2000 Hall of Fame

Jack E. Fruth

Jack E. Fruth found Fruth Pharmacy, Inc. in 1952. Since that time, Fruth Pharmacy has grown to 21 locations including a corporate office and warehouse. Having 13 stores in West Virginia and eight stores in Ohio. Fruth currently employs over 500 people.

Fruth Diked as a pharmacist in Springfield and Xenia. Ohio tic tore opening his own pharmacy. lie attended Duke University and received a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from the Ohio State University School of Pharmacy.

A member of many pharmaceutical boards and associations. including the West Virginia Pharmacists Association and the National Association of Retail Pharmacists (HARD L. he also serves as a member on many civic and social hoards and is a member of the John Marshall Society at Marshall University

Fruth has received numerous awards for his community service, including the Chain Drug Marketing Association Hall of fame Award in 1992, the West Virginia entrepreneur the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999 and the Distinguished West Virginians Award by Governor Cecil Underwood in 1999.


Verna K. Gibson

Verna K. Gibson is nationally known for her outstanding career and leadership in the retail fashion clothing industry. She joined The Limited Stores as a merchandising trainee in 1971 and worked her way up the corporate ladder to become President and CEO of The Limited Stores, then added Limited Too and Cacique Lingerie.

Gibson led the company through an impressive expansion from eight stores to over 770 nationally. Currently, Gibson consults in the fashion retail industry and is a member of the Board of Directors for several retail clothing companies, including Chico’s FAS, Mother’s Work, and Today’s Man. She is president of Outlook Consulting and assists clients in launching new businesses and business expansion. Additionally, she was a six-year member of the U.S. Reserve Board.

Gibson has received several awards, including the AMA Marketer of the Year Award in 1990, and in 1986 was the recipient of the Marshall University Distinguished Alumnus Award.

She is a member of the John Marshall Society and a former member of the Society of Yeager Scholars at MU. She has provided significant financial support by establishing the Verna K. and James E. Gibson endowment for Yeager Scholars and provided major financial support for the Higher Education for Learning Problems (H.E.L.P.) Program building fund. She and her husband, James, faithfully attend Marshall athletic and alumni events and other university functions and are major contributors to Marshall athletics.


Charles B. Hedrick

Charles B. Hedrick was the manager of employee relations of The Proctor and Gamble Company. He was responsible for the Industrial Relations Division, Personnel Administration Department, and the International Personnel Department, where he retired after 38 years.

Hedrick received his bachelor’s degree from Marshall University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and was the class valedictorian. He received an MBA with distinction in Industrial Management from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He also served as a Lieutenant Commander with the U.S. Naval Reserve and is a veteran of World War II.

Hedrick and his wife, Mary Jo Locke, endowed a scholarship at Marshall University to encourage academically talented and gifted students from West Virginia. The Hedricks have also funded the Dr. Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Awards in honor of his father, a former Marshall faculty member who was instrumental in the establishment of Marshall’s first graduate program.

Hedrick serves on the boards of Bethesda Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati. He also serves on the board at Ohio Northern University and is a member of the John Marshall Society at Marshall University.


Kermit E. McGinnis

Kermit E. McGinnis is chairman of the board and CEO of Huntington Federal Savings Bank, successor to Huntington Federal Savings and Loan Association.

Immediately after graduating from high school, McGinnis completed his freshman year of college and joined the U.S. Army. After completing training in North Carolina and Texas, he was sent to Europe as a rifleman in the 99th Infantry Division, serving on the front lines of Belgium and Germany.

Upon discharge from the army, McGinnis completed his degree from Marshall University. After graduation, he began working at Huntington Federal Savings and Loan Association, where he later was elected president. McGinnis was one of the youngest presidents of any financial institution in the United States and held his presidential position for 39 years.

McGinnis has served on the board of many savings institutions. He also serves as a member on many civic and social boards and is a member of the John Marshall Society at Marshall University. He has served on the board of Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church and continues to be very active in the church. He is the treasurer of the LCOB Advisory Board and served as President of the Marshall University Foundation in 1982-83.


James R. and Clara C. Thomas

James R. and Clara C. Thomas are the third couple to be honored by induction into the Hall of Fame.

Jaws was the president and CEO of Carbon Industries from 1953 to 1983. He served on the Board of Directors of One Val-ley Bank, NA, Columbia Energy, Inc. and Shoney’s, Inc. James graduated from Culver Military Academy and served in the U.S. Army from 1944-1946 in the 13th and 82nd Airborne Divisions. He later graduated with an A.B. degree from Cornell University. James has been awarded the Medal for Service from the U.S. Treasury Department.

Clara received an A.S. in Business at Marshall University, a B.S. in Business at the University of Charleston, an A.B. in Economics at the University of Charleston and an M.B.A. in Business at the West Virginia Graduate College.

James and Clara were both awarded the honorary doctor of laws from the West Virginia Graduate College. James was also awarded an honorary doctor of laws from West Virginia Wesleyan College,

The Thomas’ are members of the John Marshall Society. Clara serves as vice chairperson of the MUGC Foundation, Inc. and Was awarded the John Marshall Medal for Civic Responsibility.

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Lewis College of Business
Office: 107 Corbly Hall
Phone: 304-696-2314