West Virginia University (WVU) President E. Gordon Gee made two quick stops in Lewis County Tuesday, June 19, as part of his annual West Virginia County tour.
In his first stop in the county, Gee addressed approximately 200 4-H campers attending the annual Older Members Conference at the state 4-H camp at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill. Gee spoke to campers about the importance of education for the state’s future, encouraging students to remain in West Virginia after college.
“You should want to stay so much that you want to build a wall around West Virginia, and make Ohio pay for it,” Gee said jokingly to the students who responded with riotous laughter.
Gee continued the upbeat tone of the visit when he quipped that the student who said he planned to attend the University of Pittsburgh would not get a very good education.
Gee noted that over 100 years ago all the richest people in America were involved in heavy industries such as coal, steel, and railroads, and now all the richest people are involved with computers and related industries.
He went on to say that young people turning new ideas and technologies into jobs and industry has always been what has driven America’s economy.
“I think 4-H is about the greatest program on the face of the earth,” Gee said noting that its family focus was good for the state and nation.
Gee’s second stop was at the WV State Fire Academy where he spoke to the attendees of the Junior Firefighter Camp. Gee noted that West Virginia was losing a lot of volunteer firefighters, and that he was glad they were there to help keep volunteer departments running.