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Scholarship to honor WVU President Mike Garrison

on Tue, 01/15/2008 - 08:00

A new scholarship honoring West Virginia University President Mike Garrison will benefit students from his high school in Marion County.

The merit-based scholarship - endowed by Eddie and Betty Barrett of Huntington - will be available to entering freshmen in WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences who are graduates of Fairmont Senior High School. Preference will be given to students who attended Fairmont Catholic Grade School.

Both Garrison and Eddie Barrett are graduates of Fairmont Senior High School and have bachelor’s degrees in English from the Eberly College. Garrison also attended Fairmont Catholic Grade School.

The new scholarship provides aid for first-year students who showed leadership skills or potential in high school. Recipients will be selected by the Eberly College on recommendation of Fairmont Senior educators and in consultation with WVU’s Financial Aid Office.

Barrett, a Fairmont native, said he and his wife wanted to recognize the two Marion County schools for their efforts in educating future leaders, including WVU’s 22nd president.

Barrett graduated from WVU in 1952 and began his career as a sports writer before joining the WVU Department of Athletics. He eventually became WVU’s sports information director and later served as athletic director at Marshall University.

He is known across the state as an authority on WVU’s athletic and University history. In 2000, the WVU Alumni Association recognized Barrett with its Paul “Buck” Martin Award for his efforts in preserving, maintaining and promoting the spirit and tradition of WVU.

Betty Barrett is a former Huntington City Council member who is known throughout the Mountain State for her contributions in social work and community development. She was among the first inductees to the West Virginia Affordable Housing Hall of Fame.

She was also the region’s first “Tri-State Citizen of the Year” and is also a past “Citizen of the Year” by the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.

Garrison said he and his wife, Heather, have appreciated the friendship of the Barretts over the years.

Heather and I are proud to count Eddie and Betty Barrett as friends,” he said. “Their gift is another example of their embrace of the true and generous spirit that makes Mountaineers special.”

That generosity has taken the form of several athletic and academic endowments at WVU over the years. The WVU Foundation presented the couple with its 2007 Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropists Award. They are also members of the Woodburn Circle Society, the Foundation’s most prestigious philanthropic society.

Eddie and Betty Barrett have been very generous with WVU and the Eberly College,” said Rudy Almasy, Eberly’s associate dean for development. “All of us deeply appreciate what they are doing for our students with these gifts.”

The Fairmont Senior High School Endowed Scholarship Fund for Entering Freshmen in Honor of Mike Garrison will be administered by the WVU Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization which develops, receives and administers private gifts from individuals and organizations for the benefit of WVU.

For more information, contact Almasy at or 304-293-4611.