The President of West Virginia Wesleyan College announced today that Robert “Bob” Skinner, a 43-year veteran of the College, will take on a new role as Senior Advisor to the President. He will transition from the Vice President of Advancement, a position he has held for the past 10 years, effective immediately.
“Bob Skinner is an integral and beloved member of our West Virginia Wesleyan family. I’m excited he will serve as Senior Advisor to the President during this crucial time in the College’s history,” said Joel Thierstein, President of the College.
“I welcome this new opportunity as I begin a new chapter in my service to Wesleyan,” Skinner said. “West Virginia Wesleyan has a strong tradition of excellence, and I look forward to continuing that tradition in this new role.”
Skinner, an Elkins native and a 1975 graduate of the College, is an institution on the Buckhannon campus having held seven administrative positions. During his tenure, Skinner has served as Sports Information Director, Voice of the Bobcats, Resident Director of Doney Hall, Campus Center and Student Activities Director, Director of Admissions, Director of Marketing and Communications and most recently, Vice President of Advancement.
Throughout Skinner’s career, he has won a host of awards, recruited celebrities to campus and advanced the College through historic giving campaigns. While Sports Information Director, Skinner was named as an NAIA All-American for his fall sports and basketball brochures. As Campus Center and Student Activities Director for seven years, a number of A-list acts visited Wesleyan’s campus including Alabama, Dave Brubeck, Burton Cummings, Charlie Daniels Band, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Maynard Ferguson, Orleans, Quarterflash, The Spinners, Spyra Gyra, James Taylor, and the Marshall Tucker Band. Other major noteworthy programs included visits by Mel Blanc, the Voice of Bugs Bunny, and Jimmy Carter, the 40th President of the United States.
In 1991, Skinner was named the Director of Admissions. He held that position until 2005. He was then appointed the Director of Marketing and Communications before becoming the Vice President for Advancement. He was named the Potomac and Chesapeake Admission Counselor of the Year in 2003 and the Independent Advancement Associate Newcomer of the Year in 2012.
As Director of Marketing and Communications, Skinner was responsible for coordinating all media arrangements during the Sago Mining Disaster, including the Memorial Service, visits by former U.S. Senator and past West Virginia Wesleyan President Jay Rockefeller and the late U.S. Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy as well as the first-ever public hearings in which victims could directly question federal coal mining officials.
During his tenure as Vice President for Advancement, Wesleyan successfully completed a $32 million “Enhancing Our Tradition, Empowering Our Future” Capital Campaign and the $2 million Title III Endowment Match as part of a $10 million U.S. Department of Education Grant. During the last Fiscal Year, the College enjoyed its largest fundraising year in the school’s history, thanks to an estate gift of more than $11 million from Thomas H. Albinson (Class of 1976).
In addition to his responsibilities at Wesleyan, Skinner was the President and Campaign Chair for the United Way of Upshur County in 1985 and 1986, member and President of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Board, member and President of the Upshur County Development Authority, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce. He was named the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce’s Businessman of the Year in 2019. He has served on a number of committees at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, including Lay Leader. Skinner lives in Buckhannon with his wife Jane and is the proud father to two sons.