In September of 2021, the entire campus community lost a great friend, mentor, and colleague with the passing of Joseph "Joey" R. Oden, Jr.
Joey will always be part of the State story, and his legacy will continue through the support of the Joey Oden Memorial Scholarship Fund at West Virginia State University.
Make your gift today to support his legacy. The memory of Joey will continue to inspire current and future generations of State students through this newly established memorial scholarship fund.
Joey embodied the best of who we are as a campus and a community. He literally grew up on this campus, where his father, Joseph Sr., was a faculty member and operated the well-known former Big O’s restaurant, and his mother, Dr. Barbara Oden, was a long-serving faculty member and administrator.
Joey graduated from Dunbar High School where he was a standout basketball player. He brought those talents to State where as a student-athlete he helped lead our Yellow Jackets basketball team to a conference championship. He was an eagle-eyed three-point shooter and is a member of the “W” Club Sports Hall of Fame, class of 2005.
Joey graduated from State in 1989 with a degree in business management and worked for the university for nearly 30 years in positions in enrollment management and student affairs that brought him into daily contact with students. This was a role that Joey fully embraced. While he did not carry the title of Dean of Students, that was Joey. He never met a student he did not take an active interest in, and the number of students’ lives he touched through the years is almost beyond measure.
Joey never met a stranger and in his years of service to the university was a constant presence at major university events such as Homecoming and State Stride with his megaphone getting the crowd excited and cheering for the Yellow Jackets.
Thank you for supporting WVSU and our students!