Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College honored the dedication of former employees and the impact of community members on the lives of students during this year’s Student Affairs Hall of Fame Awards Banquet.
Inductees were Linda Brown, Associate Registrar, who was employed by Fairmont State from 1958-2000, and Blair Montgomery, President of Pierpont Community & Technical College, who was employed by Fairmont State and Pierpont from 1974-2010. The 2011 Distinguished Citizen Award recipient was Walter “Butch” Osborne, Chief Operations Officer, Fairmont Federal Credit Union.
“The Student Affairs Office provides valuable services for students throughout their college years,” said Michael Belmear, Vice President for Student Affairs. “These services include Welcome Weekend, counseling, crisis intervention, housing, multicultural affairs, career planning and placement, health services, mentoring, Student Government and other student activities. The Hall of Fame event has been designed to recognize the efforts of past employees and to encourage present employees to carry on the tradition of excellence.”
Linda Brown joined the Fairmont State community in 1958 in a general clerical position. During that time, Brown worked in registration, sorted grades with the McBee sorting system and printed class cards. She was also responsible for Commencement, including the program, rehearsal and ensuring each student had the necessary grades to graduate. In 1967, Brown transitioned into a data entry operator position where she worked on the IBM 402 accounting machine. In 1970 she began working for the Division of Education and in 1973 worked as a data entry specialist for the Computer Center. After 22 years of service, Brown joined the Registrar’s Office as an Admissions Records Officer and 15 years later was named the Associate Registrar. She held that position until her retirement in 2000. During a 42-year career with Fairmont State, Brown most fondly remembers working with students, administration, faculty and staff and says that her greatest highlight during her time was seeing enrollment grow. Brown received a Secretarial in Applied Science Certificate in 1985 from Fairmont State. She resides in Barrackville with her husband Harry.
Blair Montgomery began his career in higher education as a Student Affairs counselor for Fairmont State College in June 1974 and held many different positions during his 36-year tenure. In 1983 he was named director of the Clarksburg campus and was instrumental in the development and opening of the Gaston Caperton Center. He returned to Fairmont State’s main campus in Fairmont in 2000 to assume the position of interim provost for the community college. He was named provost and then as Pierpont Community & Technical College’s first president in 2003. Prior to his service at Fairmont State, he was a classroom teacher and guidance counselor for Preston County Schools.
Under Montgomery’s leadership, Pierpont emerged as an independently accredited institution. Pierpont is one of the largest of the state’s 10 community colleges, offering both credit and non-credit course offerings to a 13-county service region. His tenure was marked by a commitment to making higher education more accessible to all West Virginians.
Montgomery graduated from West Virginia University with a B.S. degree in Secondary Education, a master’s degree in Counseling and Guidance and is A.B.D. in Higher Education Administration. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s MLE program. He was appointed by the Governor of West Virginia to serve as a representative of higher education on the Education First Panel and as a higher education representative on the Implementation Team for the Joint Commission of Vocational and Community College Education. He represented the West Virginia Community College System as one of three individuals to provide testimony before the Higher Education Assistance Team, a blue ribbon commission studying higher education in West Virginia. He served two terms as the President of the West Virginia Community College Association, was a member of the Fairmont State College Board of Advisors, was Secretary of the West Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators and was Vice President of the West Virginia Personnel and Guidance Association. He was also very involved with the Chambers of Commerce in Harrison and Marion Counties and with Rotary.
He and his wife Sue Somerville Montgomery, a retired public school guidance counselor, reside in Fairmont. Their son Michael lives in Atlanta, Ga., with his wife Paige, daughter Sara Katherine and son Nathan. Their daughter Kate lives in West Yellowstone, Mont., with her sons Kerrigan and Cormic.
Walter “Butch” Osborne
Born on Sept. 15, 1952 to the late Walter C. Osborne, Jr. and Beatrice M. Osborne, Butch Osborne grew up in Rivesville, graduating from Rivesville High School in 1970 and from Fairmont State in 1974 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. He began a career in banking in May of 1974 with Community Bank and Trust, N.A. As of May 2011 his banking career will have spanned 37 years. He currently serves as Chief Operations Officer of Fairmont Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial co-op that operates 10 locations with a staff of approximately 140 employees serving more than 37,000 members in a four-county area of North Central West Virginia.
Since early in his career, Osborne has served the people of Marion County as a volunteer with many community-based organizations. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Marion County United Way, serving two terms as board President, and currently serves as Treasurer of that organization. He currently serves on the board of Fairmont General Hospital as board Treasurer, and he is a former board member of Main Street Fairmont, the Three Rivers Festival and the Fairmont Lions Club.
Osborne married the former Emily Jo Miller in August 1973, and they have two children Allison Noel Tomasek of Fairmont and Daniel Lee Osborne of Charleston.