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WVU alumna’s $1.6M legacy gift boosts research at School of Medicine

A $1.6 million estate gift from late WVU alumnus Iris Allsop supports research at the School of Medicine.

A $1.6 million estate gift from late WVU alumnus Iris Allsopp supports research at the School of Medicine.

A $1.6 million legacy gift from a late West Virginia University alumna will bolster School of Medicine research efforts to improve health in the Mountain State and beyond.

Iris Allsopp, of Arthurdale, West Virginia, was passionate about health care, working as a nurse and hospital administrator in Monongalia and Preston counties. Following her passing July 24, 2019, she built upon her professional legacy by leaving $1.6 million to the School of Medicine. The funds have been used to establish a namesake fund that supports research.

“We are so appreciative of this generous gift that will enable teams of scientists to work together to answer questions aimed at improving health," Laura Gibson, Ph.D., Health Sciences senior associate vice president for Research and Graduate Education and School of Medicine associate dean, said. "We look forward to investing in research that will sustain Ms. Allsopp’s positive impact and celebrate her love of science.”

Allsopp joined the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps in 1943 and enrolled in WVU science courses at the time. She later earned a nursing degree from Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown and a certificate in health care administration from Ohio State University. She spent most of her career at Mon General Hospital and Preston Memorial Hospital, in Kingwood, West Virginia.

Allsopp’s nephew, Charlie Allsopp, said his aunt was always generous and active in her community. She supported many causes and organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Arthurdale Heritage, her church and WVU.

He noted that she lived near the University most of her life, was an avid WVU sports fan and graduated from WVU, as did her brother, Sydney. Following her retirement in 1978, she earned a Regent’s Bachelor of Arts degree from WVU and later took courses at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WVU

“She was a lifelong resident of the area, so she always kept a close kinship to West Virginia University,” Charles Allsopp said. “…She loved the University, and that was the primary beneficiary of her estate.”

Iris Allsopp and sister Mary Lawrenson previously established the Sidney and Mary Allsopp Scholarship, named for their parents, to benefit students at WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.

Allsopp’s estate gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

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