DONOR RECOGNITION LEVELS
|Harriett Lyon Fellows||$10,000,000||and above|
|Charles Brooke Fellows||$1,000,000||$9,999,999|
|Louise McNeill Pease Fellows||$500,000||$999,999|
|Ronald “Fritz” Williams Fellows||$100,000||$499,999|
Harriet Lyon was the first woman to receive a degree from WVU. After spending a year at Vassar College in New York, she came to WVU in 1889 as one of the group of ten women who were admitted in September of 1889 as the first female degree candidates at the university. In June 1891, Lyon became the first to graduate from WVU, finishing at the top of her class.
Harriet Lyon passed away in 1949. In 1989, Lyon Tower in the Evansdale Residential Complex was dedicated in her honor.
Charles Brooke became the first Rhodes Scholar from WVU in 1904, a member of the first group of Rhodes Scholars from around the world. A native of Morgantown, he received a bachelor’s degree from WVU at the age of 18 and a master’s degree one year later. At WVU he was class poet and a member of Kappa Alpha. As a Rhodes Scholar, he attended the University of Oxford, where he received B.A. and B.Litt. degrees. In 1908, 1909, and 1910, his works were published in England.
In 1909, he began a teaching career at Yale University, eventually becoming the Sterling Professor of English and a leading authority on Shakespeare and Elizabethan literature. He passed away in 1946. Brooke Tower in the Evansdale Residential Complex is named in his honor.
Louise McNeill Pease
Louise McNeill Pease was the first female WVU graduate to be named West Virginia Poet Laureate. A native of Buckeye, West Virginia, she wrote her first poem at the age of 16. She received doctorates in English and History from WVU in 1959. She was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 1989.
Pease was a teacher of English and History for more than 30 years, including at Potomac State College and WVU, before retiring in 1973. Her career as a poet began in 1931 with the publishing of her first collection, "Mountain White." Her other works include "Gauley Mountain," "Time Is Our House," "Paradox Hill," "Elderberry Flood," "The Milkweed Ladies" and "Hill Daughter." In appointing her West Virginia Poet Laureate in 1979, then-Gov. Jay Rockefeller hailed her as a “true daughter of the mountains.” She passed away in 1993.
Ronald “Fritz” Williams
Ronald “Fritz” Williams was the first African-American graduate of WVU to play in the National Basketball Association and was among the first class of African-Americans to play basketball for WVU. Williams, a standout basketball player in high school in Weirton, chose to come to WVU over Michigan and Ohio State.
Williams scored 1,687 career points with a school record 197 assists in 1966-67. He scored 20 or more points in a game 46 times during his career. He received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from WVU in 1969. Williams was the ninth overall selection in the 1968 NBA draft, playing a total of eight years for the San Francisco Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. After retiring from basketball, Williams coached basketball at various levels including at the University of California, Berkley and Iona College. Williams was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He passed away in 2004.