West Virginia University alumni Curtis H. “Hank” Barnette and his wife, Joanne, have made a significant gift to upgrade the Barnette Board of Governors Room located on the second floor of the Erickson Alumni Center.
The Barnette Board of Governors Room was established in 2011 after the Barnettes made a major gift to create a meeting room at the EAC for the WVU Board of Governors and others when not in use by the Board.
The renovations will allow the room to function as either one large or two independent rooms with four high-resolution projectors and one local computer being installed in each.
To enhance video conferencing, PTZ cameras (pan, tilt, zoom) will be installed under each display, as well as the addition of a camera that can intelligently pivot around a table to capture audio and video from whoever is speaking. Numerous microphones will be added to the room’s audio system to further improve video and audio conferencing. Video conferencing options will include, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, and more. The upgrades are set to begin in July.
“Time and time again, Hank and Joanne have shown their love and support for West Virginia University,” President Gordon Gee said. “From behind-the scenes to the most visible, they have helped make this University a world-class institution in so many ways; this gesture being only the latest. There are no words to truly express our gratitude for their generosity.”
Sean Frisbee, president and CEO of the WVU Alumni Association added, “The Erickson Alumni Center is one of West Virginia University’s most important assets and the Barnette Board Room is one of the most popular meeting rooms. The generosity of Hank and Joanne Barnette helps us ensure that it remains state-of-the-art in service to the institution and our alumni. I cannot thank the Barnettes enough for their incredible leadership and service to our alma mater.”
“We support the President, Board of Governors and others who use the board room and believe they should have the most technologically advanced meeting room to support their leadership and governance,” the Barnettes said.
The Barnettes have served WVU since their graduation, and their impact spans a wide spectrum at the University including the creation of four scholarships helping dozens of students, a professorship in political science and an endowment at the WVU Libraries.
Hank and Joanne Barnette’s donation of family real estate in 2017 will help house future WVU faculty, and their gifts have established a board room at Blaney House, home of the WVU president. Hank also has donated his personal papers to the University Library as the Barnette Collection which is part of the Distinguished West Virginia Archives.
Their philanthropic spirit is reflected in membership in the WVU Foundation’s Woodburn Circle Society, the highest donor recognition level at the University, as well as the Irvin Stewart Society, the recognition group for those who have left WVU in their estate plans. Both are members of the Alumni Association’s Old Gold Club and Tower Society, a new gift initiative to recognize donors to the Alumni Center.
In 2014, the Barnettes were recognized by the Foundation with its Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropists award.
Hank Barnette has given a lifetime of service to WVU providing leadership on numerous governing and advisory boards, including chairman of the WVU Board of Governors, now chairman emeritus, and chairman of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors, now director emeritus.
He has been honored with induction into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni and West Virginia Business Hall of Fame, and elected to the Order of Vandalia, the University’s highest honor for service to WVU. Hank was named Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer, and in 2013, was awarded the Student Affairs Outstanding Achievement Award.
The latest gift from the Barnettes was made through the WVU Foundation, the independent non-profit corporation that generates, receives, and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU and its affiliates.