Tom Susman Elected Chair of West Virginia State University Board of Governors

Contact: Erika Forsythe
(304) 766-3363
July 29, 2013
Tom Susman Elected Chair of West Virginia State University Board of Governors

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Charleston area business leader Tom Susman has been elected chair of the West Virginia State University (WVSU) Board of Governors for Fiscal Year 2014, which began on July 1, 2013 and continues through June 30, 2014.

Susman, the managing member of TSG Consulting, previously served as the secretary of the Board of Governors. He succeeds Charleston attorney Larry L. Rowe who served as chair of the Board for the previous two years.

“The future is bright for West Virginia State University and I look forward to guiding the Board as we set our future course,” Susman said. “My goals for the coming year are to promote the University so that the residents of the state understand how much the school has to offer not only as a traditional university but as a land-grant university and to continue the strong fiscal oversight that the administration and the Board instituted."

In addition to his business career, Susman served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1987-1992 and later served as a cabinet member during the administration of former Governor Bob Wise. 

Dr. Ann Brothers Smith, a Detroit, Mich., retired educator and WVSU alumna, has been elected vice chair of the Board of Governors. She has been active in alumni affairs for the University and is currently president emeritus of the WVSU National Alumni Association.

A native of the Kanawha Valley, Smith has a long association with the University. “I thought of WVSU as a beacon of hope and the fulfillment of dreams,” she said. “My grandmother’s grocery store was just a hop, skip and jump away from the campus.   One of my greatest thrills was finding an excuse to go onto the campus when I was supposed to be across the street at the Nazarene Church.   To me, going on campus was almost ‘Heaven.’  I admired the students and dreamed of someday attending WVSU.” 

Nashville, Tenn., attorney and WVSU alum L. Vincent Williams has been elected the Board of Governors’ secretary. A West Virginia native, Williams is a graduate of the former Alderson High School in Greenbrier County where he lettered in basketball and football.

Debbie Jarvis has also joined the Board of Governors as the classified staff representative, having been elected by the WVSU classified staff in an election in April. Jarvis is the Interim Associate Registrar at WVSU. Her term on the Board will last two years.

 “I look forward to working with Chairman Susman and the Board of Governors as we continue to build West Virginia State into an economic engine for the Kanawha Valley,” said WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill. “And I want to thank Larry Rowe for his dedication to the University during his two years as chair of the Board. His leadership through a time of transition has positioned West Virginia State to thrive well into the future.”

The Board of Governors provides oversight to the University.  The Board consists of nine members appointed by the governor of West Virginia as well as representatives of the school's faculty, students and classified staff. The next meeting of the WVSU Board of Governors will be in September.
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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