WVU Parkersburg President Dr. Chris Gilmer awarded Phi Theta Kappa’s Paragon Award

WVU Parkersburg President Dr. Chris Gilmer has been named a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Paragon Award for New Presidents by the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honor Society for his outstanding support of student success.

Nominated by student officers in WVU Parkersburg’s Sigma Omega chapter of the PTK honor society, Gilmer received the distinction because of his demonstrated support of student success and recognition of academic achievement, leadership and service among high-achieving students.

“We are so grateful for President Gilmer’s support of the Sigma Omega chapter at WVU Parkersburg,” said Victoria Poellot-Tauber, WVU Parkersburg student and Sigma Omega chapter vice president. “His leadership, campus involvement and belief in students have changed the atmosphere on our campus to foster student success. He has in one way or another personally inspired each of us to become the leaders we see him to be.”

Gilmer is one of only 28 college presidents throughout the nation recognized during PTK Catalyst 2020, the Society’s annual convention that took place virtually on April 16 and 17. More than 500 college presidents were eligible to receive the award.

“What means most to me is that this award comes from our students,” said Gilmer. “I share it with them because our students are the reason and the joy for everything that I do. I thank Phi Theta Kappa and our local chapter for this honor and for their passion for student success.”

In 2018, the college’s Sigma Omega chapter presented Gilmer, who is also a PTK alumni member, with the Phi Theta Kappa alumni medallion in recognition of embodying the organization’s true spirit of leadership, service, fellowship and continued academic excellence.

“We decided some time ago we wanted to nominate Dr. Gilmer for the Paragon Award for New Presidents because of his support and passion for our students,” said Marie Butler, WVU Parkersburg Sigma Omega chapter advisor. “He has made our students a priority.”

PTK students have a 91 percent student success rate, and research has shown that strong presidential leadership and support of PTK increases member success and the depth of their college experience.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 nations, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges.

For more information about WVU Parkersburg’s Sigma Omega chapter, contact advisors Marie Butler (mbutler1@wvup.edu), Andrew Rochus (arochus1@wvup.edu) or Andrew Walker (wwalker1@wvup.edu). 

Established in 1961, West Virginia University at Parkersburg is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Academic credits earned at WVU Parkersburg are transferable to any institution in the West Virginia higher education state system as well as other accredited institutions throughout the country. WVU Parkersburg is the only public community college in West Virginia accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees.