News Details

February 28, 2017

West Virginia Wesleyan College Receives Major Gift

West Virginia Wesleyan College officials have announced the receipt of a major gift from Dr. Donald Keister, class of 1954.  The donation will increase the size of the Nicholas Hyma Chemistry Scholarship and help Wesleyan’s effort to meet the $2 million dollar U.S. Department of Education Title III Endowment match. The gift, including the federal match, totals $570,000.

The Hyma Scholarship provides financial aid for students majoring in chemistry and biochemistry at Wesleyan.  The fund was established in honor of one of Wesleyan’s most distinguished chemistry professors, Dr. Nicholas Hyma. He taught at the United Methodist-related College from 1918 to 1955 and helped Wesleyan establish its outstanding reputation in science education.

The Endowment match is a five-year challenge with a goal of increasing Wesleyan’s endowment by $4 million.  It is part of a $10 million grant that was awarded to Wesleyan in 2014 under the U.S. Department’s Strengthening Institutions Program. The grant provides resources to renovate academic facilities and dollars to fund programs to help students persist and graduate, along with a $2 million endowment match.

Keister, who enjoyed a successful career as a scientific researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was an outstanding chemistry, biology, and mathematics student at Wesleyan.  He was active in music programs, intramurals, and the United Methodist Student Movement. He is a member of Theta Chi fraternity and Wesleyan’s Emeritus Club.

“We are immensely grateful to Dr. Keister for this most generous donation,” noted Bob Skinner ’75, vice president for advancement.  “This gift will provide additional scholarship resources for outstanding chemistry students as well as help Wesleyan ultimately add $4 million to its endowment.  Dr. Keister’s philanthropy will impact many future generations of Wesleyan students.”

Wesleyan is in the final phase of a $30 million Capital Campaign which has allowed the College to establish a number of new endowed scholarship and academic program funds, construct new facilities, and renovate classrooms and athletic facilities.


For information on how to give to Wesleyan, the Capital Campaign, or to the Title III Endowment Match, please contact the Office of Advancement at 304-473-8600.

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