West Virginia State University Commencement set for Saturday, May 14

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
May 4, 2016
West Virginia State University Commencement set for Saturday, May 14

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – More than 270 students will graduate from West Virginia State University (WVSU) on Saturday, May 14, during a commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. in the D. Stephen and Diane H. Walker Convocation Center.

Charles Patton, president and chief operating officer of Appalachian Power, will serve as the commencement speaker. Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP), serves approximately one million customers in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.

Previously, Patton served at the parent company headquarters of AEP in Columbus, Ohio, as executive vice president – AEP Utilities West and senior vice president – Regulatory and Public Policy.  Prior to these roles, a significant amount of Patton’s career was spent in Texas where he served as president and chief operating officer of AEP Texas as well as in other executive positions. 

As president of Appalachian Power, Patton has been appointed by West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to chair the state’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Council, charged with advancing STEM education in West Virginia.  He also has been appointed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to serve on the Climate Change and Resiliency Commission.

Patton has served and chaired numerous professional and civic organizations in the communities in which he has lived, including the West Virginia Education Alliance, the West Virginia Regional Technology Park and the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America. In addition, Patton was appointed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s board of directors for a three-year term beginning in 2014.

WVSU holds commencement ceremonies in December and May of each year.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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