West Virginia University in Morgantown has announced a $10 million gift from Mary "Mickey" Welch to create two endowed scholarship funds for students from Wood County.
Part of the university's $50 million Dream First scholarship initiative, the gift includes $9.5 million to establish the Mary "Mickey" Welch Scholars Program, which will provide four-year undergraduate scholarship support to WVU students from Wood County. The remaining $500,000 will establish a Mary "Mickey" Welch Wood County 4-H Scholarship Fund, which will support the Wood County 4-H Program of the WVU Extension Service. The grant funds will be distributed to the WVU Foundation from six charitable remainder unitrusts established by Welch when the trusts terminate in fifteen years.
For many years, Welch and her family were involved in the oil and gas industry in West Virginia, primarily in Wood and neighboring counties. In addition to WVU, Welch has been a supporter of the WVU Parkersburg Foundation, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, Sheltered Workshop, the YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, and Parkersburg Arts Center.
"I am extremely grateful to the Welch family for this gift, especially the support of the 'Dream First' scholarship initiative," said WVU president Gordon Gee. "As we said when announcing this initiative, it is crucial that we inspire our students to dream. This will help us meet those goals, as well as enable this state to keep its best and brightest students as we work together to transform West Virginia."