INSTITUTE, W.VA. — West Virginia State University has a new student residence hall for the first time since the last 1960s and its namesake is a grateful alum.
Dedication ceremonies were held Wednesday on the Institute campus at Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall.
“I don’t take it for granted. I don’t know if I deserve it but I appreciate everything that this college has done for me,” Judge Keith told the large crowd.
The 1943 graduate is a Senior Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Keith, 92, said coming to State in 1939 from his hometown of Detroit, Michigan was one of the most important decisions he ever made.
“What would have happened to me if cousin Ethel and Mrs. Davis had not come by my house on that day in August in 1939? What would have happened to my life?” Judge Keith asked.
Keith Scholars Hall has 291 beds, 78 suite-style units and 10 apartment units with state-of-the art technology. There’s also a cafe, gaming room and other amenities.
Judge Keith closed his remarks by urging those who have benefited from West Virginia State to help those who are following their paths.
“We here are walking on floors that we did not scrub and we’re going through doors we did not open but our job, indeed our challenge and our commitment, is to continue to scrub the floors so others can walk on them and open doors so graduates of this great university can follow through,” he said.