In 1951, a group of West Virginia business leaders joined forces to promote the work of independent liberal arts colleges in the state. Our passionate founders believed that a collaborative effort of raising funds would strengthen the colleges and build a foundation for obtaining financial resources.
Today, WVICU is comprised of eight private independent colleges and universities:
- Alderson Broaddus University, Philippi
- Appalachian Bible College, Mount Hope
- Bethany College, Bethany
- Davis & Elkins College, Elkins
- Ohio Valley University, Vienna
- University of Charleston, Charleston
- West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon
- Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling
WVICU's eight member institutions currently enroll over 8,850 students, nearly half of whom are West Virginians. Our research shows that 36 percent, or approximately 3,200, of these students are the first of any generation in their family to attend a college or university.
WVICU member colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to offer the nurturing, individual attention that first generation students need. These students benefit from attending our faith-based colleges and universities that have a low student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1.
The Circle of Vision program started in 1997 and has awarded scholarships totaling $4.45 million through 2013. The program continually evolves to meet the changing needs of the donors, schools, and students.
Scholarship recipients must be a resident of West Virginia and demonstrate financial need and academic excellence.
Circle of Vision Scholars have achieved a remarkable success record with 77.4 percent graduation rate. The scholars communicate with their donors through letters, picture, and visits where appropriate.
Circle of Vision scholar Jason Pelinsky graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in Athletic Training and a minor in chemistry from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2010. Jason also graduated in May 2014 from the WVU school of Medicine with an MD degree. Jason received early acceptance last year for the rural scholar residency program at WVU that will begin in the Fall.
Circle of Vision Scholar Crystal Bible graduated from Davis & Elkins College in 2013 with a BA degree in History. Crystal was on the Dean's List, inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, and was named to Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities. Crystal is currently a full-time special education teacher in Upshur County and pursuing a master’s degree in multi-categorical special education at West Virginia University.
Become a Circle of Vision Benefactor
Circle of Vision Scholarships are awarded to our member schools on a rotating basis.
Scholarships established by benefactors are awarded to a student enrolled at one of WVICU’s schools and recognized in publications of all eight member colleges and universities.
Option A fund a $10,000 Circle of Vision student scholarship for one year as described above. The contribution is made payable during the current year.
Option B funds a $10,000 Circle of Vision student scholarship for four years with a total of $40,000. The contribution is made in the amount of $10,000 during each of those years. Benefactors provide the opportunity to award the scholarship to a first-year student and follow that student for four years.
We invite you to become a Circle of Vision Scholarship donor. Our benefactors are:
"Strengthening Our Circle and Vision... One Student at a Time."
For a personal meeting or additional information please contact:
Ben Exley IV Executive Director
Mission and Vision
The mission of WVICU is to champion independent higher education throughout the state of West Virginia. WVICU’s vision further states that independent higher education in West Virginia will be an accessible, indispensable and highly visible component of the state's educational, economic, and cultural life.