Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” A commitment to excellence aptly describes three individuals retiring from Davis & Elkins College in May.
A tenured Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Sharmi Roy and I first met when she was serving as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs upon my arrival in 2016. Joining the ranks of the faculty in September 1985, Sharmi has often told the story of how she came to Elkins. Her husband, and longtime D&E Professor, Shankar Roy, began working at D&E in 1983. Sharmi has always been a bit claustrophobic so as their car made its way on the curvy roads toward Elkins, she began to have second thoughts and urged Shankar to turn their vehicle and U-Haul around. Being prior to the days of four-lane roads in this area, there was nowhere to safely turn around until they finally arrived on the outskirts of Elkins at the Pizza Hut. Shankar asked, “Do you want to go back?” Sharmi replied, “No way, I’m not going through those mountains again. We’re staying!” Fortunately for D&E, they have for nearly four decades.
Mary Ellen Schubert, a New Jersey native, graduated from D&E with a BA in Physical Education & Health in K-12 in 1977. Among the many things she gained from her time at D&E was her husband who was a fellow student. Ms. Schubert’s working career at D&E began in August 2000. Mary Ellen serves as Director of The Naylor Learning Center and an Adjunct Professor in Physical Education. Her commitment to excellence is evident to each student who utilizes The Naylor Learning Center for academic support services, disability services or the Supported Learning Program for students with learning differences. D&E’s well-earned national reputation for The Naylor Learning Center is due in large part to Mary Ellen. Fortunately for the College, Mary Ellen will be continuing to assist D&E with recruitment of students who will benefit from the assistance of The Naylor Learning Center.
Dr. David Turner, the Thomas Richard Ross Professor of History and the Humanities, has maintained a bit of his native North Carolina accent, but over the past 36 years he has become a true West Virginian. Doc Turner, as his students frequently call him, is a beloved tenured professor and well-known personality in the community. A prolific writer, David is a frequent contributor of political commentary to The Inter-Mountain and authored the 2004 book “Davis & Elkins College: One Hundred Years, Honoring Our Traditions, Celebrating Our Future.” One of the first members of the faculty I met upon my arrival at D&E, David has provided sage advice to me as he has done for countless students and others. He always does so with a smile and a tale or two.
For their commitment to excellence and a combined total of 93 years of service, we honor and thank each of these very special individuals. They take their place among a throng of beloved former faculty and staff that have enabled D&E to change lives for generations.
The journey continues….
Chris A. Wood
Davis & Elkins College