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A future with purpose

February 28, 2018 

As we concluded our sesquicentennial celebration, we asked future Mountaineers where they envisioned West Virginia University in the next 150 years. Their answers, highlighted in the video above, certainly re-open our eyes to the power of imagination.

And when you combine the power of imagination with the power of our purpose, we are destined to continue transforming lives in our state and our world.

In my State of the University address yesterday, I showed how our faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors are putting that purpose to work.

Our purpose is powering new STEM education programs for youth, life-saving cardiac care options for West Virginians, economic development to move our state forward, a nationally-recognized charge against the opiate epidemic, and much more. Sadly, at a time when education drives success, many Americans are losing faith in our work.

At this critical moment, I believe the greatest threat to higher education is complacency — the comfortable notion that everything is fine as it is. As passion diminishes, complacency flourishes.

Our University family must never become complacent. We must value unconventional thinking and pursue unreasonable possibilities. We must rediscover the passion that drives our work to improve education, health care and prosperity in West Virginia. And we must reassert the value of that work.

More than 90,000 people did just that by supporting the largest private fundraising campaign in University history. The WVU Foundation State of Minds campaign generated more than $1.2 billion, exceeding its $1 billion goal.

This is a moment to celebrate — but not a time to slow our progress. By nurturing ideas, we can power ingenuity. By enkindling childlike wonder, we can spark creativity. By uplifting scientific inquiry, we can ignite discovery.

And by reclaiming our shared purpose, we can fashion a future that reaches beyond the next 150 years and far beyond our dreams.

Signature of E. Gordon Gee
E. Gordon Gee
President, West Virginia University