Donors see a future in West Virginia State
Higher education in America is at a crossroads. Demographic changes, a sluggish economy, higher tuition and competition from online education are taking their toll on colleges.
Officials at West Virginia State University are moving forward with a new program to encourage high school students and underclassmen to pursue science, technology, education, agriculture and math.
The school will roll out its Full STEAM Ahead program in the fall.
It costs money and it is encouraging to see so many donors open up their checkbooks.
The most recent contribution was a gift of $300,000 from American Electric Power, which brings the total to $1.8 million received since July 1 - or triple the amount received in the same period last year.
New President Brian Hemphill deserves much of the credit. Supporters are expressing a new confidence in the university.
The emphasis on science, technology, education, agriculture and math will serve students well, and successful alumni are the best advertisement for a university.
Donors are planting the seeds for that in Institute.