Late WVU fan leaves more than $40K for scholarships for student athletes

West Virginia University undergraduate athletes will benefit from a $44,000 gift from the late Marcella Hoylman of Fairmont, an avid supporter of the University and its sports teams, who passed away earlier this year.

The gift will supplement the Donald and Marcella Hoylman Athletic Scholarship established by the Hoylman family in 1996. The fund provides financial assistance to WVU athletes who show acceptable academic promise and have a record of good citizenship.

The Hoylmans are natives of Harrison County, but made Marion County their home. Marcella was an accomplished accountant at Industrial Resources, a company that her husband, Don, later served at as president. Although Hoylman did not attend WVU as a student, she grew her affection throughout the years for WVU sports with her husband, a longtime supporter of WVU Athletics.

Hoylman’s daughter, Donna Hoylman-Peduto, recalled how much her mother and father loved the University and WVU Athletics.

“My parents loved WVU basketball and football and supported athletics in so many personal ways,” she said. “Some of my fondest memories are the family vacations we would take following the Mountaineers to away games, tournaments and bowl games.”

Hoylman-Peduto said that her mother was especially partial to basketball.

“My parents attended basketball games when they were still in the old WVU Field House,” Peduto said. “Mom surprised everyone by naming her youngest son Rodney after Hot Rod Hundley. She was of Greek heritage and it is customary to name children after family members and saints, but her love of WVU athletics trumped this custom.”

Hoylman-Peduto added that her mother stressed to her family and friends how important WVU and its accomplishments were to bring pride to the entire state.

“Although she and my dad were not graduates of WVU, she felt like she was a perfect example of how all West Virginia citizens feel they are a part of the WVU family.”

Hoylman-Peduto, along with her siblings, earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from WVU.

“Because of the excellent education we all received from WVU, my mother felt like she wanted to give back to the University that gave her children so much. She often stated that WVU was the economic driver of our state, as well as the number one source of pride. ‘As goes WVU, so goes our state’ she would say.”

The estate gift from Hoylman was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December.

July 5, 2017