Bob Skinner, left, receives the scholarship gift from John Colatch.

Colatch family establishes religious studies endowment fund

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — When John Colatch entered West Virginia Wesleyan in the fall of 1972, he was one of the first members in his family to attend college.  He never forgot the sacrifices his family made for him to attend Wesleyan.

Colatch studied under many of Wesleyan’s greatest religion faculty members including Dr. Ben Lantz ’60, Hon. ’93 and Dr. Kenneth Welliver, and the late Dr. Peter Bercovitz and Dr. Sidney Davis ’36.

After graduating from Wesleyan in 1976, Colatch earned graduate theological degrees from Duke University and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.

He enjoyed a distinguished career as the Chaplain at Ferrum College, Allegheny College, Lafayette College, and Bucknell University.

Colatch also received a graduate counseling degree from Duquesne University and served as the executive director of the Wesley Foundation Campus Ministry at the University of Delaware.

His gratitude for his father’s support as well as his Wesleyan mentors inspired Colatch to establish the Colatch Family Religious Studies Endowment Fund in memory of Samuel M. Colatch, Jr.

The endowment fund will be made available to religious study faculty for conference attendance and to students enrolled in religious studies classes for experiential learning trips.

Additional gifts can be made to the fund by contacting the Wesleyan Advancement Office.

“I am excited to be able to give back to Wesleyan in honor of my dad,” said Colatch. “I had a great Wesleyan experience, as did my son, Zachary ’08. I benefited from some of Wesleyan’s greatest minds during my days as an undergraduate student and I have never forgotten their influence.”

“We are grateful to John for his vision and generosity in establishing this fund,” stated Bob Skinner ’75, vice president for advancement. “John has enjoyed an extraordinary career in campus ministry and this fund will support both our faculty and students in their pursuit of knowledge about faith and religious studies.”

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