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MU engineering professorship receives $721K donation

Nov. 15, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University has received a $721,000 bequest from the estate of Huntington businessman J. Robert "Bob" Fletcher to fund the engineering professorship bearing his name.

The donation is expected to be matched through the West Virginia Research Trust Fund to bring a benefit of more than $1.4 million to Marshall. The J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering will support an endowed faculty position in mechanical engineering at Marshall. The Fletcher family established the endowment in 2010 with a gift of $125,000, which was matched by the trust fund.

Fletcher, who died in 2009, moved to Huntington in 1947 with the family business. Along with his father and brother, he designed underground roof support systems for coal and limestone mines and built a manufacturing plant in Huntington. Today, J.H. Fletcher & Co. is a premier manufacturer of underground roof support systems.

"My parents Bob and Kae Fletcher always felt that an education was of the utmost importance for a young person to achieve success in life," said the couple's daughter, Sally Fletcher Duncan. "We hope this bequest will help many deserving Marshall students graduate from college and become successful and contributing members of our society."

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