Mid-Ohio Valley Center celebrates 25th anniversary

Marshall+University+students%2C+staff%2C+faculty+and+community+members+celebrate+the+Mid-Ohio+Valley+Center%E2%80%99s+25th+anniversary+Monday+afternoon+in+Point+Pleasant.
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Mid-Ohio Valley Center celebrates 25th anniversary

Marshall University students, staff, faculty and community members celebrate the Mid-Ohio Valley Center’s 25th anniversary Monday afternoon in Point Pleasant.

Marshall University students, staff, faculty and community members celebrate the Mid-Ohio Valley Center’s 25th anniversary Monday afternoon in Point Pleasant.

Brittany Hively

Marshall University students, staff, faculty and community members celebrate the Mid-Ohio Valley Center’s 25th anniversary Monday afternoon in Point Pleasant.

Brittany Hively

Brittany Hively

Marshall University students, staff, faculty and community members celebrate the Mid-Ohio Valley Center’s 25th anniversary Monday afternoon in Point Pleasant.

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Students, faculty and community members celebrated the Mid-Ohio Valley Center’s 25th anniversary Monday afternoon, highlighting the impacts the center has had on students and the community.

“MOVC means a lot to me. They gave me a second chance and have been there repeatedly for me,” Hannah McCormick, a senior social work student, said. “They have seen me cry, but they have also pushed me to succeed. It isn’t just a school to me, it’s like a second home and the people there are like family.”

The MOVC is a branch of Marshall University located in Point Pleasant. The campus offers a variety of core classes, as well as other specialized programs.

“The fact that it’s been here 25 years is fantastic and shows a long commitment to this region and a long commitment to serving Mason County and West Virginia,” Marshall President Jerry Gilbert said.

The creation of the satellite campus does not have an origin other than Homer Preece, director of MOVC, who had a dream. The MOVC was created with a need for higher education in the area.

“When I was talking with Dr. Spears, I said, ‘One day, if I work really hard and we grow, can I have my own building?’” Preece said. “And Keith was the type of guy who would promise you anything to get you to work harder, but he did not understand my competitiveness. I had a vision in my head.”

Keith Spears was formerly the vice president of institutional advancement and communication while working at Marshall from 1997-2007.

The first class taught through the MOVC was taught at Wahama High school with 11 students. There were roughly 245 students when talks of the building started. Once the building opened, there were approximately 400 students enrolled. The campus currently serves between 800 and 900 students, according to Preece.

It took roughly six years from the first class taught to the opening of the MOVC building and opportunities, said Preece.

“In the beginning, we had a lot of part-time people. Adults. Probably at that time, it was 95% adults versus 18-year-olds because they never had the opportunity to go to college,” Preece said. “Huntington was just too far away because they had family responsibilities, they had jobs. And most of our classes were in the evening and now we have kind of reversed.”

While the numbers of nontraditional students to traditional students have reversed since the opening, Preece said they have room for everyone.

“We’re here for them. We’ve got the RBA program, we have some nontraditional people going into the nursing program, into the social work program,” Preece said. “I’m here to provide opportunities for students whether they know it yet or not.”

The MOVC campus property was donated by Pleasant Valley Hospital. The building was expanded to add labs for the growing nursing program in 2013, Preece said.

“This campus, much like our campus in South Charleston, gives students a chance to get the college experience without going to a large college setting like the Huntington campus,” Gilbert said. “So, it’s a nice transition for those students who might not be sure about going away and spending their first year or two in a large campus. It’s a great transitional facility.”

Preece also said he was happy with the amount of people that have utilized the MOVC.

“I’m just amazed of the number of people that have gone through these doors,” Preece said. “And I’m just so happy for this tri-county area and that we’re here for them.”

Brittany Hively can be contacted at [email protected]

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