Fairmont State philanthropists, alumni and Harrison County natives, Rusty and Kimberly Hutson were honored during a press conference on Tuesday for a series of gifts totaling $500,000 to benefit the School of Nursing. The celebration included the unveiling of the newly named Rusty & Kimberly Hutson Family Nursing Simulation Laboratory.
“The Hutsons have demonstrated, once again, the true spirit of the Falcon Family, a spirit of generosity; a spirit of compassion” Mirta M. Martin, president of Fairmont State University, said. “Their gift highlights the essence of their humanity and supports their desire to invest in the next generation of leaders. As alumni of Fairmont State, Rusty and Kimberly understand the importance of ‘passing it forward.’ Through the Hutson’s generosity, the University will be able to employ faculty to increase our Nursing program. Also, the Rusty and Kimberly Hutson Family Nursing Simulation Laboratory will prepare countless nursing students to achieve their dreams while having an immeasurable impact in their communities. The Falcon family is forever grateful to Rusty and Kimberly.”
The event recognized two separate gifts from the Hutson Family made to the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. The first is a $200,000 gift to create the Rusty & Kimberly Hutson Family Fund for Nursing which was created to match a similar gift made by Mon Health this summer. The second gift of $300,000 is for the creation of the Rusty & Kimberly Hutson Nursing Discretionary Endowment. Both gifts will provide support to the School of Nursing with a goal of hiring additional faculty in order to increase student capacity and purchase equipment to continue training students at an elite level.
“Kimberly and I are thrilled to be investing in the Fairmont State Nursing program and giving back to another academic curriculum that is near and dear to our hearts. Kimberly graduated from the Nursing School and she knows first-hand the quality in the education she received and the opportunities it presented her. We see this as giving back once again to the institution that presented us with so many opportunities in life. With this financial support, we are excited about the increase in the number of nursing students that can be trained here at Fairmont State and are hopeful that they will stay in West Virginia and apply their skills to providing quality health care to our state’s most precious resource, it’s people.”
Fairmont State’s School of Nursing was recognized as the No. 1 nursing program in the state. Through leadership gifts like those from the Hutson Family, Fairmont State will increase student capacity to help fill a dire need within West Virginia to provide proficient and compassionate nurses to the field.
“The Hutson Family recognizes the need for more nurses in West Virginia and that these caregivers need to receive the best training possible,” said School of Nursing Dean Laura Clayton. “An old Chinese proverb says ‘Tell me and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.’ The use of simulation in nursing education allows nursing students to be actively involved in learning and develop their clinical decision-making skills.”
These contributions are the most recent in a series of gifts totaling nearly $1 million in support to Fairmont State. Previous gifts include the establishment the Rusty & Kimberly Hutson Family Endowed Scholarship for the benefit of School of Business and a multi-year commitment for scholarships from the Hutson’s business, Diversified Gas & Oil Co.
“We can’t thank the Hutsons enough for the support that they are providing to Fairmont State University through these generous gifts and their previous giving,” said Julie Cryser, Fairmont State Foundation president. “Because of the Hutsons’ most recent gift, Fairmont State will not only have additional funds for the next two years to support the expansion of its nursing program, but an endowment that will last in perpetuity and provide for the program long after we are all gone.”
The Hutsons give back to Fairmont State in many ways, including Rusty’s appointment to the University’s Board of Governors, where he serves as the vice chairman.
A 1991 accounting graduate and certified public accountant, Rusty spent 13 years working in the banking industry in Ohio and Alabama. In 2001, he founded Diversified Gas & Oil, where he serves as chief executive officer. The company began with the purchase of 40 wells in West Virginia and now operates throughout the Appalachian Basin.
Kimberly, a 1994 graduate of the nursing program, worked as a registered nurse before they settled in Birmingham, Alabama in 1999. After the move, she became a full-time mother to the couple’s four children. She serves as a mentor and example to many young mothers and she is passionate about realizing their true value in today’s society.