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Namesake of MU alumni center Erickson dies

Jul. 05, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

HUNTINGTON -- The man whose foundation helped fund the building of 13 alumni centers in West Virginia died July 4.

Charles F. Erickson, 81, was president of the Erickson Foundation, which he founded after his father's death in 1993 with a goal of helping higher education institutions build alumni centers.

That resulted in two for Marshall University -- the Erickson Alumni Center, which opened in the early 1990s along 5th Avenue; and the new Erickson Alumni Center housed inside Foundation Hall, which opened in February 2010, just down the street.

"Charles will truly be missed," said Ron Area, chief executive officer of the Marshall University Foundation. "He was a good friend and mentor to many in the advancement field."

Erickson attended the grand opening and said he was in awe of the complex.

"My father ... would be just as proud as he was 20 years ago (at the dedication of the former Erickson Alumni Center) as we are today," he said. "Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this. This is the best investment the Erickson family has ever made."

The Erickson Foundation is located in Parkersburg, where Charles O. Erickson set up his successful business, which led him to building the first alumni center at West Virginia University in 1986.

"Today we lost a wonderful man and loyal Mountaineer," said Steve Douglas, president and CEO of the West Virginia University Alumni Association. "Our beautiful alumni home bears the Erickson name, as do numerous alumni centers throughout the state. He and his family appreciated the work that we do, and he was a constant cheerleader of those efforts. And he was one of the kindest, sweetest people you will ever meet."

Other institutions with alumni centers aided by the Erickson Foundation include West Virginia Wesleyan College, Davis & Elkins College, Alderson Broaddus University, Bethany College, University of Charleston, Fairmont State, West Virginia State, Wheeling Jesuit, College of West Virginia, Salem International University and Concord University.

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