MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia's higher education programs in engineering got a boost recently when James N. Butch, a 1975 engineering graduate of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, donated $125,000 to his alma mater and $125,000 to WVU.

Butch is the president of Eagle Research Corp. in Hurricane, a high-tech electronics company that provides measurement and control systems to the oil and gas industry. He is also co-chair of the joint advisory committee for the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU and the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering at WVU Tech.

"Both WVU and WVU Tech are educating the engineers of the future for our state and our nation," said Butch, whose two daughters earned engineering degrees from WVU, "and I want to help support those efforts at both institutions."

"Jim Butch is a longtime friend and supporter of engineering and computer science education in West Virginia," said Gene Cilento, dean of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. "This generous donation is just the latest example of his many years of commitment to and active engagement with both of our colleges. We are thankful to have him as a friend and colleague."

WVU will use its portion of Butch's donation to help establish an endowment in support of senior design projects in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

"The capstone senior design project is a highlight of our students' undergraduate experience, providing students with the opportunity to work in teams to solve real-world problems," said Brian Woerner, chair of the Lane Department. "We are very grateful for Jim's donation, which will enable us to provide students with extra equipment and travel opportunities."

WVU Tech's portion of the donation will create the James N. Butch Radio Frequency Laboratory, which will be dedicated to radio frequency design and electronics.

"We are excited about the opportunity this contribution provides to upgrade our facilities and technology in this important area and very thankful to Butch for his generous support of our students and programs," said James Cercone, acting dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering at WVU Tech.

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