Foundation holds annual Donor Recognition Celebration

Photo:  Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert (left) congratulates Darby McCloud (second from left), a scholarship recipient who spoke at the Marshall University Foundation’s ninth annual Donor Recognition Celebration event Oct. 11. With them are from third left, Darby McCloud’s brother, Logan McCloud; father, Steven McCloud; and mother, Melissa McCloud. The event recognizes and celebrates the generosity of donors with lifetime giving of over $100,000 to Marshall University.

The Marshall University Foundation held its ninth annual Donor Recognition Celebration event Friday, Oct. 11, at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall on Marshall’s Huntington campus.

The event, which recognizes and celebrates the generosity of donors with lifetime giving over $100,000 to Marshall University, welcomed a total of 25 new members. Twenty-four of those members were recognized as President’s Circle members for their lifetime giving of $100,000 to $250,000, while the other entered the William Buffington Society for a lifetime giving of $250,000 to $500,000.

“It takes a village to support our students, and together, they are shaping a generation who strives to pay it forward,” said Dr. Ron Area, chief executive officer of the Marshall University Foundation. “We are truly blessed to have many alumni and friends that believe in Marshall University and continue to help us rise to a new era of excellence.”

Darby McCloud, a junior majoring in biology from Chesapeake, Ohio, and the recipient of two privately funded scholarships, took the opportunity to explain to donors how they make students’ dreams come true.

“Each and every one of you have had an impact in my life to this moment, ever since you donated to Marshall University students,” McCloud said. “For that, I will be forever grateful. You gave me something that I never truly had until this moment. You all gave me confidence. To me, confidence is being able to pursue your goals with nothing stopping you or holding you back. It is going after what you want in life without hesitation. You strengthened my desire to do well in my classes, because I want to make sure that your donations have not been in vain. You gave me an education that I could not have achieved on my own income. But, most importantly, you gave me confidence in my abilities. I always know that you believe in me, and for that I am forever thankful.”

The Marshall University Foundation calculates lifetime giving totals annually. For a complete listing of our lifetime giving society members, please visit