Don Hoylman attributes the success of his three children to the education and opportunities they received as students at West Virginia University. He also credits WVU with being a positive driver for his vision and success in creating and growing his businesses.
The Harrison County native and longtime Marion County resident, who has enjoyed a very successful career in the mining, gas and oil business, is now giving back to WVU with a transformational leadership donation through his trust. Amount of the gift is not being made public at this time at the donor’s request. The substantial gift will be split evenly between the College of Business and Economics and the WVU Cancer Institute.
Avid supporters of WVU, Hoylman and his late wife, Marcella, did not attend or graduate from the University. But combined, their three children have five degrees from WVU. Son Steven earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting; son Rod graduated with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration; and daughter, Donna Hoylman Peduto, earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College of Human Resources and Education, now the College of Education and Human Services.
“I was fortunate throughout my career that my businesses were able to grow and serve our state through entrepreneurism and innovation,” Hoylman said. “It is my wish that our family’s contribution be nontraditional in that it enables the College of Business and Economics to provide the mentorship, education, resources and support to students in innovation, entrepreneurship and business start-ups. It is also this spirit of discovery, along with my own personal experience with cancer, that reflects our contribution to the WVU Cancer Institute. Our shared goal is to provide support for the creation of transformational advances and new treatments.”
He added, "Marcella and I have always taken tremendous personal pride in the achievements of West Virginia University, as well as the outstanding education our three children were blessed with here. Our family continues to be impressed with the current leadership and amazing strides that have been taken to lead our state and nation in so many important areas.”
The start of Hoylman’s successful business career dates back more than 65 years to 1951 when he began working with his wife at Industrial Engineering and Construction Company in Fairmont, W.Va. Twelve years later, he became 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, serving U.S. and international markets. Hoylman has owned and operated numerous businesses over the years, including the Salem Mineral Processing Group, Victory of West Virginia Inc., and DonMar Enterprises, Inc.
"This generous gift reflects what it means to be part of the Mountaineer family," President Gordon Gee said. "While not an alumnus, Don Hoylman recognizes the role West Virginia University has played in the success and advancement of his children, as well as his home state. This gift will now enable others to benefit from this University's mission of bringing education, healthcare and prosperity to all."
Half of the gift will go to the College of Business and Economics to help fund several initiatives.
“Don and Marcella Hoylman have embraced the goals, mission and direction of B&E, and they are confident of the impact their gift will have for WVU, West Virginia and beyond,” said Javier Reyes, Milan Puskar Dean of the WVU College of Business and Economics. “Their generous gift will support our new College of Business and Economics complex, provide advanced learning opportunities for our students through the creation of a venture capital course, and continue to fund support for startups and innovation in the college.”
The remaining funds will support the ongoing mission of the WVU Cancer Institute.
“We are very grateful that the Hoylman family is investing in the WVU Cancer Institute with a gift directed to spur innovation,” said Dr. Richard Goldberg, institute director. “The purpose of their gift reflects the givers in that the Hoylman family has innovation integrated into its DNA and that has contributed so much to their community while, at the same time, enabling them to make this donation.”
Goldberg added, “Like them, we want to anticipate where cancer discovery is going, and their generosity will enable our investigators to lead the way for cancer research and deliver better outcomes to cancer patients in West Virginia.”
Over the years, the Hoylmans created several scholarships at WVU to benefit students studying business, entrepreneurship and education as well as undergraduate student athletes.
In 2013, Hoylman was named Most Loyal West Virginian during Mountaineer Week at WVU for his faithfulness to the ideals and goals of state through business, professional and civic achievement as well as support for the University. In 2010, he was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame.
Hoylman and members of his family will be recognized Tuesday (Feb. 27) during President Gee’s State of the University Address scheduled for 3 p.m. at Erickson Alumni Center.
The gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.