginia, Inc., and DonMar Enterprises, Inc.

In 2010, Hoylman was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was named Most Loyal West Virginian during Mountaineer Week for his faithfulness to the ideals and goals of the state through business, professional, and civic achievement as well as support for the University. He received an honorary doctorate from WVU President Gordon Gee during Commencement in 2018.

Hoylman’s many philanthropic contributions to WVU include scholarship gifts to benefit students pursuing degrees in business, entrepreneurship, and education — in honor of his children and son-in-law — as well as undergraduate student-athletes.

The Hoylman family’s gifts are made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.



Senior Communications Specialist
WVU Foundation

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