— P Maramba (@DailyMailPhilip) January 15, 2015
West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee keeps such a busy schedule that it takes a team to keep him shuttling from appointment to appointment.
He was in town last week for the start of the new legislative session and stopped by the Daily Mail newsroom to take a few questions from reporters.
His time was limited, so it was sports editor Chuck McGill and city/county reporter Matt Murphy who had the chance to bend his ear.
Murphy pressed Gee on the fate of West Virginia University Tech in Montgomery now that WVU had purchased the former Mountain State University property in Beckley. Given that its sudden availability was “like manna from heaven,” Gee was circumspect in his school’s plans for the two campuses.
Think that response was open-ended? Consider the unexploded bombshell he left with McGill when he said of a renewal of playing in-state FBS-school Marshall University in football. Gee said if new WVU athletic director Shane Lyons was open to sitting down with Marshall AD Mike Hamrick to discuss the possibility, “I have no problem with it whatsoever.”
And then, like the Cat in the Hat, he was gone.
Gee’s intelligence, attentiveness, energy and gregariousness lends itself to a rock star-like following among his supporters at the schools he has led. So I was not immune to imposing on him for the chance at a selfie as he was leaving with my alma mater’s popular president.
Indulgences like those, his spokeswoman Becky Lofstead said with a grin and a roll of the eyes, is what makes visits last longer than planned. Still, brief though it was, his presence in the newsroom gifted the paper with a couple of timely stories in the public interest.