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Leadership gift aids Huggins’ efforts to support WVU Cancer Institute

Jim and Joni Chamberlain

A legacy gift from dedicated West Virginia University alumnus Jim Chamberlain and his wife, Joni, aids Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Huggins in his ongoing efforts to support the WVU Cancer Institute and its future endeavors.

The Chamberlains, of Scottsdale, Arizona, are longtime supporters of the WVU Cancer Institute. Their planned gift recognizes Huggins’ work to expand cancer care and research at WVU in memory of his late mother, Norma Mae Huggins, who died of colon cancer in 2003.

“What Jim and Joni are doing to continue the fight against cancer shows their dedication, and I’m happy to call them dear friends,” Huggins said. “We are going to make a big difference right here in West Virginia. I appreciate them both for continuing on this journey with us to change the face of cancer.” 

The Chamberlains’ gift was made in conjunction with WVU Day of Giving, a 24-hour initiative to boost philanthropic support for the University and its affiliated entities. The March 22 event raised $18.1 million from 8,200 gifts to WVU.

“Joni and I are extremely happy to join with many others who are supporting this worthy cause,” Jim Chamberlain said. “For us, it’s all about helping Coach Huggins achieve his dream of someday very soon finding a cure for this awful disease.”

Previous gifts from the Chamberlains have supported a variety of cancer prevention, treatment and research initiatives at the WVU Cancer Institute.

“We are so appreciative of the continued support from Jim and Joni Chamberlain, as well as Coach Huggins,” Hannah Hazard-Jenkins, M.D., director of the WVU Cancer Institute, Jean and Laurence DeLynn Chair of Oncology, and associate professor of surgery at the WVU School of Medicine, said. “Cancer care is rapidly evolving thanks to new technologies, therapeutic options and research discoveries. Their generosity helps ensure that we can offer patients the best possible care to lessen the cancer burden and bring care closer to home for those in and around West Virginia.”

Jim Chamberlain earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from WVU in 1969. He also received an associate's degree from Beckley College in 1967, served as a U.S. National Institutes of Health Fellow in biochemistry at the University of Pittsburgh from 1971-’72, and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University in 1984. 

Chamberlain is the former president and CEO of BioSource International, now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Chamberlain led the company and its predecessor, BioSource Industries Inc., from their founding in October 1989 until his retirement. Prior to his employment with BioSource, Chamberlain was business development director for Amgen Inc., and held executive positions with Browning Ferris Industries and Amersham Corporation.

Chamberlain served on the WVU Foundation Board of Directors for 16 years, from 2001-2017. In addition to the WVU Cancer Institute, Chamberlain and his wife have provided generous support for the Mountaineer Marching Band, Rosenbaum Family House and other programs at WVU.

“Jim Chamberlain has kindly shared his time, talent and treasure to benefit West Virginia University for many years,” WVU Foundation President and CEO Cindi Roth said. “This latest gift reiterates their dedication to the University and its land-grant mission to better the lives of West Virginians. We are forever grateful to Jim and Joni for their generosity, which will benefit our patients at the WVU Cancer Institute for generations to come.”

The Chamberlains’ gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University and its affiliated entities.

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