Ross contributes significant gift to Davis & Elkins capital campaign

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Ross contributes significant gift to Davis & Elkins capital campaign
Davis & Elkins President Chris A. Wood and Mike Ross (left) exhibit a sketch of a new college dorm.

ELKINS, W.Va. — has received a substantial gift from distinguished alumnus and philanthropic supporter Mike Ross, marking another significant contribution to the “Creating Home: It Takes a Village” capital campaign.

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Gifts to the capital campaign will be used for the construction of the Freshman Village, which will include the hillside where Gribble Hall and Roxanna Booth Hall are located, both of which will undergo upgrades. A new yet unnamed residence hall structure will be constructed, three and one-half stories tall and creating a 100-bed, suite-style structure.

College President Chris A. Wood thanked Ross for the contribution and for years of support for the institution located in Elkins, West Virginia, in the scenic Tygart Valley.

“The face behind this very generous gift is both a familiar one and a loyal one,” Wood said.

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“Mike Ross has been a stalwart presence in helping to move D&E forward and has a well-defined history of giving back to D&E. His gifts have always focused on the student experience, and that says a lot about Mike.”

A native of Coalton, West Virginia, native and a former student at the college, Ross worked as a coal miner and heavy equipment operator after college. In 1971, Ross and his business partner, Robert Wharton, started Ross & Wharton Gas Company, which provides livelihoods for several full-time employees and many independent contractors throughout West Virginia to this day.

Ross helped build thriving businesses and, in 1992, was elected to represent West Virginia’s 15th Senatorial District in the state legislature, where he would hold a seat for 12 years. He held office again in 2009 when he was appointed to fill the West Virginia House of Delegates seat left vacant by the death of Delegate Bill Proudfoot.

The 2015 recipient of the Davis & Elkins Distinguished Alumnus Award, Ross supported the college’s West Virginia Highlanders 2015 appearance in the nation’s 4th of July parade, the “Candlelight Christmas” concert, the Davis & Elkins Fund, the Highlands Scholarship, the Eastern Regional Science Fair, renovation of the Hermanson Campus Center, the Senator Club, performances by the West Virginia Symphony, the Randolph County Scholarship Fund, the Davis & Elkins Baseball Team, and the Mike Ross Endowed Scholarship.

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“Mike shares our commitment to make impactful improvements to the Davis & Elkins campus and realizes that, as this campaign has defined, a dynamic living and learning community is essential to our college growth,” Wood said.

“His gift, along with others for the capital campaign, ensures that our top-notch academics are complemented with excellent residential facilities. This campaign is a commitment to Davis & Elkins College and its future, and we are deeply grateful for Mike’s generous gift.”

The Freshman Village represents Phase II of the Campus Master Plan approved by the Davis & Elkins Board of Trustees in 2019. Phase I of the plan was completed in 2020 and consisted of $7.2 million in upgrades to the Myles Center for the Arts and Myles Plaza to offer space for campus and community gatherings.

for more information about or to contribute to the "Creating Home: It Takes a Village" capital campaign at Davis & Elkins.

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Davis & Elkins earns an ‘A’ from Forbes for financial health

The historic campus of Davis & Elkins College is a centerpiece of the Tygart Valley in northern West Virginia.

Davis & Elkins College has earned an "A" from global media company Forbes for its financial health, the highest grade it has awarded to any private, not-for-profit school in West Virginia. College President Chris Wood emphasized the institution-wide attention to finances as the key to its continued strength despite the COVID-19 pandemic.


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