Skip to main content

Randolph and Pendleton counties

Aug. 23

Ladies and gentlemen, I have conquered the majestic 55 counties of West Virginia!

What a summer it has been – riding up the highways and byways from Weirton to Welch and all points in between with faculty, staff and other leaders.

As I have already stated, the people of West Virginia love West Virginia and they love West Virginia University. This was clear from meeting with folks across the state from all walks of life, professions and age groups.

To cap off my 55-county tour, I spent Saturday in Randolph and Pendleton counties.

Elkins is a quaint town blooming with character. There I met up with Michael Mahalyo, president of Davis & Elkins College. As part of our commitment to the state, it is crucial that our flagship, land-grant university partners with other colleges in West Virginia. We are all in the ‘thinking business’ together.

President Gee and Michael Mahalyo

I also had the pleasure of stopping at Harper’s Old Country Store at Seneca Rocks. The store was built in 1902 in front of Seneca Rocks and is one of the oldest continuously operated businesses in West Virginia. The architecture of the building is a throwback and represents the vintage of the 1800s. Joe Harper, whose family operates the store, was gracious to me. I also met up with Delegate Isaac Sponaugle there. Earlier in the day, I had a great conversation with another delegate, Bill Hartman, in Elkins.

President Gee, Joe Harper and Delegate Isaac Sponaugle

Delegate Bill Hartman and President Gee

Unfortunately, I did not have time to hike up Seneca Rocks like some of our mighty Mountaineers have done. And though I cannot say I conquered Seneca Rocks, I can say that I conquered all 55 counties of our beautiful state.

But I am not done. I will still be frequenting the nooks and crannies of West Virginia. And be on the lookout for my State of the University address in October, when I will further discuss the lessons learned along my tour and what we need to accomplish as a university to move our state forward.