WVU President visits county

Pearl S. Buck Birthplace head tour guide Phyllis Lubin-Tyler, left, shows a replica of the house to West Virginia University President Dr. E. Gordon Gee,  right, and several WVU students during their visit to the county last week. S. Stewart photo
Pearl S. Buck Birthplace head tour guide Phyllis Lubin-Tyler, left, shows a replica of the house to West Virginia University President Dr. E. Gordon Gee, right, and several WVU students during their visit to the county last week. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Once the school year is over and summer begins, West Virginia University President Dr. E. Gordon Gee hits the country roads and visits as many counties as possible to enrich his knowledge of the state.

“I tour the state every summer,” Gee said. “There are fifty-five counties in the state, and I try to get to most of them.”

Last week, Gee spent Thursday visiting Marlinton and Hillsboro. Gee, Special Assistant to the President Bonnie Anderson, a few professors and a group of students visited with the community, ate lunch at the Greenbrier Grille, visited the Pocahontas County Wellness Center and ended the day with a tour at the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace.

WVU recently developed a partnership with the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, and Gee said the tour was a great opportunity to learn more about the writer and what the foundation has done in restoring her history.

“We’ve developed this collaboration with the Pearl S. Buck Foundation and I wanted to come by personally and see the home, and get a chance to see what possibilities exist,” Gee said. “I’m a great fan of her work, so to me, it was a personal visit, too.”

Gee was not able to visit the entire county in just one day, so he plans to come back to enjoy more of the beauty and culture Pocahontas County has to offer.

“I would love to come back, period,” he said. “It is absolutely gorgeous here. This is a wonderful, wonderful setting. West Virginia is a state of great beauty but this may be the center of a beautiful state.”

Gee began his career as a college president at WVU in 1981, two years after he became the dean and a professor of the WVU Law School. Gee left WVU to be President at Brown University, Vanderbilt and Ohio State before returning to Morgantown to reclaim the position of President in 2014.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com

more recommended stories