Nicholas County couple donates $1M to WVU’s Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Fund

Future cancer research at West Virginia University will benefit from a $1 million estate gift from longtime WVU supporters Steve and Jamie Antoline.

The Antolines, from Mount Lookout, W.Va., have designated in their will that the donation be made to the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Fund at WVU.

“Almost everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another. Be it a family member, a brother or sister, or a close friend, we have all seen the devastation cancer can cause,” Steve Antoline said. “But many great institutions and universities, including WVU, have come a long way with early detection methods, and in many cases, treatment that can help a cancer patient live a long and productive life. How great it would be if, with the help of research dollars, the cure for cancer was found at WVU.”

The endowment was established several years ago by WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins and his family in memory of Huggins’ mother who died of cancer. Current value of the endowment, including the estate gift from the Antolines, is approximately $3 million.

“The Steve Antoline family has had such a positive influence in not just WVU athletics but our great University as a whole.,” Huggins said. “Their love for philanthropy and the University have enabled many programs to prosper. On behalf of my entire family, we would like to thank Steve and Jamie for their generous gift to help find a cure for this terrible disease. Let’s find a cure for cancer.”
Steve Antoline and Bob Huggins became friends after Huggins returned to his alma mater to coach the Mountaineers. Antoline says the two began taking fishing trips together and became good friends, often talking about opportunities to make a difference.

“I am tremendously inspired by his work ethic and his role in giving back. He works tirelessly as WVU head basketball coach, and also to raise money for his mom’s cancer research fund,” Antoline said of Huggins. “I’m also very impressed with the research the WVU Cancer Institute is doing and I’m honored and proud to be a part of it.”

Richard M. Goldberg, MD, director of the WVU Cancer Institute said, “We are exceedingly grateful to the Antolines for their tremendous generosity to WVU and the WVU Cancer Institute. The Antoline’s gift is a testimony to the faith they have that WVU is now and will continue to make a profound and positive impact on the health and well-being of West Virginians with cancer now and for many years to come. This is an investment of great magnitude that will advance clinical research statewide leading to cutting edge approaches and will improve treatment for the patients we serve.”

Steve Antoline, who earned his Regents Bachelor of Arts degree from WVU, founded Superior Highwall Miners, Inc., a Beckley-based company which grew into the world’s largest manufacturer of highwall mining equipment. He later sold the company to Lehman Brothers. Antoline currently operates several oil and gas wells, a property development company, and is a member of the West Virginia Investment Management Board.

Jamie Antoline currently serves as president of the board of directors of the Nicholas County Veterans Memorial Park. She also volunteers her time at the New Life Christian Academy, and passionately supports the 4-H program.

The Antolines have been generous supporters of WVU for many years. Their donations have helped to fund scholarships, programs, research and facilities in several areas of the University, including Athletics, WVU Children’s Hospital, WVU Cancer Institute and WVU Extension.
In recognition of their generosity, the football practice field at WVU is named the Steve Antoline Family Football Practice Facility. Also, in 2013, WVU Extension honored the Antolines with its outstanding philanthropists award. Both are members of the WVU Foundation’s Woodburn Circle and Irvin Stewart donor recognition societies.

The latest gift from the Antolines is being made in conjunction with “A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University,” which has raised over $1.125 billion. The Campaign runs through December.

August 25, 2017