Fairmont State University Students to Participate in Appalachian Teaching Project

Monday, September 20, 2021

Fairmont State University has been selected to participate in the Appalachian Teaching Project sponsored by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Through the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, Fairmont State University students will partner with the Board of Trustees of the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery in Fairmont and the Marion County Convention and Visitor Bureau to create communication resources for the Historic Woodlawn Cemetery.

“We’re so happy to have been selected to take part in the Appalachian Teaching Project,” said Fairmont State University President, Dr. Mirta M. Martin. “This is hands-on, experiential learning that deeply enmeshes our students in our region’s rich, cultural heritage and history. Projects like these are invaluable – they not only impact the community, but they also forever change the students who participate.” 

The Woodlawn Cemetery is on the National Registry of Historic Places. With more than 12,000 burial sites, this historic cemetery is the final resting place of several notable figures who are important not only to West Virginia but to the country. These include Francis H. Pierpont, the governor of The Restored Virginia and his wife Julia, as well as early leaders in government, medicine, commerce, labor and education.

The Woodlawn Cemetery Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization that preserves the historic memorial park. Working alongside the Board and the MCCVB, students will develop projects that will provide visitors with guides to and information about grave sites and the people buried there. The goal of the project is to encourage heritage tourism. 

"Fairmont State University is honored to have been part of the Appalachian Teaching Project for over ten years. The ATP gives our students the opportunity to interact with local leaders and learn more about our community. Funding from the ARC allows us to bring speakers with specific areas of expertise to our campus. It also enables our students to attend a regional conference to present their work," said Dr. Francene Kirk, Interim Director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center.

Located in a historic barn on the campus of Fairmont State University, the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. The Center houses the University's programs of study in folklore and museum studies. For additional information, contact 304-367-4403 or wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu.