Thursday, June 07, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications (304) 696-7153

Marshall University receives large gift pledge for Engineering Complex

Huntington philanthropist Art Weisberg says gift will help growth of entire region

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  Huntington-based company Arthur’s Enterprises has made a large gift pledge to the Marshall University Foundation, which will help build the university’s new, advanced Applied Engineering Complex, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp announced today.

The all-new academic facility will have more than 141,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory, office and special applications spaces that will have a transformative effect on the College of Information Technology and Engineering and science-related disciplines, Kopp said. Construction is expected to begin in October.

Art Weisberg, president of Arthur’s Enterprises, said he is making the significant gift because he understands how important Marshall University is to the future of Huntington and the surrounding region. “This area has tremendous potential to grow. My goal is to help it happen,” Weisberg said.

“By providing financial resources to help Marshall grow in engineering and related disciplines, it will not only help my business develop and prosper but it also assists the growth of the greater Huntington area and the entire state. I love Huntington and I know this gift will make a lasting difference.”

The Weisberg family has been very supportive of Marshall University and, with their financial assistance, has greatly contributed to the successful re-establishment of Marshall’s engineering degree program, which was re-launched in 2006. Engineering is now one of the fastest-growing majors at Marshall. The modern engineering laboratory facility on 3rd Avenue, which was dedicated in August 2008, bears the Weisberg family name.

The Applied Engineering Complex will be located between the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center on 3rd Avenue in Huntington. With approval from the Marshall University Board of Governors, the engineering complex also will bear the Weisberg family name.

Weisberg said he continues to support Marshall because he believes in the leadership provided by President Kopp. “Dr. Kopp is a true visionary leader who delivers on his promises. I strongly endorse his bold initiatives and accomplishments,” Weisberg said.

Kopp said the Weisberg family’s generosity and foresight have created dramatic changes on Marshall’s campus and in the Huntington community. They have had the foresight to recognize that the region and the nation require more professionals in engineering, mathematics and the sciences to remain competitive in the global economy. Marshall University is responding by expanding its capabilities in these academic areas.   

“Art Weisberg understands the power of true philanthropy to transform a community, a university like Marshall and the impact that has on the generations of students who come through our leading-edge programs,” Kopp said. “He is a leader and we should celebrate this incredible man for what he is doing to change lives and provide opportunities for the people of our city, our state and our region.”

Verna Gibson, chairwoman of the Marshall University Board of Governors, expressed her appreciation to the Weisbergs for their continued leadership in the community and generosity to Marshall. “It is not surprising that such committed and outstanding individuals share Dr. Kopp’s vision for unprecedented academic achievement and economic growth that will benefit our region and state for generations,” Gibson said.

Dr. Joseph B. Touma, a longtime Marshall supporter and benefactor, and incoming chair of the Marshall University Board of Governors, praised the Weisberg gift.

“This remarkable gift by Art Weisberg is another act of his generosity, vision and philanthropy for our community and region,” Dr. Touma said. “What the Weisbergs are doing allows Marshall University to realize their dream of excellence and building the engineering school of the future.

“Dr. Kopp’s leadership and the hard work of Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation, are to be commended because they proved to Art and Joan that they can make their dreams come true. I am deeply moved by and appreciative of my good friends Art, Joan and the Weisberg family.”

About the Applied Engineering Complex

The Applied Engineering Complex will house six different academic components and programs:


About Art Weisberg and the Weisberg Family of Companies

Art Weisberg is the founder of State Electric Supply Company, a retail-wholesale distributor of electrical and electronic supplies with showroom and warehouse facilities. State Electric has evolved and grown into one of America’s top and best known electrical distributors with more than 40 locations in six states.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Weisberg graduated from City College of New York with a degree in electrical engineering. He took a job with Halstead Industries to build a steel mill in New Haven, W.Va.  On completion of the job, he went in to business for himself.  He supplied small hardware and general stores from the back of his truck. 

Under the corporate umbrella of Arthur’s Enterprises, Weisberg established a specialty wire manufacturing company, Service Wire, Inc., in 1968. Service Wire offers an expanding line of products to customers around the world.

In addition to his business success, Weisberg received the Charles D. Scott Distinguished Career Award from the American Wire Industry, and the “Citizen of the Year” award from the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. He and his wife, Joan, were named to the Marshall University College of Business Hall of Fame and, in 2008, Art and Joan were both conferred Marshall’s honorary Doctor of Humane letters degree, the highest recognition provided by the university.


Photos: (Above) Art Weisberg; (Below) Architect's rendering of the Applied Engineering Complex.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197