Kathryn Cottrill Vecellio and five others will be inducted into West Virginia University’s College of Education and Human Services Hall of Fame in a ceremony Oct. 10 at the Museum Education Center.
Hall of Fame inductees are individuals with a record of outstanding achievements who have contributed in a significant way to the vision and mission of the college. The college began giving the awards in 2004, and they are sponsored by the college’s Visiting Committee.
Joining Vecellio as 2014 Hall of Fame inductees are Pamela Balch of Buckhannon; Mary Ellen Burris of Rochester, N.Y.; J. Joe Evans of Glenville; Dr. Thomas P. Lombardi of Morgantown; and Donald P. Louda of Aliso Viejo, Calif.
Vecellio, a West Virginia native, graduated from WVU with a bachelor of science in biological sciences/secondary education in 1971 and a master of art in guidance and counseling in 1972.
Vecellio and her husband of 39 years, Leo, and their two sons own the Vecellio Group Inc., which has been one of the nation’s top 400 contractors since 1938. Their Family Foundation has supported 344 students with a total of $2.9 million scholarship dollars and has donated $6.3 million to the needs of many West Virginia and Florida organizations, charities, communities and schools.
Although she still has a home in West Virginia, Vecellio has been a resident of Palm Beach County, Fla., since 1979, and has worked as an organizer, fundraiser, and development volunteer for many community, charitable and educational organizations in that area and throughout the country for more than 40 years.
Recently, she chaired the Palm Beach Heart Ball and raised a record-breaking $2.48 million, making it the most successful Heart Ball in the nation. Additionally, she served for 14 years on the visiting committee for WVU’s College of Education and Human Resources.
She is currently serving as a trustee on the National Board for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, The Kravis Center for Performing Arts, the Schepens Eye Research Institute and the Vecellio Family Foundation.
With a lifetime of work volunteering and many years of full-time community service, Vecellio’s honors and distinctions are many and include “Florida’s Finest Award for Community Service” – Gov. Lawton Chiles, “Women in Leadership Award” – Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, “The William Booth Society Award” – Salvation Army, “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” – Association of Fundraising Professionals, “Women of Distinction Award” – Palm Beach Atlantic University.