A $1 million gift from BrickStreet Foundation to the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., will create a new scholarship fund for Fairmont State University students.
Greg Burton, Chief Executive Officer of BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company, presented the gift to FSU President Maria Rose and Fairmont State Foundation President RJ Gimbl during a recognition reception at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Falcon Center. Representatives from BrickStreet and the Fairmont State Foundation, FSU deans and vice presidents were invited to attend the special event.
"We are very grateful for this gift and the legacy of students' lives that it will impact," Gimbl said. "Today’s announcement truly is transformational, and the commitment shown by BrickStreet to Fairmont State is a true testament of their investment in the lives of students and the people of West Virginia."
The major gift will be used to endow BrickStreet Scholars in Honor of H. Skip Tarasuk, Jr. and his service to BrickStreet.
"With this endowment we are able to help a number of students fulfill their dreams of attending and graduating from college. A portion of the scholarships will be used for students from West Virginia who are from families of a parent who received a permanent total disability (PTD) award or unfortunately died from a work place injury. Helping the families of injured workers in West Virginia is something our board feels very strongly about and we want to give back to the communities in which we live and work. This is a fundamental part of our core values at BrickStreet," Burton said.
FSU students each year will be named BrickStreet Scholars in Honor of H. Skip Tarasuk, Jr. A portion of the scholarships will be awarded to children of parents from West Virginia who have either a PTD or have passed away from a work related injury. The remaining scholarships will be awarded based on financial need and academics. The scholarships can be given for any major, but preference would be given to any student in mathematics, nursing, occupational safety or loss or the insurance field. BrickStreet will be involved in the selection process through a scholarship committee comprised of BrickStreet employees and FSU representatives.
"With support like this generous donation from the BrickStreet Foundation, Fairmont State University continues to meet students' need for financial aid and to provide a unique learning environment close to home in North Central West Virginia," Rose said. "Gifts like this one truly make a difference in the lives of our students and help foster student success. This is an investment in the future of our great state."
H. Skip Tarasuk, Jr. graduated from Farmington High School in 1967 and continued his education at Fairmont State. He graduated with a degree in secondary education in 1971. Tarasuk is employed by BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company in Charleston as a Special Projects Consultant. He serves as Chairman of BrickStreet's Agents Advisory Council. Tarasuk was the first Chairman of the Board of Directors for BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company from 2006 to 2009. BrickStreet was the 15th largest writer of workers’ compensation coverage in the United States and the second largest West Virginia based insurance company with more than 550 employees and first year premium of $530 million.
Tarasuk is the former owner and was president of Davis & Tarasuk Insurance Corporation until 2012. He previously served as president for Marion County United Way, Marion County ARC, Fairmont Jaycees and the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Tarasuk also served as past director and officer for the Salvation Army, Marion County Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia State Jaycees, West Virginia State Special Olympics, Marion County Humane Society and the Board of Governors of Fairmont State University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Fairmont State University Foundation and honored by the Fairmont State Alumni Association as Outstanding Alumnus during Homecoming 2015.
Tarasuk resides in Fairmont with his wife Connie. They are the parents of Hilary, a government and external relations specialist for BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company in Charlotte, N.C.
The BrickStreet Foundation exists to invest in and realize BrickStreet's corporate responsibility to support the well-being of local and regional communities where BrickStreet and its subsidiaries conduct business. For more information, visit www.brickstreetfoundation.com.
The mission of the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., is to support, through ethical stewardship, the mission of Fairmont State University. The Foundation will identify, establish and cultivate meaningful relationships with FSU alumni, as well as potentials and existing funding constituencies to meet contributor needs while securing funds and supporters for priority objectives identified by the FSU Board of Governors. For more information, visit www.fsufoundation.org.