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Architecture and engineering support from The Thrasher Group

The Bridgeport-based consulting firm The Thrasher Group has contributed $50,000 to Fairmont State University to support the architecture and civil engineering technology departments.

“The Thrasher Group believes in supporting local education to ensure a quality workforce for our industry. Contributing to these programs has been a great way to do that,” said Chad Riley, Thrasher’s Chief Executive Officer. “We have supported the establishment of an accredited architecture master’s degree at the University for several years and will continue doing so.”

“Programs like these are just one more avenue to ensure that students can earn their degree in West Virginia and stay in the state to work,” Riley said. “Fairmont State has always been a significant source of employees for our company, both as full-time staff members and summer interns. It’s been rewarding to be a part of the success of the engineering program, and we look forward to seeing how the architecture program will impact the region.”

The Thrasher Group Civil Engineering Technology Department Fund and The Thrasher Group Architecture Fund will both pay for travel and hospitality, supplies, stipends, student scholarships and awards, fringe benefits and other needs deemed appropriate by the College of Science & Technology.

“This commitment from The Thrasher Group shows the importance of our students to industry in the region and the state and their interest in assisting us with graduating students who will excel in their professions,” said Julie R. Cryser, president of the Fairmont State Foundation. “We are thankful and appreciative of this generosity and support.”

The Fairmont State University Civil Engineering Technology program prepares graduates to participate in the planning analysis, design, construction, operations and maintenance of roadways, airports, tunnels, bridges, water supply and distribution systems and waste collection and treatment systems. The program produces high-quality professionals with hands-on experience.

Fairmont State University’s American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter has been one of the most successful engineering teams in the history of the National Concrete Canoe Competition (NCCC). In the spring, the team continued its tradition of excellence and for the 16th consecutive year by representing the region at the national competition. The team holds the record for the most consecutive national appearances at the NCCC. Fairmont State University’s ASCE Student Chapter won first place in the Concrete Canoe Competition at the 2019 Virginias Conference.

“The Thrasher Group has been a very strong partner for both the civil engineering technology and architecture departments,” said Steven Roof, dean of the College of Science and Technology. “We are thrilled that this industry leader has decided to assist our faculty and students further through continued financial investment.”

The mission of the Architecture Program at Fairmont State is to educate aspiring architects as creative thinkers who pursue architecture as a process of integration where theory, culture, history, sustainability and practice come together within the understanding of the unique character and dynamics of the regional condition as part of the global community.

The architecture program at Fairmont State University is comprised of a two-year associate degree, a four-year pre-professional degree (bachelor’s), and a one and a half-year master’s degree, for which a baccalaureate degree in architecture is required as a prerequisite.

Once fully accredited, Fairmont State University will have the only accredited master’s program in Architecture in the state, giving Fairmont State Architecture students a unique opportunity to advance in their profession and stay close to home.

Fairmont State University’s architecture master’s degree was granted initial candidacy from the National Architectural Accrediting Board in August 2018. Helping the accreditation efforts was Fairmont State University’s close ties and connections to potential employers in the region, including Thrasher.

The program will submit another report in September 2019 for the continuing candidacy visit in the spring of 2020. Then in the spring of 2022, possibly earlier, the final accreditation visit will be held.

“The Thrasher Group’s support will have immeasurable impact,” Fairmont State President Dr. Mirta Martin said. “First and foremost, this gift supports the architecture and civil engineering technology programs, ensuring that they can continue to offer our students extraordinary educations and unmatched career preparation. The gift also serves a wider purpose – by supporting these programs, The Thrasher Group is helping Fairmont State maintain a strong ‘talent pipeline,’ one that moves hardworking, talented students through our programs and into in-demand careers, often with terrific companies like The Thrasher Group, right here in West Virginia.”

The Thrasher Group was established in 1983 by a young entrepreneur and engineer, H. Wood “Woody” Thrasher, and his father. The duo set out to create a civil engineering firm rooted in serving the state’s communities, growing local infrastructure, and giving young, talented West Virginians a place to thrive. Since that time, Thrasher has grown into West Virginia’s largest privately-owned engineering, architecture, environmental, and field services consulting firm and an industry leader in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Thrasher’s gift was made through the Fairmont State Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that solicits and administers private donations on behalf of the Fairmont State University.

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