The planned more than $2 million estate gift from John and Irene Muffly of Morgantown supports their existing football scholarship and establishes a new scholarship to aid West Virginia students at the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics.  (Submitted Photo)

Lifelong connection drives Morgantown couple to support scholarships at WVU

A lifelong connection to West Virginia University inspired alumnus John Muffly and his wife, Irene, to boost scholarship support via an estate gift worth more than $2 million.

The planned gift made in the Morgantown couple’s wills supports their existing John and Irene Muffly Football Scholarship and establishes a new scholarship to aid West Virginia students at the WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics.  

As he reflected on the impact of WVU on his life, Muffly and his wife decided to give back for the great experiences he had at the University.

“This has always been home and I’m extremely close to the University. I always have been,” John Muffly said. “It’s just a thing about being from Morgantown that the University becomes a part of your life because you grow up with it. You’re seeing it all the time and you’re supporting the athletics, going to events and getting to know people. It is just a great experience all in all.” 

During his time at WVU, Muffly was in the fraternity Beta Theta Pi and a Mountaineer Marching Band member. It was where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1969. The University played a vital part of his journey.

“The John Chambers College of Business and Economics has grown substantially since I was in school,” he said. “Everything we had at B&E back in the ’60s was in one building, Armstrong Hall. Now the College is one of the biggest at the University. Supporting its efforts will hopefully also help us grow as a state.”

Josh Hall, Milan Puskar Dean of the Chambers College, is grateful for the Mufflys’ gift to support future business Mountaineers that will allow students to say ‘yes’ to a college education in their home state.

“Generosity from West Virginians like John and Irene Muffly is essential to the access mission of WVU,” Hall said. “Support for West Virginia students, when combined with the Promise Scholarship and our merit scholarships, allows us to keep our best and brightest high school students right here in West Virginia. It is an incredible legacy for them to leave behind and the Chambers College is honored to be part of it.”

Following graduation, Muffly moved to Sandusky, Ohio, where he worked in the operations department for Cedar Point. After six years, Muffly moved to Gurnee, Illinois, where he continued his career in business operations. Eventually, he transferred to maintenance and construction, serving as buildings and grounds manager and later as vice president.

He met Irene in Illinois, and she continues to support him and his wishes. After retiring and being away for almost 30 years, country roads brought Muffly home to Morgantown.  

Although Muffly never received any scholarships during his education at the University, he and Irene have made it a tradition to help the newest Mountaineers get their education. The Mufflys enjoy a lot of WVU sports, especially football. In essence, the team, players, coaches and staff have become a part of the Muffly family, so he said supporting them and his alma mater seemed like the right thing to do.

“John and Irene Muffly’s loyalty to West Virginia University and Mountaineer Athletics extends more than 50 years. Their appreciation for the student-athletes and what they mean to the overall success of WVU is greatly appreciated,” Vice President and Director of Athletics Wren Baker said. “With this continued commitment to their scholarship fund, the Mufflys’ generosity will benefit WVU student-athletes for years to come.”

Muffly said the purpose of his family’s estate gift is to help students obtain a good education and encourage them to stay local for their careers or follow in his footsteps by coming back. The couple hopes that recipients of their scholarships will also follow their example by providing continued support for the state and WVU.

The couple’s gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

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