Mountaineer Week Honorees
by Victoria Cann
MORGANTOWN — With Mountaineer Week coming to a close on Sunday, several people were honored for their commitment to West Virginia University during halftime of football game against Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon.
Seniors Garrett Burgess and Savannah Lusk were named the 2017 Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer. This recognizes student’s outstanding academic achievement as well as extracurricular involvement.
Lusk is from Covel, W.Va. and is majoring in exercise physiology. Coming from her small hometown, this award means the world.
“It means a lot to me that younger kids can see me come up here and win something like this,” she’s aid. “Just let them know it’s possible. This is for my hometown.”
Lusk said her love for WVU is something she has grown up with.
“I’ve always loved the spirit of the mountaineer,” she said. “This award is kind of the monument of that, so it’s really such an honor.”
Burgess hails from Elkview, W.Va., and is an Honors College student majoring in political science and Russian studies.
“Its incredible, I can’t believe that it happened,” he said. “It means a lot to me being from West Virginia to have this opportunity to be honored with this kind of award.”
Being named Mr. Mountaineer means Burgess has made some sort of impact during his time here at the university, he said.
“At least some people think I have, which is an incredible honor,” he said. “I wanted to go after this because West Virginia University is the kind of city on the hill or the pinnacle point of your identity as a West Virginian. To represent as Mr. Mountaineer was desirable for me.”
Barbara Bodkins was named the Most Loyal Classified Staff Mountaineer as they announced the different WVU Most Loyal awards. Bodkins has been at the university for the last 17 years.
“I just couldn’t believe it. It’s such an honor and I was so shocked,” she said. “At first I thought they might have the wrong person, I was just so shocked.”
Bodkins said she loves being a part of the WVU family and is proud to be able to represent it.
“It’s been such an honor for me, my coworkers, and my family,” she said. “There’s just so much great support here and I just love it so much.”
In addition to those, other WVU Most Loyals were honored. The 2017 honorees are: Dr. Ronald Wilkinson, Most Loyal West Virginian; Jon Hammock, Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer; and Mannoon Gallingly, Most Loyal Classified Staff Mountaineer.
Since 1974 the Most Loyal West Virginian and Alumni Mountaineer awards have been presented. Most Loyal Faculty and Staff Mountaineer Award was created in 1994 then split into two awards in 2001. The recipients are chosen by a joint committee representing the WVU Foundation, WVU Alumni Association, and the Mountaineer Week organizing committee.