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Congressman Jenkins tours WVU Tech’s new facilities


The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — U.S. Congressman Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va. called WVU Tech’s new Beckley campus “a melting pot of opportunity” during a campus tour Tuesday afternoon.

“This is the first year that all of WVU Tech has been on the campus in Beckley,” Jenkins said. “I wanted to stop in and see how it was going, and what their needs may be moving forward.”

Congressman Evan Jenkins, center, laughs with WVU Tech senior Bryan Overton and WVU Tech President Carolyn Long about the school mascot Monte’s statue in the Robert C. Byrd lLearning Resource Center during a tour of the campus in Beckley Tuesday.
(Register-Herald photo by Chris Jackson)

Jenkins stood on the campus sidewalks in his blue jacket and red tie on the warm, sunny day, as Campus President Carolyn Long showed him all the high points of the the new campus.

“I haven’t been back here since the campus was revamped,” Jenkins said.

Long made pit stops along campus, showing Jenkins the Physical Science Building, the campus library and bookstore, the Student Success Center, and the Bear’s Den where Jenkins even made stopped in the campus Starbucks.

“I’ll have a de-caff mocha grande vanilla cappuccino,” he said jokingly.

WVU Tech’s campus represents students from 17 different states and 28 nations.

“And they’re all coming here now to Beckley, to southern West Virginia,” Jenkins said. “All of these students seem very upbeat and very positive.”

He said the WVU Tech’s student population holds the best and the brightest.

“They are our future.”

He said WVU Tech is certainly helping southern West Virginia, but also West Virginia as a whole.

Long said she, along with all WVU Tech’s students, faculty and staff were thrilled to have Jenkins visit the campus.

“I think it’s important for all of our leaders, whether it be our national leaders like Congressman Jenkins, our state’s leaders or our county’s leaders to see the campus and understand who we are and what we’re doing here,” she said. “Hopefully they appreciate the wonderful student body, faculty and staff we have here.”

As Long introduced Jenkins to many students on campus, where many of whom posed with him for photographs, Long expressed the important of having a close-knit student body.

“We are a family, that’s just how we operate,” she said.

Long said it has always been her goal to know every single name of the students of the Senior Class, when they walk across the stage to receive their diploma.

“They don’t get handshakes from me, they get hugs. We’re a family, and we’re all going to continue to be here and work together, and hopefully make everyone as successful as humanly possible. And I wanted to show that to Congressman Jenkins today.”

Jenkins said with the Beckley campus now thriving, there is some concern regarding the previous campus in Montgomery.

He said now that WVU Tech has moved out of Montgomery, he will be working to help Montgomery form its next chapter in life.

During Jenkins’ visit, the need for more dormitory space on Beckley’s campus caught his attention.

“I’d love to continue to work with the school, talk about those issues and their funding needs to address their residence issues.”

During the finality of the campus tour, Jenkins expressed how stunning he believes the campus is.

“They have $7 million worth of renovation into these facilities, and they have some of the best chemistry lab services and equipment available,” he said.

Jenkins called WVU Tech’s transition to Beckley “a time to kick the tires.”

“Things are exciting here in Beckley. WVU Tech is a great partner for the community, and this community has been a great partner for them.”

Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH 

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