Rusty and Kimberly Hutson (at center) pose with children (from left) Conner, Parker, Tanner and Hannah.
A $1.8 million gift to West Virginia University from Mountain State natives Kimberly and Rusty Hutson Jr. will bolster education, health care and outreach efforts to aid residents across the state.
The Hutsons’ contribution provides $1 million to support namesake fellowships in experiential learning and applied service at the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, $400,000 to aid the West Virginia Faith Community Nursing Initiative at the School of Nursing, and $400,000 to expand personalized care for neuroscience patients and their families at the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.
“Kimberly and I are thrilled to give to these three quality programs at WVU!” Rusty Hutson said. “We have been blessed as a family, and we are passionate about giving back to our home state that we love so much. These gifts are strategic for us as a family, as we look to assist in enhancing quality health care for rural areas of the state as well as provide support for the world-class Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute. In addition, the Hutson Fellows program will not only assist students in furthering their business education in a real business setting but will encourage them to remain in West Virginia as they begin their business careers. We are honored to provide the financial support needed to develop and enhance all three programs.”
The Rusty & Kimberly Hutson Fellowships in Experiential Learning will expand employment opportunities available to Chambers College students in recognition of their academic performance and professional promise. Honorees will participate in paid student work that simultaneously allows them to gain real-world experience, connect with industry, and serve the state and people of West Virginia.
“This generous investment from Rusty and Kimberly Hutson will allow us to greatly expand experiential learning opportunities to our business students, which is at the core of our purpose in the Chambers College as we move into Reynolds Hall in a few short months,” said Josh Hall, Milan Puskar Dean. “They will be market-ready and prepared to solve the business problems of the future because of the hands-on learning experiences this gift will provide, while also honoring our land-grant mission as a university and learning the importance of service to our state.”
The Hutsons’ gift to support the West Virginia Faith Community Nursing Initiative will allow the School of Nursing to partner with nurses throughout the state to provide health screenings, education and more at community faith centers. The goal is to expand access to health care, particularly in the state’s most rural and economically challenged counties.
“Meeting people where they are is an essential component of health care,” said Tara Hulsey, dean of the School of Nursing and E. Jane Martin Endowed Professor. “This generous gift from the Hutsons will help provide greater access to care in the areas that need it most.”
The couple’s contribution to the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute will enhance personalized patient care at the RNI. Expanded patient assistance will ensure a greater number of patients receive comprehensive, compassionate care in a coordinated fashion from their initial visit through all follow-up appointments, as well as any other resources and support necessary for patients and their families.
“We thank the Hutsons for their gift, which will expand our team’s capabilities to provide a coordinated, personalized experience and world-class care for patients and their families affected by neurological and mental health conditions,” said Ali Rezai MD, executive chair of the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.
Rusty and Kimberly Hutson were both raised in Harrison County and graduated from Fairmont State University, where they earned degrees in accounting and nursing, respectively. Rusty Hutson worked in the banking industry for 13 years before co-founding Diversified Energy in 2001. He now serves as CEO of the company, building upon a family history in the oil and natural gas business that dates to the early 1900s.
Kimberly Hutson worked as a registered nurse before becoming a full-time mom to the couple’s four children. While the Hutsons reside in Birmingham, Alabama, they remain committed to the Mountain State. They have previously provided generous support for WVU athletics and business and nursing programs at Fairmont State.
The Hutsons’ gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University, in conjunction with WVU Day of Giving. Alumni and friends made over 5,600 gifts totaling $15.5 million to support the University’s fifth Day of Giving on March 9.