After being part of the Fairmont State family for more than 25 years, Dr. Maria Rose became the University’s president on May 3, 2012. Five years later, President Rose gave a final address to more than 400 students during the 148th Commencement for Fairmont State University.
“Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I was one of those kids who played school. There was never a doubt in my mind or in my parents’ minds that I would go to college, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would someday be a university president. That is the power of a higher education degree. Education can create opportunities you never dared to imagine,” Rose said.
Prior to her appointment, she served as Interim President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and as a faculty member. Dr. Rose taught developmental writing, developmental reading and study skills and has coordinated the campus-wide peer tutoring program. She served as Director of Retention and Vice President of Academic Services. Working with the FSU School of Education’s Professional Development Schools initiative, she has served as the liaison for White Hall Elementary School.
She was a member of the Governor’s Council on Literacy during the administrations of Gaston Caperton, Cecil Underwood and Bob Wise. As a member of the Council, she served as Chair of Public Outreach and worked on many family literacy projects. Rose authored and served as the Principal Investigator for the Fairmont State Title III Strengthening Institutions grant. She received national recognition as Outstanding First Year Student Advocate, which was presented by the National Resource Center for First Year Experience and Students in Transition. Dr. Rose served on a task force for the Higher Education Policy Commission Adult Learner initiative and is currently serving on the Commission’s College Completion Task Force.
Chancellor Paul Hill of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission named Dr. Rose to the Compensation, Planning and Review Committee maintained in SB439 as part of the human resources directive (Old 330). Also during her tenure as president, she has served as chair of the Conduct Committee for the Mountain East Conference and Presidential Coordinator for the West Virginia Association of Regional Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Rose received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Fairmont State College and a Master of Arts degree in Reading from West Virginia University. From WVU, she also earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on family and community literacy issues as they relate to higher education. In addition, she earned a Developmental Educator Certification through the Kellogg Institute of Appalachian State University.
At the annual end-of-the-year picnic for Fairmont State University faculty and staff, RJ Gimbl, President and CEO of the Fairmont State Foundation, surprised FSU President Maria Rose with a special gift from the FSU community. Gimbl announced the creation of the Maria C. Rose Endowed Scholarship for first generation college students.The creation of the scholarship was a special tribute to Rose’s many years of service to the University.
“Dr. Rose, your Falcon Family offers sincere thanks for your contributions to FSU and the greater community and honors your legacy of commitment and caring through this new scholarship for first generation college students,” Gimbl said.
Focusing the scholarship award was a personal touch to salute Rose, who was the first in her family to attend college like many of FSU’s students. Rose often speaks fondly of her parents and their support of her pursuit of higher education.
“I am grateful for the relationships built and lives changed by this University, which has made a great impact on my life. My role in the story of Fairmont State is changing but not ending. Tom, our family and I will always be proud to be part of the Falcon family,” Dr. Rose said.
To donate to the scholarship, contact the Fairmont State Foundation at (304) 534-8786 or make a gift online at FSUFoundation.org.