Most Loyal West Virginian donates to WVU business students, cancer research

By Tomas Kassahun | Mar 16, 2018

MORGANTOWN – A longtime Marion County resident and Harrison County native has made a donation to West Virginia University.

Although the amount of the donation has not been made public, Don Hoylman’s donation will fund the College of Business and Economics as well as the WVU Cancer Institute, according to a press release from the WVU Foundation.

Having built a business in the mining, gas and oil business industry, Hoylman hopes that the donation will help aspiring entrepreneurs at WVU.

“I embraced entrepreneurship and innovation in my own career,” Hoylman told The West Virginia Record. “Therefore it seemed natural to fund scholarships at WVU to benefit students studying business and entrepreneurship, education, as well as undergraduate student athletes.”

Don Hoylman’s donation will fund the College of Business and Economics as well as the WVU Cancer Institute.

Hoylman is also making the donation to the WVU Cancer Institute on behalf of his late wife, Marcella.

“We also decided to donate to cancer research because this disease has affected our lives,” Hoylman said. “The current research at WVU is innovative and very promising to the future of our state. WVU medical research is leading in our region and the entire country towards a better tomorrow.”

Although Hoylman and his wife never attended WVU, their three children have all graduated from the university. 

Hoylman said his pride for WVU began when he started following WVU sports as a young boy.

“My uncle was a sports writer and he took me with him to cover WVU sporting events,” Hoylman said. “Watching players like Jerry West, 'Hot Rod' Hundley and Sam Huff play was a real thrill for me.”

When he later became a business owner, Hoylman decided to help student athletes and get more involved with the school.

“I then became familiar with the outstanding academic programs at WVU,” Hoylman said. “When my own children chose to attend WVU, I had hands-on experiences with the once-in-a lifetime opportunities available to students enrolled at WVU.”

Hoylman’s business career started in 1951 when he worked with his wife at Industrial Engineering and Construction Co. in Fairmont, according to the WVU press release. 

He eventually became owner of Industrial Resources and continued to own several other businesses throughout the years.

“I was fortunate throughout my career that my businesses were able to grow and serve our state through entrepreneurism and innovation,” Hoylman said in a WVU press release. “It is my wish that our family’s contribution be nontraditional in that it enables the College of Business and Economics to provide the mentorship, education, resources and support to students in innovation, entrepreneurship and business startups.”

Throughout the years, the Hoylmans have created several scholarships for WVU business students as well as undergraduate student athletes, according to the WVU Foundation press release.

In 2010, Hoylman was inducted into the West Virginia Business Hall of Fame. In 2013, Hoylman was named Most Loyal West Virginian.

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