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J. Edgar Hoover Foundation establishes scholarship in forensic science program

The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation has awarded a scholarship to West Virginia University to establish The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation Leadership Scholarship for students enrolled in the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. This first-of-its-kind philanthropic gift from the Hoover Foundation will provide scholarships for four qualified students in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Scholarships will be awarded to two rising juniors and two rising seniors in their pursuit of a bachelor of science degree offered by the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science. Awardees must have a minimum GPA of 3.3 in addition to demonstrating financial need and leadership qualities.

“Our department is defining the frontiers of the discipline,” said Gerald Lang, Department of Forensic and Investigative Science Chair. “Our students come from 31 states to study and earn their degrees demonstrating the national reputation of our programs.  This gift from the Hoover Foundation is another example of the Department’s national recognition. It is special because it is our students who benefit from the generosity of the Foundation.  Aside from the scholarship itself, each student will be recognized as a Hoover Scholar, thus adding to their resumes in preparation for their future careers.”

The J. Edgar Hoover Foundation is well known for its support of scholarships in forensic science. Founded in 1965 by retired special agents and private citizens, the Foundation strives to promote the ideals of Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, creator of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Since its formation, the Foundation has awarded over $3.5 million to students across the nation pursuing careers related to forensic science and law enforcement studies. Additionally, the Foundation encourages others to participate in the mission to support scholarships in forensic science in honor of the organization’s namesake, J. Edgar Hoover.

A collaboration between the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation and the Department of Forensic and Investigative Science is highly relevant as the Department continues to grow and expand opportunities for its students.  The Criminal Justice Information Services Division of the FBI is located in Clarksburg, WV, less than an hour away from the University’s campus. The Department works to foster ongoing connections with the Bureau, expanding opportunities for students seeking internships, field experiences, and work after graduation.

Students selected for the 2016-2017 award include Morgan Abbott, Darby Stemple, Tabetha Soberdash, and Micayla Zynda. Besides excelling in their studies, each student has already demonstrated a propensity for leadership through serving as teaching assistants, participating in multiple national honorary societies, and by engaging as volunteers in the community.  They embody the principles of leadership and citizenship and foster opportunity for others.

For more information on how to make a gift in support of this fund, contact the Eberly College Office of Development at 304-293-4611 or

This contribution was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The $1 billion comprehensive campaign being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.

For further information on the comprehensive campaign, please visit or