The “American Dream” becomes reality through leadership gift

Monday, May 21, 2018

Born in Havana, Cuba and growing up in Madrid, Spain, Fairmont State University President Dr. Mirta Martin knows firsthand the journey to success. After immigrating to the United States, she completed her undergraduate degrees in political science and psychology from Duke University and earned a master of business administration from the University of Richmond; and a doctorate with an emphasis in strategic management and leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University.  

Recently, life led her and husband, John to Fairmont State, where she serves as university president. To highlight this occasion, the Martins have committed to a $25,000 scholarship endowment pledge, which will assist first-generation college students in perpetuity. 

“President Martin’s determination, hard work, and forward thinking have allowed her to conquer the business world as well as the realm of higher education,” said Fairmont State Foundation President RJ Gimbl. “In this realm she has served in various faculty, administrative, executive and trustee positions. She has earned respect as a strong advocate and a transformative leader for education.”

Through this scholarship, Dr. and John Martin aim to ensure that the American Dream stays alive and strong, that students keep dreaming and preparing to shape our future, and that all students, regardless of upbringing have the financial tools to succeed. 

This $25,000 leadership gift will set the tone for our scholarship campaign, “Every Gift Counts.” Currently over 75% of the student population at Fairmont State demonstrates financial need. Currently, funds are only available to provide scholarships that are renewable for two years. As a result, several students are forced to withdraw due to financial needs, despite the forecast that by 2020, 35 percent of all job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree.  

Dr. and John Martin invite the Falcon Family to consider joining them to support our current and future students so that we may continue to foster personal and professional growth, allowing Fairmont State University students to shape the future. Your financial support paired with Fairmont State’s outstanding and unique programs, ensure that our graduates are prepared for their future. 

For more information on creating a scholarship, please contact the Fairmont State Foundation by calling 304-534-8786, emailing, or visiting