Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter named 2020 MUAA Chapter of the Year

Tucked along the Ohio River in northwestern West Virginia, is Parkersburg, West Virginia, which is home to one of the most active Marshall University Alumni Chapters and the 2019-2020 Chapter of the Year Awardee, the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter. The chapter’s membership reaches alumni and friends of the university in Wood, Wirt, Richie, Pleasants, Doddridge and Tyler counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio.

In 2019, the group raised more than $40,000, moving the chapter’s lifetime giving to over $200,000. The chapter awarded nine student scholarships in 2019.

This is the fifth time since 2013 that the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter received the Chapter of the Year Award. Having roots in the 1980s, the chapter was revitalized in 2009 by 1987 Alumna Laurie Sandy-Martin and her brother, 1979 Alumnus Jeff Sandy.

Martin has been leading the chapter ever since, though she attributes the chapter’s successes to the leadership team and the involved chapter members.

“The chapter has an amazing group of members who work very well together,” Martin said. “It is unbelievable what you can accomplish when you have so many members willing to donate their time and efforts, which has been a to key to our success.”

One of the greatest successes of the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter is their commitment to supporting student scholarships. Since 2009, the chapter has raised over $206,200 including $85,900 in student scholarships, supporting 81 students in surrounding counties.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help the students, to invite them to be part of the Marshall Family, and welcome them and their parents,” Martin said.

Their annual signature event is the Scholarship Fundraiser Dinner at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna, which attracts around 250 members of the Marshall family each year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event is going virtual, with a two week-long fundraising initiative starting in mid-July. The event will feature an online silent auction and all proceeds will help fund scholarships. The goal is to raise $15,000.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter gained 20 named members in 2019 and membership spans generations—with the current youngest member at 21 to the more mature members in their 80s.

After the 2020 scholarship fundraiser, the chapter’s goal is to contribute as much as possible to their existing scholarship endowment which is managed at the Marshall University Foundation in order to fund scholarships for many years to come.