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Gift from alumnus aids international travel for WVU Davis College students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As a certified professional forester, West Virginia University alumnus Eugene Arthur Walters benefitted personally and professionally from traveling abroad, and he hopes to help students experience the same.   

Eugene Walters in Peru


Walters and his wife, Amy, recently established a gift in their estate plan to support international travel for future students in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. This planned gift is in addition to an international travel scholarship established by the Walters in 2017. 


Originally from Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, Eugene Walters graduated from WVU with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in forestry in 1980 and 1984, respectively.  


As a student, he gained real-world experience as an intern for Westvaco Corporation. After graduating with his master’s degree, he spent 13 years as a forester with the Mead Corporation before becoming a regional manager for Wesco Forest Products. Walters also worked for Rolling Ridge Woods and North American Veneer before opening his own business, Pioneer Forest Products, in 2017.  


His jobs allowed him to travel to India, China, Japan, Vietnam and Europe.  

Eugene Walters and his wife in Peru.


“When I was a freshman in forestry at WVU, I never thought that my career in the forest products industry would take me around the world like it has, but I'm certainly glad it has,” Walters said.  


According to Darrell Donahue, dean of the WVU Davis College, the gift is a testament to the importance of giving back.  


“It’s clear Eugene and Amy are caring and selfless people who recognize the value of travel and experiencing other cultures. Their generosity ensures our future students will have those opportunities available to them,” he said. “It also showcases the impact the Davis College, our great professors and the University had on Eugene’s life.”  


Walters concurs.  


“Everything that I have I credit to my education at West Virginia University,” he said. “I just hope, by our scholarship and by this planned gift, there will be another young person that will be able to further their education.”  


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





CONTACT: Lindsay Willey 

Director of Marketing and Communications 

Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design  

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