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Philanthropic Hero Biography

Westover, West Virginia

Through careful savings and wise investments, Regina Jennings, a custodian at West Virginia University College of Law, was able to amass a life savings of over $93,000. Rather than spend it on herself, she decided to donate the majority of it to the law school where she works–one of the largest gifts the school has ever received. Regina made the gift because of her fondness for the school’s staff and professors and for her deep appreciation of higher education.

"The law school faculty and students were so incredibly nice and genuine," Jennings recalls. "I had the chance to really get to know some folks. They always talked to me and asked me how I was doing.” Over the years, Jennings developed a friendship with WVU law professor and former state Supreme Court Justice Franklin Cleckley. "I sometimes would work into the evenings, and Mr. Cleckley would always be there too….he was always very kind." Jennings said she was especially impressed with Cleckley because of his deep respect and love of law.

Ms. Jenning’s gift will be used to renovate a room at the law school. When completed next spring, the facility - to be formally named for Jennings - will house a sophisticated teleconferencing system to allow for distance education. A portion of the funds will also be used to establish an endowment.

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