Former Marshall president dead at 92

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The president at Marshall University that led what’s called the “Decade of Progress” died Friday. Dr. Robert B. Hayes was 92.

Former Marshall President Robert Hayes

Hayes, a Clarksburg native, became Marshall’s president in 1974. He served as interim president earlier that year following the resignation of John Barker. Hayes served until his resignation in 1983.

Hayes’ tenure included the creation of the Marshall Community College for non-traditional students, the establishment of the Marshall Medical School and the construction of the Cam Henderson Center.

Hayes’ impact at Marshall was recognized in several statements released by the university Friday.

Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert, President, Marshall University:

“Bob Hayes was one of our institution’s truly great presidents in the modern era. During his tenure, he transformed Marshall University by securing support to start the school of medicine. I had the good fortune of being able to meet with President Hayes on a number of occasions since I became president and I always went away with a better understanding of Marshall’s history and his legacy. He was a great leader, a fine gentleman and a true Son of Marshall.”

Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine:

“Dr. Hayes was a remarkable visionary for Marshall University. In particular, he played a critical role in establishing the Marshall University School of Medicine. The impact of his work continues to benefit the citizens of West Virginia in general and the tri-state region in particular. His legacy is immense. We extend our most sincere condolences to his family and share in the grieving at the passing of this great man.”

Dr. Charles McKown, former dean, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine:

“The complexity of creating a medical school required the assistance of numerous people making immeasurable contributions, but none more so than Dr. Hayes, whose work was critical and extensive. With his extraordinary ability to work with educators and professional leaders in enhancing their contributions, a boundless synergy was created. In reality, the growth of our institution to true university status must be attributed to his multiple efforts.”

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