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Thrasher to deliver 2017 Statler College Commencement address

A photo of Woody Thrasher.

 Statler College graduate H. Wood "Woody" Thrasher will be the College's Commencement speaker.


West Virginia Secretary of Commerce H. Wood “Woody” Thrasher, a 1977 graduate of West Virginia University, will be the speaker for the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources 2017 Commencement. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 13, at 1 p.m., at the WVU Coliseum.

Thrasher was appointed the West Virginia Secretary of Commerce in December 2016 by Governor Jim Justice.  He oversees 10 agencies, including the Development Office; the divisions of Energy, Forestry, Labor, Natural Resources and Tourism; the Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training; WorkForce West Virginia; the Office of Economic Opportunity; and Geological and Economic Survey.  As Secretary of Commerce, Thrasher’s main goal is creating more jobs in West Virginia by growing existing businesses and attracting new businesses to the state.  

Thrasher is the previous president and chief executive officer of The Thrasher Group, Inc., a leading mid-Atlantic engineering and architectural firm, with headquarters based in Bridgeport. In 1983, Thrasher with his father, Harry, started Thrasher Engineering in Harrison County with three employees. The company has grown to employ more than 300 people in six different states. In addition to his engineering pursuits, Thrasher also held interests in commercial and residential developments in north central West Virginia through High Tech Development, LLC, the developing company of the White Oaks Business Park.

Thrasher remains very active with his alma mater. In 2012, he was elected to the West Virginia University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, and currently serves as its chairman. He is a distinguished alumnus of the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and has been active on various committees within the College. He has also served as an officer on the executive and financial committee for West Virginia University Hospital.

He has served as past president of the West Virginia American Council of Engineering Companies and the West Virginia Society of Professional Engineers. In 2000, Thrasher was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the national professional services firm of Ernst and Young. He is also very involved in the community, being a part of chambers and local organizations throughout the state. He is past president of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce and is on the board of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.



For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources:


Phone contacts:
College Relations office: 304-293-4086
Office of the Dean: 304-293-4157
Other College administrative and department offices: Administration