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West Virginia Wesleyan College Alumni Support Bobcats and Bookbags Project

Jul 29, 2021

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – West Virginia Wesleyan College alumni have donated backpacks and school supplies to help the Upshur Parish House with the annual backpack and school supply distribution.

Trent Girard ’97 discussed ideas for a community service project involving alumni with WVWC Director of Development for Alumni Joshua Stump. 

“We collectively decided that a Backpack/School Supply Drive would be an excellent way to support the Upshur County School children in need of assistance,” he said. “This project would become known as “Backpacks and Bobcats.”

Girard contacted Kristi Wilkerson ’99, director of the Upshur Parish House, to initiate the project. He then worked closely with Pam ‘77 and Barry Moll ‘76, who coordinate the backpack program at the Upshur Parish House to determine what items were needed and establish a time for alumni to assemble backpacks with school supplies. Donations were dropped off or mailed to the Erickson Alumni Center.

“Without hesitation Wesleyan alumni always rise to the occasion and supported this endeavor with quick and tremendous outpouring of support,” Girard said. “I want to say a big thank you to each and every Wesleyan alum who generously supported this worthwhile endeavor. The success of the ‘Backpacks and Bobcats’ will allow many happy and gracious school children to start the new school year off in the right direction.”

Alumni, along with WVWC faculty and staff, helped assemble backpacks this week at the Upshur Parish House which will be distributed beginning next week to underserved students in Upshur County.

Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Stankus ’89 expressed her thanks to all who donated.

“As School Superintendent, I am honored to be part of the Bobcat tradition of service above self,” she said. “Thank you to our amazing Wesleyan alumni who continue to make a difference for our Upshur County students by donating to the backpack program. This has a very positive impact on our students as they begin school.” 



West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) is a private, four-year residential liberal arts college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. A tradition of excellence for more than 130 years, West Virginia Wesleyan is home to 14 Fulbright Scholars. The Princeton Review ranked Wesleyan one of its 2021 Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region of the United States. U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 Best College Rankings designated Wesleyan a “Top 20” Best Value – Regional Universities (South) and one of the “Top 75” Regional Universities (South). WVWC offers students more than 40 majors and 40 minors; graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, creative writing, and nursing; 22 NCAA Division II athletic programs; multiple performing arts groups; and more than 70 organizations. Founded in 1890, the College is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and abides by the Wesley doctrine that emphasizes service to others. For more information, visit