Fairmont State Alumni Association to honor award recipients at 2022 Alumni & Emeritus Luncheon

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Fairmont State University will honor the 2022 Alumni Award Winners during the Fairmont State Alumni & Emeritus Luncheon as part of the University’s Homecoming celebration. The Alumni & Emeritus Luncheon will take place on Friday, September 23 at noon in Falcon Center Gym 1.

“Each year, the Fairmont State Alumni Association receives countless nominations for our distinguished Alumni Awards,” said Fairmont State University Director of Alumni Relations, Katie Byers. “The selection committee has worked diligently to select the best representatives of the University, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to celebrate these much deserving individuals and all of their accomplishments.”

All community members and alumni are invited to attend the celebration to honor the 2022 Alumni Award recipients. Alumni & Emeritus Luncheon tickets are available for purchase at www.fsufoundation.org/homecoming2022.

“We look forward to honoring our 2022 Alumni Award Winners,” said Fairmont State Alumni Association President, Mary Jo Thomas. “We invite all family, loved ones and alumni, along with our friends from the community to join us in recognizing these exceptional individuals.”

In addition to the Alumni & Emeritus Luncheon, the Alumni Award Winners will be recognized on Thursday, September 22 during the Homecoming Parade at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, September 24 at Duvall Rosier Field prior to the Homecoming football game kick-off against UNC Pembroke at 2 p.m. Tickets for the Homecoming game may be purchased at www.fairmontstate.edu/hometownticketing.

The 2022 Fairmont State Alumni Award Winners include:

Outstanding Alumni 

  • Chris Pallotta - Class of 1971 
  • Jeff Crane - Class of 1983 
  • Jackie Dooley - Class of 1977 
  • Christy Miller - Class of 1984 

Alumni of Achievement 

  • Rick Biafora  
  • Steve Rodriguez - Class of 1984 
  • Jennifer Wilson - Class of 2004 

Outstanding Young Alumni 

  • Kayla Lantz - Class of 2016 
  • Robert Kozul - Class of 2008 

Lifetime Acheivement Award 

  • Dr. Don Moroose - Class of 1965 

Outstanding Alumni – Chris Pallotta, 1971

During Chris’ time at Fairmont State, he was a member of the Swim Team, President of the Tau Beta Iota Fraternity, President of his Sophomore, Junior and Senior Classes, Member of Student Government, and was the Fairmont State College Representative to the Small College Student Government Convention in Las Vegas, NV. Chris graduated from Fairmont State in 1971 with a BS degree in Business Administration. He later joined his father’s general insurance agency (Bond Insurance Agency, Inc.) to where he retired as the President & CEO. One of his greatest accomplishments was organizing MVB Bank, Inc and MVB Financial Corp; starting from scratch as a Denova Bank and turned it into a 3-billion-dollar financial services business.

Outstanding Alumni - Jeff Crane, 1983

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Jeff is a first-generation college student and graduated from Fairmont State College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. During his time at Fairmont State, he was a two-sport athlete participating in both football and track. Jeff has been a teacher and coach in Marion County for over 35 years, and recently completed his 25th year as head coach of the North Marion High School Girl’s Track Team.

Outstanding Alumnae – Jacqueline Dooley, 1977

A former Fairmont native, now residing in Oviedo, Florida, Jacque graduated from Fairmont State in 1977 with a liberal arts degree, and received her Masters in SPED, Early Intervention Education from WVU. She currently serves as the Chair of the Fairmont Black Student Alumni Association, which she was instrumental in its founding and organizing in 2018. Jacque retired from WVU in 2017 after 24 years of service. She is also an Army Veteran.

Outstanding Alumna - Christy Miller, 1984 

Christy is a 1984 graduate of Fairmont State, with an AB in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood. She taught for 14 years before earning her Master’s in Educational Leadership and becoming a principal in Marion County. In July of 2018, Christy became the superintendent in Taylor County, where she will retire from in June of 2023.

Alumni of Achievement – Rick Biafora

After graduating high school, Rick went on to study business at Fairmont State. By the time was 20, his father retired and transferred ownership of his family’s clothing business to Rick and his brother David. The two brothers subsequently built the franchise into multiple stores spanning 3 states. Over the years, the company grew substantially into Metro Property Management LLC. Rick is currently the co-owner of Biafora Holding LLC, which operates myriad real estate focused businesses including Metro Property Management and multiple construction companies.

Alumni of Achievement – Steve Rodriguez, 1984

During his time at Fairmont State, Steve played on the football team, received all conference honors, and was selected captain of the team his senior year. He graduated from Fairmont State in 1984 with an Elementary Education Degree. He went on to receive two master’s degrees from WVU in Elementary Education and Administration. After graduating, Steve returned to Fairmont State as an assistant coach for the football team, where he coached for 7 years. Steve is currently the principal of Fairview middle, where he has been for the last 20 years.

Alumna of Achievement – Jennifer Wilson, 2004

Jennifer is a 2004 Fairmont State graduate. She moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where she was a licensed realtor. After years in the real estate business, she decided to make the trip back home to West Virginia. She is currently a real estate agent at Sierra Pacific Mortgage.

Outstanding Young Alumni – Kayla Lantz, 2016

Kayla is a 2016 Fairmont State, College of Business graduate. Upon graduating, she travelled around the country, working in the Brand Marketing industry. She returned to her hometown of Clarksburg, WV and is currently working for The Thrasher Group, Inc in Bridgeport. She is also currently serving on The Semi-Quincentennial Commission for WV.

Outstanding Young Alumni – Robert Kozul, 2008

A Fairmont native, Robert attended East Fairmont High School and graduated from Fairmont State in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Technology. After graduation, he pursued a career as a Civil Engineer working for Chapman Technical Group and Stantec Consulting. In 2016, he transitioned to a different career path and become a financial advisor with Edward Jones; to where he is still currently employed. During Robert’s career transition, he served as a Councilman for the Pleasant Valley City Council.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Donald Moroose, 1965

Dr. Moroose was born and raised in Fairmont and earned his BA in Education from Fairmont State College in 1965. He became an assistant professor at Fairmont State while he was finishing his Doctorate at WVU. Dr. Moroose was instrumental in developing the graduate school in education, leading Fairmont State College to become a university. On top of developing graduate programs, he pioneered online learning in the classroom on campus and in the state of WV – allowing existing teachers to become certified while remaining at home; further allowing teachers to attain a Master degree online. Dr. Moroose served for 49 years at Fairmont State and retired in May of 2018.

For a full schedule of Homecoming events, visit www.fairmontstate.edu/homecoming.