Pete White basketball standout passed away at 89, WVU mourns his death

Pete White basketball standout passed away at 89

PC: Bob Hertzel

Pete White Death – A former basketball player for West Virginia University who was a strong prospect in the 1950s has passed away at the age of 89. Pete White’s decision to attend West Virginia University sparked a passion for his alma university, which is reflected in his enduring legacy of service. In addition to being a successful businessman and ardent WVU supporter, White is regarded as a standout athlete. He spent 42 years as a board member of the WVU Foundation. In Sarasota, Florida, on January 12, White, 89, passed away in his family’s presence.

WVU Foundation President

“We are incredibly grateful for the outstanding service, expertise and enthusiasm of Pete White,” WVU Foundation President and CEO Cindi Roth said. “Every time we were together, Pete offered encouraging advice and regularly shared his life and business wisdom with me, for which I am most appreciative. His direction from the 1960s to the present helped us develop into a fundraising force able to support the requirements of West Virginia’s premier land-grant university. Without the foundation he built over the course of his many years of service, we could not have reached the record numbers we have in recent years. He was a genuine Mountaineer, and he will be sorely missed.

Clendenin, a small hamlet located roughly 25 miles northeast of Charleston, is where White attended WVU. He lettered for four years in both track and basketball, shooting hoops alongside the legendary “Hot Rod” Hundley. The NBA’s St. Louis Hawks selected him, but he turned down their offer to join the team in order to complete his ROTC duties for the U.S. Air Force. At WVU, White and Jo first connected in an English class. He earned his bachelor’s in business administration in 1955, and soon after they wed, they had two children: Anne and Brad. With assistance from his WVU adviser, White launched a career in finance and insurance after completing his military service.

Information from former WVU President Neil S. Bucklew

As one of the WVU Foundation’s longest-serving board members, White’s extensive career experience in business, estate, and charitable planning has proven to be a benefit. From 1967 to 2009, he was an active member, and as of 2011, he had been an emeritus member. White was highly regarded by other board members, according to former WVU President Neil S. Bucklew, who frequently sought his advice and counsel. They grew close and enjoyed playing golf together, frequently with Jim Robinson, a former president of the WVU Foundation. Bucklew stated that he particularly valued White’s sense of humor and upbeat attitude. “When you’re around him, you can bet he’s going to have a smile on his face,” Bucklew said. “He has a warm view of the world, and that’s clothed in his own personal background as part of the University community.

I picture Pete as a wonderful father, a successful businessman, a friendly man, and someone who had a special place in his heart and life for West Virginia University.  White was also active in the West Virginia University Alumni Association, holding executive positions with the chapters in Kanawha County and the West Coast of Florida. White received numerous awards for his commitment to and service to WVU. In 2001, he was elected to the Order of Vandalia, WVU’s highest alumni distinction. In 2016, the Foundation presented him with its Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropist Award. He was honored with induction into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2019 for his basketball career.

PC: Bob Hertzel

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