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Outstanding Philanthropy Awards
WVU Foundation honors dedicated University supporters
The West Virginia University Foundation is honoring dedicated WVU supporters with 2023 Outstanding Philanthropy Awards in recognition of their exceptional generosity, leadership and commitment to the University and its land-grant mission.
This year’s honorees include the Hayhurst family for Milan Puskar Outstanding Philanthropists, W. Marston “Marty” Becker for Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist, the Charles Koch Foundation for Hazel Ruby McQuain Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation, and EQT for Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation.
“We are truly grateful for the generosity of our donors and recognizing them is one of the WVU Foundation’s highest priorities,” WVU Foundation President and CEO Cindi Roth said. “Our Outstanding Philanthropy Awards offer an exciting opportunity to celebrate the philanthropic spirit of some of WVU’s strongest supporters and highlight the impact of charitable giving to benefit not only the University community but also the residents of West Virginia and beyond.”
The Hayhurst family hails from Buckhannon, where patriarch Morris L. Hayhurst founded the family’s business enterprise with the support of his wife, Beulah. Their three sons – Ronald, Robert, and Robin – were all first-generation college graduates who earned degrees at WVU. Ronald earned his degree in accounting, while his late brothers earned degrees in sport management.
Ronald Hayhurst began giving back to the state and University through philanthropy as the family’s business success grew, and he inspired other family members to carry on that tradition. Today, Robert’s daughter Christine Davis, a graduate of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, leads the family’s oil and gas business operations.
She also coordinates the Hayhurst family’s charitable giving, which balances family passions – such as WVU athletics and Extension programs – with a commitment to expanding available resources and opportunities for West Virginians. Recent gifts from the Hayhurst family have supported a playground at WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, an endowment for the rifle coaching position, student scholarships, entrepreneurial opportunities at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics and more.
Davis resides in Morgantown with her husband, Jim, whom she met as a student at WVU, and their three daughters.
W. Marston “Marty” Becker
Becker is a Huntington native who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his alma mater since graduating from WVU with his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1974 and his law degree in 1977.
Becker is an accomplished executive with leadership experience at insurance, reinsurance and insurance brokerage organizations, building upon a distinguished career that spanned a range of advisory and private equity investing roles. He serves on several business and nonprofit boards, including those for Encova Mutual Insurance, Axis Capital, MVB Bank and Amynta Group.
His efforts to support WVU began during law school, when Becker worked for the WVU Foundation. He later served on the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.
Becker has also served on the WVU Board of Governors and in leadership roles to support the WVU Health System, West Virginia Forward, the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. He and his wife, Katharine, have also generously contributed to WVU, including a multimillion-dollar gift to support the construction of Reynolds Hall.
The Beckers have two sons, James and Todd. The couple divides their time between Charleston, West Virginia, and Jupiter, Florida.
Charles Koch Foundation
The Charles Koch Foundation has generously supported WVU since 2006, providing more than $6 million to support students, faculty and programs at the Chambers College.
Much of the Foundation’s recent aid has benefited the Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Licensing, one of the nation’s leading sources for thought leadership and research on how occupational licensing laws affect economic opportunity. The Knee Center is an academic research center that informs citizens, policymakers and researchers about occupational regulation.
The Charles Koch Foundation works to ensure all people have the opportunity to live a life of meaning and contribution based on their unique gifts and aptitudes. They do this by investing in social entrepreneurs who can transform the institutions most responsible for lifelong learning, post-secondary education and business, empowering people to engage in work that enables virtuous cycles of mutual benefit.
The EQT Corporation and its EQT Foundation have a long history of support for WVU and West Virginia, one of three states at the core of the company’s operations. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, EQT is the nation’s largest natural gas producer and strives to give back to the communities in which it operates via the EQT Foundation.
For more than 15 years, the EQT Foundation has provided generous support for WVU student scholarships, academic programs, facilities, outreach efforts and more through direct gifts to the Alumni Association, athletics, the Statler College, the Chambers College and Extension.
The EQT Foundation has also provided aid to WVU students through its own programs such as the EQT Energize Your Education Scholarship, which provides $10,000 academic scholarships to high school seniors planning to study engineering, earth science, information technology, cybersecurity or other energy-related fields. Many of those students opt to enroll at WVU.
Since its inception, the EQT Foundation has awarded more than $74 million to nonprofits throughout the operational footprint of EQT Corporation, reflecting a commitment to support the education and training of children and adults; the development of diverse, livable communities; and the preservation of natural environments.
The WVU Foundation is the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities. Since 2005, the WVU Foundation has recognized individuals, companies and organizations for outstanding civil and charitable devotion to WVU.