“West Liberty University is proud to join the Pennsylvania Chapter in honoring our friend and benefactor Gary West. There is no one more deserving. Congratulations to both Gary and Flip for this National Philanthropy Day honor,” West Liberty President Robin C. Capehart said.
West is one of seven individuals and organizations from the region selected for 2014 National Philanthropy Day Awards. The presentation of the award took place at a special dinner held at the John Heinz History Center.
“Gary is the first honoree from the state of West Virginia to achieve this designation. It’s wonderful that this forward thinking businessman, generous donor and friend has been selected for this impressive honor. We thank him again for all he’s done for Oglebay Resort, West Liberty University and the entire community,” said Randy Worls, chairman of the Oglebay Foundation.
As a successful businessman, West bought the Wheeling-based Valley Welding Supply Co. and grew it from a one-shop operation to a business with 84 locations in 16 states and annual sales in excess of $250 million. West also is president of West Rentals Inc., President Plymouth Holding LLC, and GEW Real Estate LLP, as well as president and secretary of Acetylene Products Corp.
West was named West Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year, is a member of Who’s Who in West Virginia Business and was inducted into WLU’s Alumni Wall of Honor in 1993. In 2006, he was inducted into West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics West Virginia Business Hall of Fame.
West has invested heavily in West Liberty. He and his wife Flip established the Guy H. and Mary Ann West School of Business Scholarship Endowment, and he has served in the past as chair of WLU’s capital campaign, which he supported with the largest lifetime gift commitment by an individual in the history of the university.
He also is a member of West Liberty University’s Foundation Board of Directors and serves on its executive committee.
Established in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan, National Philanthropy Day is celebrated in more than 124 communities across the country.