Library Entrance Named in Honor of Educator

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A gift of $50,000 has been received by the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., through the generosity of Margaret Furman Wilkes of Wooster, Ohio.

The gift is in honor of her mother, Mabel Clayton Furman, a lifelong supporter of education in West Virginia. The Mabel Clayton Furman Gift will help fund a new first floor entrance of the Ruth Ann Musick Library at Fairmont State.

Mabel Clayton Furman taught for 32 years in Marion and Monongalia county public schools. Her first teaching job in the 1920s was in a one-room schoolhouse in Marion County. She rode a horse to the school early in the mornings, so she could light a fire in the wood-burning stove to warm the schoolhouse for her pupils. She attended Fairmont State in the 1920s and taught in the Morgantown public schools until her marriage.

In the 1940s, Furman taught at a one-room schoolhouse in McCurdysville and later at Baxter. She was employed for many years at Barnes Elementary and then at State Street Elementary, where she taught her favorite subjects – West Virginia history and geography.

Furman was active in the Marion County Historical Society and was one of the founding members of the Paw Paw District Fair. She was also very active in Marion County politics as a Republican Committeewoman.

“The Foundation is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Wilkes in finding an appropriate way to honor her mother,” said Patty Pitrolo, Director of Major Gifts. “Because she dedicated her professional life to education, it is only fitting that the new entrance to our library be named in honor of Mabel Clayton Furman.”

The Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., helps to secure resources for scholarships, faculty development, cultural programming and other needs. The Fairmont State Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization formed to assist Fairmont State by accepting and encouraging gifts and by using them to advance the missions of Fairmont State University and Fairmont State Community & Technical College. The Foundation is operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.

For more information on gift planning, call (304) 367-4014. To make a gift online, click here