The connections between Davis & Elkins College and its surrounding communities run wide and deep.
From your neighbors who are pursuing their education on campus, to local teachers, business and political leaders who are D&E graduates, to the special events many in the area enjoy, D&E is close to home for residents of West Virginia's Mountain Highlands.
Since its founding in 1904, D&E has been an integral part of the region. And today's programs are fueling progress more than ever.
D&E’s initiatives are strategic for both the college and the region. The Highlands Scholars program has been the most recognized, having received national media coverage and attracted the attention of philanthropist Doris Buffett. It also has helped nearly 300 students from Randolph, Barbour, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Upshur, Tucker and Webster counties make their college dreams come true. (Submitted photo)
D&E's initiatives are strategic for both the college and the region. The Highlands Scholars program has been the most recognized, having received national media coverage and attracted the attentions of philanthropist Doris Buffett. It also has helped nearly 300 students from Randolph, Barbour, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Upshur, Tucker and Webster counties make their college dreams come true.
"The Highlands Scholars program is one of many ways we can share our strengths with our area," noted Carol Schuler, D&E's associate vice president for communications and marketing. "It helps the students, and it helps families. In addition, it is an investment in our area's work force. Many of our graduates stay here, and the education and leadership skills they acquire at D&E go back into our community."
The program also has attracted investment in the region with financial support arriving from alumni and other D&E friends located throughout the world.
"It's a direct investment in the people of this area," Schuler said, "and it is something we are uniquely prepared to do."
This year, D&E has introduced significant new initiatives that again bring the college and community together:
Community Education Program
Under the leadership of Liz Marshall-MacVean, D&E launched two sessions of Community Education classes this semester. The sessions cover a wide range of topics for adult learners, such as jewelry making, class piano, website design, dance and other fun, non-credit learning opportunities. Community Education promotes lifelong learning.
Women in Business
D&E's Center for Entrepreneurship is hosting regular brown bag luncheons featuring women business owners. Each session features a presentation, refreshments and networking time during a Friday lunch hour. Carol Carter, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and chairwoman of the D&E Business Department, created the program to build new connections between college business mentors and practitioners from the area.
Center for Railway Tourism
Reflecting the growth in Railway Tourism throughout the Mountain Highlands, D&E's new center provides instruction, internships and outreach to rail enthusiasts nationwide. Designed to prepare students for professional opportunities, the center's director, Jim Porterfield, is moving full steam ahead to maximize opportunities for D&E graduates and the area.
Arts & Entertainment
With the region's largest auditorium in the Myles Center for the Arts and other unique performance venues, Davis & Elkins College is home to a vibrant schedule of arts and entertainment events. Student works include theater productions, choral, instrumental music and dance performances, as well as visual art shows. Spring and summer feature the outdoor Deja vu music festival and the incomparable five-week Augusta Heritage Center summer sessions.
Internationally renowned pianist and artist-in-residence Jack Gibbons adds world-class concerts to the campus schedule as well as outreach to area organizations.
D&E's indoor pool provides a home for the Elkins High School and Elkins Otters swim teams as well as the college's own Senator Swim Team. Many in the area have enjoyed the pool for parties, exercise and recreation. Along with the Robbins-Madden Fitness Center, the Seybolt Indoor Golf Academy, the Allen Athletic Fields Complex and the McDonnell Center, D&E provides some of the community's finest resources for fitness and recreation.
Alyssa Hanna is connecting students to area service needs.
As part of the Student Life Office, Hanna has helped D&E students lend a hand to United Way organizations and other groups. She is ready to connect your organization with D&E Senators in Service.
Youth Sports Camps
D&E Senator Athletics hosts several youth sport camps throughout the year. Connecting College athletes with area youth is another important way D&E serves the community and helps develop area talent.
Davis & Elkins College is grateful to veterans for their service to our country and committed to providing services and personal assistance to ensure student veterans receive everything they need to obtain a college education. D&E is home to West Virginia's only Veteran's Upward Bound program, which reaches out to veterans and can help them prepare for success through higher education. Moreover, veterans who enroll at Davis & Elkins College find a knowledgeable support network ready to help. Debbie Larkin, D&E's VA school certifying official, and the D&E Student Veterans Association provide leadership for the college's growing veterans community.
TRiO Upward Bound
While student financial aid programs help students overcome financial barriers to higher education, D&E TRiO programs help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education. Students in the Upward Bound program are four times more likely to earn an undergraduate degree than those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in TRiO; and students in the TRiO Student Support Services program are more than twice as likely to remain in college than those students from similar backgrounds who did not participate in the program.
This federally funded program makes a difference at D&E for area youth every year.
Graceland and Hospitality Services
Whether it's lunch, brunch or dinner, Graceland offers one-of-a-kind dining plus overnight accommodations fit for a king. The stunning historic mansion is elegant yet friendly, with spectacular views of the mountains. And it's a favorite of brides, who also select the Halliehurst mansion for weddings.
D&E Hospitality Services assists individuals and organizations with the planning and execution of a wide range of events in select locations around the beautiful D&E campus. Full service catering services are also available - both on campus and off.
"The strengths of the college and the community come together every day," Schuler said.
"We are fortunate to be part of an energetic and progressive part of the state. Our partnerships with businesses, organizations and individuals continue to lead to new opportunities that benefit cities and towns throughout the region."
Additional information about D&E's programs and facilities is available online at www.dewv.edu.