Davis & Elkins Celebrating Success of $100 Million Campaign

Date Posted: 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

ELKINS - As Davis & Elkins College reaches a milestone of a lifetime with the successful completion of the 10-year $100 million Secure the Future campaign, the entire community is invited to help celebrate. The largest ever fundraising effort undertaken by the College concludes on June 30 with activities throughout the day across campus, all free and open to the public.

“Ever since I’ve arrived at Davis & Elkins College, I’ve been saying we’re going to have one big party on June 30, 2018,” said D&E President Chris A. Wood. “I truly hope the entire community will come out and help us celebrate this major accomplishment.”

The campus’s newest venue, The Caboose Café, will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Located in Eshleman Science Center loop, the vintage Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Caboose C2504 serves specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, soft drinks and sandwiches. The deck and patio area will be open for dining.

Visitors can take in art and history exhibits at The Stirrup Gallery, Paull Gallery and Arts Ink., all in Myles Center for the Arts from 1-5 p.m.

In The Stirrup Gallery, guests can explore collections of artifacts that span more than 1.2 million years of history and hold in their hands the tooth of an animal that roamed the earth before the last Ice Age.

Fossils of now extinct massive animals – mastodons, wooly mammoths and Irish elk – make up the Reckling Collection. The more than 300 fossils include jawbones, teeth, vertebrae and skull caps. The collection is complemented by a new addition to the Gallery – a skeleton mold of a prehistoric wooly rhinoceros that measures 13 feet from nose to tail.

The largest grouping, The Darby Collection, features North American treasures such as powder horns, fire arms, Native American tools and pottery, and household items from the Colonial Period. The Howard-Sudbrink Collection of Trajan coins tells the story of the Roman Empire. The gold, silver, bronze and copper pieces circulated as currency for many years during and after Trajan’s reign. Local history is represented as well with the Senator Davis Collection.

Additional collections are Foster Collection, Swezy Collection, Gary North Collection, J. Richard & Dotty S. Kendig Collection and the Wagner Collection.

Davis & Elkins College Curator of Special Collections Mark Lanham and student Kaylee Wagner will be available to help guide visitors through the Gallery and answer questions.

On the upper level of Myles Center for the Arts, Davis & Elkins College Associate Professor of Art Michael Doig will debut a collection of paintings destined for permanent display at the Iron Horse Tavern’s location near Star City. The works depict scenes from Elkins in days gone by. The show will also include pieces from some of Doig’s previous shows.

Student and faculty artwork will be available for purchase in Arts Ink., located on the main floor.

One of the newest shops in downtown Elkins, Everything D&E, will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Located at 204 Davis Avenue, the store offers a glimpse of all things D&E, from history to art and artifacts to merchandise and specialty coffee blends.

At 4 p.m. in Booth Library, the College will pay recognition to two of its longtime educators with the installation of the A. Jean Minnick Chair in Sport Science and dedication of the Claire Deiss Fiorentino Chair in Theatre Arts.

Davis & Elkins College Professor Emerita and former coach Dr. A. Jean Minnick served as professor of physical education and chair of the Department of Health, Sport, and Movement Sciences at Davis & Elkins College from 1963 to 1998. Well respected in Division I athletics, Minnick coached field hockey at D&E for 17 years leading her teams to national prominence. Her overall record of 145-21-14 includes 12 undefeated regular seasons against nationally ranked teams and three Midwest championships. Her teams were four-time national qualifiers and placed third in the Division I National Championship in 1981. Throughout her career, Minnick coached five All-Midwest players, three All-South players and two All-American players.

During the annual Founders’ Day celebration in September 2017, D&E President Chris A. Wood announced Minnick’s $1 million commitment to establish the A. Jean Minnick Chair in Sport Science. Chair of the Department of Sport Science and Professor of Health and Physical Education Dr. Mary Ann DeLuca was named the inaugural holder.

The official installation of the Minnick Chair was scheduled as part of the Secure the Future celebration. Several of Minnick’s former student-athletes have been invited to attend.

Fiorentino, who taught at D&E from 1944 until her retirement in 1974, was recognized throughout West Virginia. She was actively involved with the Mountain State Forest Festival, first directing a pageant in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s visit to the Festival in 1936. She was the architect of the May Day Fete and, during the 1950s and 1960s, directed the Festival’s children’s pageant as well as many other community productions.

Fiorentino’s plays, mostly contemporary classics, were always popular in the Elkins community. Known as “Mrs. F” to her students, she staged “Our Town” in 1948, “The Glass Menagerie” and “The Philadelphia Story” in 1952-53; and light comedies such as “Kiss and Tell.”

Tony Fiorentino established the chair to honor the memory of his mother and her work through the D&E Theatre Department.

Games for children and face painting, hosted by the Vertical Youth Group of Summit Church, will take place from 7-8 p.m. near the Outdoor Amphitheatre.

At 7 p.m., everyone in attendance is invited to gather around the stone arcade of Albert and Liberal Arts Halls for a group photo commemorating the success of the campaign and marking a time in community history. The West Virginia Highlanders of Davis & Elkins College will lead a procession down the hill to the Outdoor Amphitheatre for the evening’s activities.

The Davisson Brothers Band, sponsored by Davis & Elkins College and Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, takes the stage of the Outdoor Amphitheatre at 8 p.m.

Hailing from Clarksburg, West Virginia, the music the Davisson Brothers Band makes is a direct reflection of where they come from and the brand for which they stand. They live and breathe an authentic wild and wonderful, country lifestyle with music being the foundation.

The band consists of brothers, Donnie Davisson and Chris Davisson, along with long-time friends, Aaron Regester and Russell Reppert. Together they have performed thousands of live shows coast to coast.

Recently named by Rolling Stone Country as among the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” the Davisson Brothers Band is currently touring their home state to promote their new album, “FIGHTER.”

“The new album ‘FIGHTER’ is personal for the Davisson Brothers Band,” said band member Chris Davisson. “It’s a peek into our lives … the good times and the hard times. It’s where we come from, where we are and where we’re heading. I think it represents the core of the Davisson Brothers Band. We stayed true to our surroundings. We are a product of our environment on the road and off the road. We live and breathe a country lifestyle. I think we captured that on our new album ‘FIGHTER.’”

The album’s first single, “Po’ Boyz’, was released in March. Members of the Davis & Elkins College student string and dance band, Appalachian Ensemble, perform in the song’s video. The band performed in April as the headline attraction for the College’s annual Déjà vu Music Festival.

Their return performance to the D&E campus will lead up to a fireworks display at approximately 10 p.m., sponsored by Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, Randolph County Commission, the city of Elkins and Davis & Elkins College.

Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.


Photo Caption: Davis & Elkins College Associate Professor of Art Michael Doig displays one of the paintings that will be included in his exhibit in the Paull Gallery. A native of Elkins, Doig often uses old photographs as an inspiration for his work.

Davis & Elkins College Associate Professor of Art Michael Doig