Hospitality industry executive, business school alum makes major gift to WVU

There are few people who were as excited about the addition of the  Hospitality Management Program at  West Virginia University as Mike Bodnar. He has been a major supporter of the program that is well on its way to becoming a major in the  College of Business and Economics, and now Bodnar is putting his money, well, where his heart is.

A highly successful restaurant executive and president of Bodnar Investment Group, Inc., J. Michael Bodnar, a Nashville, Tenn., area resident, has announced a gift of $1 million to B&E. The gift is the latest in a long line of giving back to the business school where he earned a  M.B.A. in 1969, and will be divided into two equal parts — $500,000 to establish the J. Michael Bodnar Entrepreneurship and Innovation Endowment and $500,000 for the J. Michael Bodnar Hospitality and Tourism Support Fund.

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Student Feature: Sarah-Anne Brault

With bright red hair and an infectious smile, Sarah-Anne Brault is impossible to miss unless she's whizzing past you on a track. The dual finance/economics student was recently named theWVU Student-Athlete of the Week for the second time this semester for her achievements on the WVU Cross Country team.

After becoming a 2011 All-American in the 10,000-meter run for the Mountaineers, Brault red-shirted her 2012 indoor and outdoor seasons to prepare for the Olympic trials in the triathlon, a combination of running, swimming and biking — an event she says is her true love. But even while putting her collegiate athletic career on hold for a year, the Winnepeg, Manitoba, native successfully completed her first of two bachelor's degrees through B&E — a Bachelor of Science in economics. Brault is currently working toward her Finance degree, which she will obtain in May.

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B&E students, faculty, alumni create recruitment success for PwC

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the world's largest professional services firm and one of the Big Four accountancy firms, held a successful internship recruitment campaign at WVU this fall. Of the 30 students accepted to PwC Pittsburgh's internship program, eight, or 30%, came from WVU. This represents twice as many as the four that were accepted into the program in 2011.

"WVU is tied for the top school in the market. It's a strong result, especially when compared to the past. We continue to be impressed with the quantity and quality of the students that we see on campus," said Steve Haffner, Firms Relationship Partner at PwC Pittsburgh.

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Former BBER director Witt honored with national awards

The former director of West Virginia University's Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) was among honorees presented with national awards recently by the Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER).

AUBER honored five universities and select individuals at its annual conference, including Dr. Tom Witt, who was named the recipient of the Thayne Robson Award. The Thayne Robson Award is the highest honor that AUBER awards to an individual for long-time commitment and service to the organization, as well as being an economic and public policy leader in their state. Only three awards have been given since it was instituted.

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Alumni Feature: Anthony Gregory

Crystal balls and enchanted mirrors are the fodder of fairytales, but economic forecasting may be the closest thing to predicting the future in real life. And the airline industry may just be one of the most difficult to divine, with plans made several months in advance and hard-to-predict factors like fuel prices, weather and terrorist attacks complicating the already difficult art.

While all of this sounds incredibly daunting, Anthony Gregory, a two-time B&E graduate program alumnus, loves it.

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