A Morgantown couple who has given back to the University, a successful alumnus engineer, an internationally-known professor, a dedicated residence life employee, and a late director of the Mountainlair are being honored as “Most Loyals” during the 71st Mountaineer Week, a celebration of Appalachian Heritage, Oct. 19-28, on West Virginia University’s campus.
The 2018 honorees are William and Loulie Canady, Most Loyal West Virginians; William Cawthorne, Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer; Powsiri “Klink” Klinkhachorn, Most Loyal Faculty/Professional Staff; Avery “Tony” Richardson, Most Loyal Staff; and Bob McWhorter, Most Loyal Spirit Award. The group will be honored during the halftime ceremonies of Thursday’s (Oct. 25) WVU-Baylor football game.
Most Loyal West Virginian
The Most Loyal West Virginian exemplifies faithfulness to the ideals and goals of the state of West Virginia through business, professional and civic achievement as well as support for WVU.
The late Dr. William Canady and wife, Loulie, have shown devotion to WVU through meaningful donations to the College of Creative Arts.
Valerie Canady, their only child, died in a terrorist bombing on Dec. 21, 1988, over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Canadys have honored their daughter’s legacy by founding the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation with the compensation from this tragedy.
Valerie was a talented linguist and an artist in multiple media of expression, especially the piano. Over the years, the Canadys have made substantial gifts to WVU to create programs in the College of Creative Arts to show Valerie’s passions. Those programs include the Canady Scholars Program, Canady Symphony Series and Canady Chamber Music Series. The couple also played an important philanthropic role in creating the Art Museum of West Virginia University.
William Canady taught biochemistry for 40 years at WVU. He was a member of multiple scientific organizations and a founding member of the Mountaineer Chapter of the National Audubon Society. He died in December 2017. Loulie. Canady has served on the board of West Virginia Public Broadcasting and as president of the Morgantown Women’s Music Club. She resides in Morgantown and continues to support the University she loves.
Most Loyal Alumni
The Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer exemplifies faithfulness to the ideas and goals of the University and exhibits support for WVU activities and operations through leadership and service.
William Cawthorne is the Senior Manager of Advanced Engineering for Global Transmission and Electrification at General Motors Global Propulsion Systems in Milford, Michigan.
A Wellsburg native, Cawthorne earned two undergraduate degrees in electrical and computer engineering in 1994, and master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering in 1997 and 1999, all from WVU. He was president of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Advising Board and served five years as team leader for WVU’s Formula Project.
After graduating from WVU, Cawthorne went on to work for General Motors. He has been involved with every electrified product GM has put into production during his tenure. Cawthorne has been granted more than 65 U.S. patents. He is a two-time winner of the Boss Kettering award, GM's highest honor for recognizing technical innovations.
EcoCAR3 is an advanced vehicle technology competition sponsored by General Motors with the goal of creating a hybrid-electric Chevrolet Camaro that decreases environmental impact but maintains the performance of the iconic car. When he learned that WVU was one of 16 teams selected to compete in EcoCAR3, Cawthorne offered to be the mentor for the team. He has now guided more than100 undergraduate and graduate students competing in the four-year competition, culminating in a second place finish this past year and more than15 students with jobs in the automotive industry.
Cawthorne credits the education and experience he had at WVU and his participation in student projects for his successful career at General Motors. He hopes his mentorship with EcoCAR3 will give today’s students the skills and experiences needed for successful careers.
Most Loyal Faculty/Professional Staff and Classified Staff
The Most Loyal Faculty/Professional Staff and Classified Staff Mountaineer exemplify faithfulness to the ideals and goals of WVU and exhibit support for University activities and operations through leadership and service.
Powsiri “Klink” Klinkhachorn is a professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.
Klinkhachorn was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in 1977, and his master’s and doctorate degrees from WVU in 1979 and 1983. He was an assistant professor at Louisiana State University after graduation and returned to WVU in 1988.
Klinkhachorn has led multiple WVU robotics teams to top finishes in national and international competitions, and was an advisor to the winning team in the Sample Return Robot Challenge, part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges.
He has received numerous teaching awards including West Virginia Professor of the Year from Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Klinkhachorn earned the Thailand National Science Fair Award and was a finalist in the INTEL 8086 Application Contest.
He has published more than 250 articles in technical reports, conference proceedings and journals. He has been principal/co-principal investigator in several grants and contracts which total over $30 million.
Avery “Tony” Richardson is currently the night staff area advisor for WVU Housing and Residence Life.
After serving in the U.S. military from 1985-1989, Richardson earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from WVU in 1993 and played football under Coach Don Nehlen. He returned to Morgantown in the early 2000s because he wanted to contribute to making the University a better place for students.
Night staff operations was created by Richardson 10 years ago to monitor the student residence halls at night. The program has given many opportunities to students who have worked for Richardson along with skills to use when they look for a full-time job.
Richardson organizes and hosts football camps for local children and assists on a local radio program. He also has worked at Mountaineer Challenge Academy where he mentors local youth.
Most Loyal Spirit Award
The Most Loyal Spirit Award is given to an individual who exemplifies faithfulness to the persons, ideals and goals of West Virginia University. It shall only be given in special circumstances deemed appropriate by the selection committee.
The late Bob McWhorter dedicated much of his time and effort to WVU and the state.
He graduated from the University in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in recreation. In 1959, he became the director of the Mountainlair, and led the planning of the Mountainlair enjoyed by many today. He worked with architects and engineers to strategically build it between classroom buildings and residence halls. He supervised hundreds of people from different departments during his time as the director. McWhorter made sure students had everything they needed outside the classroom.
McWhorter retired in 1988 but still worked with the University. He also created the West Virginia Storytelling Festival in 1996. This led to the creation of West Virginia Storytellers Guild. Storytelling is an important part of West Virginia culture, so he created this to preserve this traditional art. One could find him at every festival and performance, supporting the art and its educational purpose. He died Sept. 1 at the age of 88.
The last Mountaineer Spirit Award was given in 2015 to the late Steve Douglas, who served many years as head of the WVU Alumni Association.