WVSU and WVSU Foundation Annual Black & Gold Gala set for April 6

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
March 27, 2018
West Virginia State University and West Virginia State University Foundation
Annual Black & Gold Gala set for April 6

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The annual West Virginia State University (WVSU) and West Virginia State University Foundation (WVSU Foundation) Black & Gold Gala will take place, Friday, April 6, in the D. Stephen and Diane H. Walker Convocation Center on the school’s Institute campus.

The black tie event recognizes the generosity of donors while raising funds to further support student scholarships and educational programs at the University. In addition, the Gala honors community and business leaders who have made a lasting impact on the state of West Virginia and beyond.

Those community and business leaders being honored this year are: Thomas D. Boston, Ph.D.; Sami M. Ghareeb, D.D.S.; and the husband-wife duo of John T. and Susan G. Poffenbarger.

A 1968 graduate of WVSU, Boston is a scholar, author and entrepreneur and since 1985 has been a member of the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition, Boston is a regular economics contributor to CNN and Al Jazeera America, and he often testifies before Congressional Committees on federal policies affecting business programs for minority and small companies and public housing policies. Boston is also founder and CEO of EuQuant, an economic research company that has been recognized as the No. 2 black-owned enterprise in the State of Georgia.

A 1969 graduate of WVSU, Ghareeb is the founder of the Ghareeb Dental Group, a large family-owned practice with five locations around the Kanawha Valley. Dedicated to improving dental health for all West Virginians, Dr. Ghareeb often provides free dental services, and was recognized by HealthRight West Virginia as the organization’s Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Ghareeb has served as president of the West Virginia Academy of Dentistry, the West Virginia Dental Association, the Kanawha Valley Dental Society, the Kanawha Valley Dental Study Club, the Virginia Street Study Club, the Putnam County Dental Health Council and the West Virginia Rehabilitation Center Foundation. Ghareeb has been active in supporting WVSU through service on the WVSU Foundation Board of Directors.

John and Susan Poffenbarger are known by many in the Kanawha Valley for their talent, professional achievements and service to the community. John Poffenbarger, a nationally recognized bond attorney, has practiced law in Charleston for more than 50 years. He served in the West Virginia State Senate from 1967 to 1974 and in West Virginia Department of Administration as General Counsel from 1996 to 2005. Currently, he serves as a member of the West Virginia State University Foundation Board of Directors. Susan Poffenbarger is a nationally recognized artist who has won the Governor’s Award four times at the annual West Virginia Juried Exhibition. She has also won 12 Allied Artists awards. Susan Poffenbarger was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement in 2014. As trustees of the Helen Wood Poffenbarger and Perry S. Poffenbarger Foundation, John and Susan Poffenbarger have had a significant impact on students’ access to education through their generous scholarship grants to area institutions including WVSU.

The sixth annual Black & Gold Gala will begin at 6:15 p.m. with a reception and silent auction, followed by dinner and the program recognizing honorees at 7:30 p.m.

After the program and dinner, the Gala will continue with an evening of dancing to live music provided by Santa Cruz. Individual tickets are on sale now at a cost of $150 and can be purchased online at https://connect.wvstateu.edu/gala.

Sponsors for the evening include: Alexander Loan Review & Consulting, LLC; American Electric Power; Arnett Carbis Toothman; Bailey & Glasser LLP; BrickStreet Insurance; Cecil I. Walker Charitable Trust; Dolan & Kalaskey, LTD Orthodontists; Ghareeb Dental Group; Gray, Griffith & Mays, A.C.; James F. Humphreys & Associates, LC; Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC; D. Stephen and Diane H. Walker; WVSU National 'W' Club; White Law Offices, PLLC; and ZMM Architects.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (304) 766-4121, email gala@wvstateu.edu , or visit https://connect.wvstateu.edu/gala.

The WVSU Foundation Inc. is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization and gifts are deductible to the extent provided by federal and state law.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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