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Beatrice Ruth Burgess Center for West Virginia Families and Communities

Home of the undergraduate and graduate certificates in Gerontology

The Burgess Center was endowed in recognition of Reverend Beatrice Burgess. Her distinguished service and commitment to the people of West Virginia are evidenced by her career as a social community organizer, church worker, minister, and lobbyist. “Bea” worked in southern and central West Virginia shortly after President John Kennedy defined the region as having the most “grinding poverty” to be found in the United States. An advocate, feminist, and minister, “Bea” dedicated her life to service to families and communities throughout the mountains and coal fields for the last two decades of her life.

In the last two decades of her life, Bea Burgess became very active in issues related to aging. In her role as President of the West Virginia Coalition on Legislation for the Aged, she spoke to a U.S. Congressional Committee. She also had several gubernatorial appointments to aging-related groups including the West Virginia Committee on Aging. Given these interests, it is very appropriate that responsibility for the West Virginia University undergraduate and graduate certificates on aging be assigned to the Burgess Center as of Summer 2009.

Information about the graduate and undergraduate Certificates in Gerontology and an application form that may be used for either program may be found through the adjacent links.

For additional information about the Gerontology Certificates, contact Dr. Kristina Hash. If you have questions about the Burgess Center, contact Dr. Karen Harper-Dorton.