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WVU Foundation honors philanthropists

on Tue, 06/02/2009 - 08:00

The West Virginia University Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2009 Outstanding Philanthropy awards.

The awards honor those donors who display exceptional generosity, commitment, leadership and proven records of outstanding civic and charitable devotion to the University.

This year's recipients are Daniel and Elizabeth Brown, Outstanding Philanthropists; Verl O. Purdy, Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist; and Cogent Systems, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization.

"We congratulate this year's honorees for their willingness to give in so many ways, from financial support to volunteer efforts to in-kind donations," said R. Wayne King, president and CEO of the WVU Foundation. "WVU is truly a better place because of their generosity and service to the University."

The awards were first given in 2005 to mark the WVU Foundation's 50th anniversary.

Daniel and Elizabeth Brown

Dan and Elizabeth "Betsy" Brown are being honored for their commitment and generosity to WVU.
 

The Brown's support for the University includes creation of the Brown Family Faculty Development Funds for the College of Business and Economics and the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences. In 2002, the Browns endowed the Dan and Betsy Brown Lecture Series at WVU. They also have donated to funds supporting Mountaineer athletics, WVU's Adventure West Virginia program and renovations at Blaney House, home of WVU's president.

The Browns have been integral in the development of the WVU Creative Arts Center photography and computer-assisted design (CAD) laboratories - dedicated earlier this year as part of the Center's 40th anniversary celebration. The labs were named in honor of the Browns.

Dan Brown graduated from WVU in 1959 with a degree in business administration. He is retired from The Capital Group Companies, Inc. Betsy Brown also is a 1959 graduate of the University, earning her degree in agriculture and forestry. She is currently a member of the College of Creative Arts Visiting Committee.

The Browns reside in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Verl O. Purdy

Verl O. Purdy is being honored for his financial support of WVU and leadership as a volunteer.
 

A 1964 graduate of the University with a degree in chemical engineering, Purdy serves alternate years as president and secretary of AGDATA, one of the largest agricultural, animal and human health data analysis and marketing companies in the world that he founded in 1984.

Purdy remains a loyal Mountaineer by giving his time to WVU. He is currently vice chairman of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and is an active member of the WVU Academy of Chemical Engineers. His generosity and leadership led to the renovation of the Alfred F. Galli Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory at WVU, and he made a personal commitment to teaching by establishing the Verl O. Purdy Faculty Chemical Engineering Fellowship. He also has supported the new Erickson Alumni Center and the Augusta Scholarship.

Purdy is member of the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni and the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was named one of WVU's Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineers, and just last month received an honorary Doctorate in Sciences from WVU.

Purdy resides in Charlotte, N.C.

Cogent Systems

Cogent Systems and CEO Ming Hsieh have been generous contributors to WVU, especially in the area of forensic science.
 

Founded by Hsieh in 1990, Cogent has established itself as a global leader in providing biometric identification solutions to governments, law-enforcement agencies, and commercial enterprises.

Hsieh was drawn to WVU because of its world-class forensic and investigative sciences program. To benefit WVU, Cogent and the Hsieh Family Foundation, under Hsieh's direction, funded construction and outfitting of Ming Hsieh Hall and established two endowed professorships in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Cogent's gift of equipment provided the WVU forensic program with the finest laboratory available for automated fingerprint/palm print identification system (AFIS) teaching, training and research. State-of-the-art equipment includes fingerprint livescans and a fully functional AFIS with the latest generation of Cogent's Programmable Matching Accelerator server. Cogent also provided 25 AFIS workstations that allow students to conduct fingerprint editing and searches.

Endowment gifts reflect Hsieh's deep interest in training, mentoring and nurturing the next generation of forensic scientists. Generous gifts have created the Ming Hsieh Distinguished Professor of Forensic and Investigative Sciences and the Ming Hsieh Distinguished Teaching Professor of Forensic and Investigative Sciences.

 

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