West Virginia Wesleyan College received a gift of $721,000 from the estate of J. Robert Fletcher, a Huntington businessman who died in 2009.
According to a news release from the college, the donation will be designated for the Robert and Kathlyn Fletcher Scholarship program. The Fletcher estate's donation is the second donation of $721,000 it has made this month. Earlier in November, Marshall University announced it received a donation from the estate to fund an engineering professorship at the university.
Fletcher moved to Huntington in 1947 with the family business. Along with his father and brother, he designed underground roof support systems for coal and limestone mines and built a manufacturing plant in Huntington. Today, J.H. Fletcher & Co. is one of the world's premier manufacturers of underground roof support systems.
West Virginia Wesleyan College said Robert and Kathlyn Fletcher began their association with the college in the 1960s through their minister at First United Methodist Church in Huntington, the late Dr. Garrett Evans. Bob Fletcher eventually served as a Trustee of the College. In 1992, the Fletcher's established the Robert and Kathlyn Fletcher Scholarship Fund to recognize and encourage academic achievement.
The Fletcher Scholarship is designated for students from Cabell and surrounding counties.
"We are truly delighted about this wonderful gift," stated West Virginia Wesleyan College President Pamela Balch. "Hundreds of future students from southwest West Virginia and neighboring states will benefit from this opportunity.
"Bob and Kathlyn Fletcher truly lived John Wesley's words with their philanthropic support of so many charitable causes. We are truly grateful for their belief and support in Wesleyan and for this gift that will transform the lives of many deserving students."