‘Most Loyals’ chosen for Mountaineer Week at WVU
A couple who has provided distinguished leadership to the state and University, a successful engineer, a service-oriented faculty member, and a dedicated athletics employee are being honored as “Most Loyals” during the 69th annual Mountaineer Week, a celebration of Appalachian Heritage, Oct. 28 – Nov. 6, on West Virginia University’s campus.
The 2016 honorees are Bill and Patty Bright, Most Loyal West Virginians; Dianne Anderson, Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer; Dr. Kristi Wood-Turner, Most Loyal Faculty/Professional Staff Mountaineer; and Jimmy Ford, Most Loyal Classified Staff Mountaineer. The group will be honored during halftime ceremonies of Saturday’s (Nov. 5) WVU-Kansas football game.
The award recipients are selected by a joint committee representing the WVU Foundation, WVU Alumni Association and the Mountaineer Week organizing committee.
Most Loyal West Virginians
Most Loyal West Virginians exemplify faithfulness to the ideals and goals of the state of West Virginia through business, professional and civic achievement as well as support for WVU.
Bill and Patty Bright have supported the state of West Virginia through their roles as entrepreneurs, community leaders and volunteers. Since graduating from WVU in 1960, Mr. Bright has led more than 30 successful business ventures, including Bright of America, Bright Coal Corporation and Bright Enterprises.
He currently serves on the WVU Cancer Institute’s Visiting Committee and previously served on the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.
Mr. Bright has served on the boards of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association and the West Virginia Roundtable. He was named 1989 West Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year by the WVU College of Business and Economics, was elected to the State Journal’s “Who’s Who in West Virginia Business” in 2002, and was chosen for its “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2008.
Mrs. Bright has served on the Nicholas County Board of Education and the State College Board of Education. She joined the board of Friends-R-Fun Child Development Center in Summersville, later leading in the solicitation of funds for the construction of a free health care clinic, gymnasium, and expanded space for The Family Learning Center. A $1 million community health and education complex was built from funding Patty helped to secure.
In 2005, she founded the Bright Foundation, which awards a college scholarship to a Nicholas County High School senior annually and contributes to medical schools and other organizations trying to impact the economic status of West Virginia.
She is most proud of her role as instigator and co-founder of The Nicholas County Community Foundation which benefits citizens of Nicholas County. She was inspired to help start a community foundation while she served as a member of the visiting committee for WVU’s College of Education and Human Services.
The Brights live in Summersville.
Most Loyal Alumni The Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer exemplifies faithfulness to the ideas and goals of the University and exhibits support for WVU activities and operations through leadership and service.
Dianne Anderson currently serves on the WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors and as chair of the advisory committee for WVU’s Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.
Anderson retired from her position as executive director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University last year. She served in this position for six years. Previously, Anderson served as president of U.S. West of Rockies Fuels for BP. She has 25 years of experience as a BP executive.
Anderson brought clean fuels to market with the enactment of the Clean Air Act and managed the United States and Canada natural gas and electric-power government regulatory affairs team for BP.
She graduated magna cum laude in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from WVU and completed senior-executive development programs at Harvard, Cambridge University and Northwestern University. She was a visiting faculty member in Stanford University's program on Customer Focused Innovation.
Dianne and her husband, Jim, a graduate of the WVU School of Dentistry, have endowed several scholarships at WVU, including The Dianne Dubetz Anderson Scholarship for undergraduate students engaged in energy research. They reside in Cleveland, Ohio.
Most Loyal Faculty/Professional Staff and Classified Staff Mountaineers The Most Loyal Faculty/Professional Staff and Classified Staff Mountaineers exemplify faithfulness to the ideals and goals of WVU and exhibit support for University activities and operations through leadership and service.
Dr. Kristi Wood-Turner is the director for the WVU Center for Service and Learning. She received her doctorate in the field of Educational Leadership Studies at WVU, focusing in higher education administration. She also holds a master’s degree in applied social research and a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
Wood-Turner has worked in various positions at WVU over the past 14 years. As the director of the CSL, she helps to implement research in the field of service-learning in higher education. She is exploring the relationship between service-learning and retention as well as the impact of community partner connections. In addition, she supports the creation of learning opportunities through community outreach, community and faculty partnership building, and supports the AmeriCorps VISTA program, The Collaborative.
Wood-Turner is a member of the boards of both the Mountaineer Boys and Girls Club and Emergency Food Shelter. Additionally, she is a lecturer in sociology at WVU and has been a member of the Financial Aid Appeals Committee and Gold and Blue Ambassadors since 2005. Over the last five years, she has traveled with WVU students to serve individuals in Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Wood-Turner received the Richard T. Feller Outstanding Service to Students Award in 2016, the WV Campus Compact Engaged Educator Award in 2013, and was recently recognized along with her team by the governor’s office for flood relief efforts.
Dr. Wood-Turner has three children, Aleah, Kiana and Jiggy. She and her family currently reside in Morgantown.
Clifford J. “Jimmy” Ford currently serves as a Trades Specialist II with the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. He has been a WVU employee for 34 years.
Growing up, Ford helped his father who was a beef herdsman at the WVU farm. He then began working for the WVU dairy farm in 1983 until he transferred to Athletics in 2007. Although he misses the farm life, Ford says he thoroughly enjoys his current position with Athletics.
In 1992, Ford met his wife, Julie, while working at the WVU dairy farm. Both Julie and his daughter, Danielle, are WVU graduates. In his free time, Jim enjoys lawnmower racing, hunting and watching any WVU athletic event.