GSC News

Elkins Family Shows Support for Glenville State College Waco Center

For More Information:  Annette Barnette
Public Relations and Marketing Director
Glenville State College
Glenville, West Virginia
(304) 462-6391

Jim Ellen Glenville, WV – Glenville State College President Dr. Peter Barr is pleased to announce contributions to the college by Senator Jae Spears, former West Virginia State Senator from Randolph County, and her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Ellen Spears.  Both contributions are designated to support the new Waco Center that is currently under construction.

To recognize Senator Spears’ contribution, the GSC Board of Governor’s conference room in the Mollohan Campus Community Center will be renamed in her honor and a plaque recognizing the Senator is being installed at the entrance to the room.  Senator Spears was first elected to the West Virginia Senate in 1980 after serving three terms in the House of Delegates.  She became the first and only female Senator to lead the powerful Finance Committee of the Senate.

To recognize Jim and Ellen Spears and upon their request, the GSC Fine Arts Gallery is being named in their honor. The first event in the newly-named Spears Gallery was held on Tuesday evening, February 5th, when the ceramics exhibition of artist Zach Orcutt officially opened.  Mrs. Spears is active in the Elkins area where they make their home having served as Executive Director of the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, appointed to the Governor’s 21st Century Job Cabinet, past president of the Elkins Historic Landmark Association, and also serves on many other charitable and business committees.

Mr. Spears is currently the Senior Vice President for External Relations at Glenville State.  He came to the college after serving Governor Manchin as his Chief of Staff.  Prior to that position, he was the Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety.  His service to the state of West Virginia was preceded by a long career in the U. S. Army where he rose to the rank of Lt. Colonel while serving in intelligence posts throughout Europe followed by working for the U. S. Department of State in Africa.

Dr. Barr noted the significance of these gifts saying “Gifts from private individuals are an important element that will assist us in completing the fundraising for the Waco Center.  Senator Spears’ gift is an excellent example of the reach that Glenville State College has across central West Virginia.  We truly appreciate her stepping forward.  Jim and Ellen have also stepped forward, and their gift is one of the largest of the many staff and faculty donations that have been made in the past few months.  Our staff and faculty are joining us in this fundraising effort in an impressive fashion.  We all are anxious for the completion of the center late this year.”

Donations to the Waco Center can be coordinated through the Glenville State College Foundation office.  For more information, contact the GSC Foundation Executive Director Dennis Pounds by telephone at (304) 462-6380, by e-mail at, or by mail at 200 High Street, Glenville, WV  26351.

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