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Hinegardner fund provides new opportunities for Davis College students and faculty

West Virginia University students will find new opportunities to enhance their educational experience with a recent gift to the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design.

The gift, made by WVU alumnus Danny J. Lancaster, establishes the William F. and Nannie Hinegardner Opportunity Fund. The fund will provide support to students and faculty for special projects, travel, research and more.

The gift honors the memory Danny’s grandparents who were farmers in Greenbrier County, W.Va. Describing his grandparents as “Jeffersonian farmers” who would churn their own butter and maintain a garden, Lancaster wanted to pay tribute to their dedication to the agricultural life.  

“My grandparents were two of the hardest working people I have ever known,” said Lancaster. “They were superb role models and I was very lucky to get to see them every day. This is a small testament to the esteem in which I hold them.”

Lancaster first came to WVU planning to major in English but soon switched to a pre-professional degree when he considered going to medical school. The program offered him a wide range of electives and great faculty. After graduation he enrolled at the WVU School of Medicine and did his residency in Gavelston, Texas. He joined the Navy on a fellowship in infectious diseases and spent 6 years with the Navy. He found his way to Memphis, where he spent the remainder of his career working for the University of Tennessee Medical School and Methodist Healthcare.

For students seeking future success, Lancaster’s advice is simple: “Life is short. Find something you enjoy and do it the best of your ability.”

The fund will be used across the Davis College, giving it an important resource to take new opportunities and initiatives that enhance the education and research of its students and faculty. 

“We are grateful and excited about what this gift will do for the College,” said Daniel Robison, dean of the Davis College. “As a permanent endowment fund, it will support our students and faculty for years to come. We can’t say thank you enough for a generous gift that will enable the college to respond to innovative opportunities and add value to all we do!”

Danny’s gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the independent fundraising arm of the University. For more information on how to support the Davis College, please contact Andrew S. Barnes, associate director of development. 



CONTACT: Andrew S. Barnes, Associate Director of Development