West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Nine New Members

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Oct. 1, 2019
West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame to Induct Nine New Members

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) athletic booster organization, the National “W” Club, will induct nine new members into the Sports Hall of Fame with a brunch beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, in the James C. Wilson University Union.

The Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is taking place as part of WVSU’s annual Homecoming activities. Following the brunch, where the new inductees are given gold jackets to wear, they will walk to the nearby Canty House, home of the Sports Hall of Fame, and be led through a cheering lineup of previous Hall inductees.

The new “W” Club Sports Hall of Fame members are: William Bass Jr., Ron Donaldson Jr., Mark Steven Hairston, Nathaniel D. “Rocky” Hale, Joe Payne, Leah Turner-Wilson, Justin Valentine and honorary inductees WVSU President Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins and Dr. Orlando F. McMeans.

Bass, a native of Logan County, was recruited by WVSU and played football for the Yellow Jackets all four years playing offensive end, defensive end and defensive back. He was selected for the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) All-Conference team and served as team co-captain. After graduating in 1967, he was employed by the Kanawha County Board of Education as a teacher at St. Albans Junior High School before moving to South Charleston High School, where he retired as vice principal. Bass and his wife, Priscilla, have three children and eight grandchildren.

A native of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Donaldson was a three-year starter and captain for the Yellow Jackets basketball team, and set multiple season and career records for three-pointers and assists. He was named to the WVIAC All-Conference team in 2003 and was also named the WVSU Senior Athlete of the Year in 2003. After leaving WVSU, he started a career with PepsiCo but returned to WVSU as an assistant coach for the 2005-2006 WVIAC championship season. Donaldson left coaching to play basketball professionally in Germany, and today he is an entrepreneur, mentor and youth sports coach in the Cleveland area.

After graduating from high school in Brooklyn, New York, Hairston was recruited by Coach Curtis Price to play basketball at WVSU. He played one year on the junior varsity team before joining the baseball team as a walk-on. In baseball, he was a three-year letterman and two-year starter being named to the WVIAC All-Conference team in 1977. Hairston also ran track for the Yellow Jackets in 1978; with the 4x440 relay team he was part of finishing first in the WVIAC outdoor track meet. After graduation, he became a health and physical education teacher and assistant girl’s basketball coach and head baseball coach in Roanoke, Virginia. Hairston is the proud husband to Mary “Missy” Coles Hairston and a loving father to three children and grandfather to six grandchildren.

Hale entered WVSU and excelled on the Yellow Jackets track team. He ran the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 400 meter hurdles, long and triple jump, and the 1500 meter relay. Hale qualified for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials and was an alternate for the U.S. Track Team. He is the father of three children and the grandfather of three grandchildren. He has been employed as the Public Works Supervisor for the city of Chesapeake for 20 years.

A native of South Charleston, Payne was a member of the WVSU baseball team from 1996-2000 and was a four-year starter and team captain. He was a WVIAC All-Conference selection and also an All Mid-South Region selection and All North Atlantic Region selection.

Payne graduated from WVSU with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and played professional baseball for a few seasons. Later, he became the associate director of admissions at WVSU. Now, he resides in Winfield, West Virginia with his son, Nolan. He is very active in the Poca community, serving as a baseball coach and board member, and is currently is the Territory Business Manager for Apollo Oil.

Turner-Wilson was a member of the Yellow Jackets volleyball team and was awarded WVIAC All-Conference honors all four years on the team. She and her teammates led WVSU to its first-ever NCAA Division II WVIAC volleyball regular and tournament championships in 2006. She graduated cum laude in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-medicine. Turner-Wilson currently lives in Austin, Texas, with her children, Chandler and Lily. She serves the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas as the program director for GeoSTEM Workforce Development and Career Exploration.

Valentine was a four-year starter for the Yellow Jackets football team. He was team captain his senior year in 2002 and was named WVIAC First Team All-Conference in 2001 and 2002. Today, he is employed at Dow Chemical Co. as a process operator and coaches youth football for South Charleston, Dunbar and Tornado teams. He resides in South Charleston with his wife, Brook, and their five children.

Jenkins became WVSU’s 11th president effective July 1, 2016. Born in Washington D.C., and raised between our nation’s capital and North Carolina, Jenkins is a vocal proponent for education and public policy issues.  Jenkins began his path to West Virginia State University as a U.S. Army veteran and first-generation college graduate. Jenkins earned a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech University, a master’s degree from North Carolina Central University, and a bachelor’s degree from Fayetteville State University. Prior to leading the State family, Jenkins served as Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and, most recently, as the Senior Associate Vice President for the University of Central Florida – the nation’s second largest university. His career includes serving at Jackson State University, thereafter joining Virginia Tech’s Housing and Residence Life and later the Office of the Dean of Students.  Jenkins is a Life-member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, and is an active member of several higher education organizations. He is married to Toinette Jenkins and they have two daughters.

McMeans began his employment at WVSU in November 1998 as the director of the Department of Land-Grant Programs, and served in many capacities during his two decades at WVSU. His positions included vice president for research and public service, the executive director of the WVSU Research and Development Corporation, and the dean and director of the WVSU Gus R. Douglass Land-Grant Institute. McMeans is originally from Theodore, Alabama, and is the son of Rosie M. McMeans Nettles and the brother of siblings Charles, LaTrenia and Tanjanika. He is currently the chancellor-dean of the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences at Southern University Baton Rouge.

Admission to the Sports Hall of Fame Induction brunch is $10, and tickets will be available at the door.
The WVSU Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony is part of Homecoming activities at WVSU. For more information, and a complete schedule of Homecoming events, visit http://connect.wvstateu.edu/homecoming or call (304) 766-3387.

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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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