Successful businessman and alumnus Gregory Babe and his wife, Carla, are giving back to West Virginia University with a gift of $250,000.
The pledge will benefit both the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources ($200,000) and the College of Business and Economics ($50,000) by providing program support for both students and faculty.
“Gifts of this kind are incredibly important to the College and its departments,” said Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the Statler College. “We are impressed by the foresight and thoughtfulness of Greg and Carla Babe and grateful for their support of our efforts to provide students with an exciting learning environment.”
Cilento noted that gifts of this nature allow the Statler College to remain competitive with its peer institutions on a national scale. Of the $200,000 donation to the Statler College, $150,000 will go to the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
“We will use our portion of this generous gift to support student projects,” said Jacky Prucz, chair of the department. “Our students and graduates tell us that these design and prototyping projects provide them with effective and challenging learning environments that most accurately resemble today’s engineering practice.”
Prucz noted that funds will be used to support student efforts in such events as the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, Design/Build/Fly, microgravity research and the newly formed team centered around the Formula SAE Collegiate Design Series.
“The College of Business and Economics has a profound appreciation for this gift,” said Dr. Jose Sartarelli, Milan Puskar Dean. “Greg is a 2010 inductee into our West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, and is certainly the kind of success story that serves as a great example for students. This gift will be used in the development of programs at B&E, the continuing recruitment of top-notch faculty and in the processes we have outlined for the constant improvement of WVU’s business school.”
A West Virginia native, Babe earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from WVU in 1980. That set him down the path to a successful 32-year career with Bayer Corp., one of the world’s top chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Babe retired as the company’s president and chief executive officer in June. He is now chief executive officer of privately-held Orbital Engineering.
“I am proud of West Virginia University, its great tradition and the impressive progress that it is being made under the leadership of President (Jim) Clements, Dean Cilento, Dean Sartarelli and Dr. Jacky Prucz, among many others,” Babe said. “I know that they will leverage this investment many times over to strengthen the University and fulfill its mission of educating and developing future leaders.”
“We thank Greg and Carla for their generosity and commitment to WVU,” said Wayne King, WVU Foundation president & CEO. “Their gift to our comprehensive campaign will have a positive impact on students and faculty for many years to come.”
The gift was made to the WVU Foundation as part of A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University, a $750 million fundraising effort the Foundation is conducting on behalf of the University.