UPDATE 10/3/12 @ 6:30 p.m.
INSTITUTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Improvements needed at West Virginia State University will be much easier now that the school has received a major financial boost.
Those changes will make it easier for the school to attract students because they will soon have more opportunities.
None of it would be possible without an anonymous donation.
“It’s the largest single gift ever received in the history of this university,” WVSU president Brian Hemphill said.
One million dollars was privately donated to WVSU.
Half of the money will fund scholarships for business, computer science and math students. The other half will go toward renovations and some new facilities.
“I like the one-on-one you can get with the professors. It's very helpful. Small class sizes are incredible,” Michael McClain, a WVSU senior, said.
McClain has no regrets about his education, even though baseball is what first attracted him to the school. Recruiting student athletes is about to get easier.
“That's the big thing. You have to be able to help paint a recruit's picture in terms of 'can I see myself attending school here?' ” WVSU Athletic Director Sean Loyd said.
The school is scoring lots of points with potential basketball players, as the old arena will soon be replaced with a new one.
There will also be a brand new athletic facility built for all athletes.
Plus, a new resident hall will house 200 to 300 students.
“To truly be able to be competitive with the other universities in this state, we have to have better resident facilities for our students,” Hemphill said.
Designs are already complete for those new facilities. They just need to be officially approved by the Board of Governors.
University officials will spend the next few weeks coming up with a plan for when these changes will take place.
During the State of the University address, President Brian Hemphill, announced the university just received a million dollar gift from a private donor.
The money will help fund several different projects for education and athletics.
$500,000 will fund a scholarship for business and science degrees.
Another $500,000 will go to upgrade the school's athletic facilities at the football field. A Locker room, coaches offices and weight rooms will also be added to the facility.
Renovations are also expected to get underway at Fleming Hall in the next week.
Hemphill also announced that the board will consider a plan to build a new residence hall that will house at least 200 students on campus. The board would have to approve the plan before construction could begin.
This was Hemphill's first State of the University since he took over as president in July.
Hemphill replaced Hazo Carter, who retired after 25 years of service.
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