PHILADELPHIA _ West Virginia native Selby Wellman, founder of the Wellman Family Foundation, was honored Friday with the Friend of Education Award by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). The national award is given annually to an individual or organization whose primary work may be outside the realm of education policy but whose contributions to education are significant and enduring.
“Selby Wellman exemplifies the vital relationship that exists between committed individuals, organizations and American education,” said NASBE Executive Director Brenda Welburn. “The Wellman Family Foundation is to be commended for their commitment to students and leadership in service to West Virginia’s schools. They are role models for the meaningful contributions that can be made to public schools by those not directly involved in the field of education.”
Nominated by the West Virginia Board of Education, the award was presented at NASBE’s national conference in Philadelphia.
“Mr. Wellman is truly giving back to his home state,” state Superintendent Steve Paine said. “I want to thank Selby for his generosity and let him know that we truly appreciate what he has done for the students in West Virginia.”
Wellman formed the Wellman Family Foundation, which is dedicated to creating educational opportunities exclusively for West Virginia students, including funding many scholarships to Marshall University. In addition, Wellman has been the leader in developing an entrepreneurial program with a goal of commercializing Marshall research in the areas of forensic science and the environment.
Thanks to the Wellman Family Foundation, “SAS inSchool” resources were made available to all secondary schools in West Virginia as well as to Marshall University. “SAS inSchool” creates Web-based teaching and learning curricula focusing on the core subjects taught in grades 8-12, including English, Spanish, social studies, science and mathematics. More than 250 schools have used the interactive software in their classrooms.
After graduating from Huntington High School and Marshall University, Wellman spent five years in the U.S. Air Force. He started his career at IBM in Huntington where he spent 15 years in various marketing and management positions. His last position was senior vice president of Cisco Systems throughout the 1990s where he held executive positions in engineering and marketing.
Wellman currently is on the board of directors of Workscape, a Boston-based human resource software company. He is also an adviser to Synectic Ventures, a West Coast venture capital company.
“We are pleased to honor Selby Wellman and the loyalty and generosity of his family’s foundation to the children of West Virginia as NASBE’s 2007 Friend of Education,” Welburn said.