West Liberty University’s alumni include thousands of professionals in all walks of life. Recently four highly successful examples were featured in the popular InWheeling magazine, a quarterly lifestyle and society publication distributed throughout the tri-state region.
Frank Busacca ’64; a senior executive for IBM; Richmond “Rich” Glover ’63 a former president and chief operating officer of the largest specialty steel company in the Americas; Joe Koval ’63 owner of Wilburn-Koval Company, one of the largest office design, furniture and supply companies in the Charleston, SC area; and Phil Stahl ’64, a professor emeritus of cell biology and physiology at Washington University School of Medicine.
“It is a tribute to the strength of a West Liberty education that our alumni rise to the top of so many professional fields. This is just four of our success stories, there are many, many more,” said Executive Director of Alumni and Community Relations Ron Witt.
Below is the complete biographic information as reported by InWheeling:
Busacca has a notable 36-year career in accounting, finance and general management that has afforded him many opportunities. He put to good use the educational opportunities provided to him as a young person in Wheeling both as a high school student and a student of accounting and economics at WLU. His parents, a steelworker with a few semesters of college education, and a homemaker with a very limited education, had a great desire for him to go beyond the level of education they had received. They instilled in their son a strong work ethic. After completing his bachelor’s degree, Busacca spent 29 years with IBM, enjoyed foreign assignments as CFO with Monor Telephone, a private start-up, and as CEO of Acton International, a United States direct marketer with subsidiaries in Japan. He became a CPA and began graduate work at George Washington University, earning his master’s at Rider University in New Jersey. Currently, Busacca is active as a board member of the Tick Tock Early Learning Center, a developmental school for underprivileged children in Avondale, Pa. He also serves as a tax preparer for the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Glover grew up in Wheeling and saw firsthand the value of a strong work ethic, watching the most successful in his community simply work harder than their peers. This foundation has been a key component of Glover’s drive for success. Throughout his life, he built on the integrity of his high school education, the nurturing and safe environment of the Ohio Valley, and opportunities he seized to learn entrepreneurial skills. He began learning these skills at fifteen years of age when he went to work for McCrory’s Department Store, where he not only unloaded trucks, but was educated in every facet of retailing and extended to his informal taxi service — he charged his friends $1 per week to fund fuel and oil purchases for his vehicle. After completing his college education at WLU, he became the first graduate hired by Wheeling Steel’s sales department, beginning a distinguished career in the metals manufacturing industry. This career spanned in excess of three decades, from rookie salesman for Wheeling Steel Corporation to President and Chief Operating Officer of the world leader in specialty steel products. Throughout his career, Glover displayed exceptional ability for restructuring and revitalizing weak companies, rebuilding both marketshare and profitability within a relatively short time period. Glover also served in the United States Navy after graduating from Officer’s Candidate School in 1965. He served as a Navy Lieutenant as officer in charge in Vietnam in 1966 and 1967, receiving commendation for outstanding performance. In addition to serving as a board member for a wide variety of professional organizations, Glover serves his alumni chapter, community organizations, veterans’ groups, is a co-founder of Bristol Parent and Child Abuse Center (Conn.) and helped establish Manufacturer’s Alliance of Connecticut. He was elected to the WLU Alumni Wall of Honor in 1999. A permanent resident of Palm City, Fla. since 2003, he also owned Rich Glover & Associates Consulting Company from 2002 – 2011.
Upon graduating from WLU in 1963, Koval was offered the opportunity to pursue a graduate assistantship at Rutgers University. Motivated by his desire to pursue something beyond the construction work he was then doing, he headed to New Jersey. However, he soon found that the program was not a good fit for him, but knowing that seeking opportunity outside of Wheeling was of interest, he went on to join the United States Navy and to graduate from both Officer’s Candidate School and Communications School in 1964. He then went on to serve as communications officer on the USS Charles F. Adams. He married Susan Wulbern in May of 1964, making the year a very eventful one in his young life. From 1967 until 1971, Koval worked in Washington, D.C., as a stock broker for Merrill Lynch and then went on to co-found, with his father-in-law, Wulbern-Koval Company, the largest office furniture and supply dealer in the Charleston, S.C. area, employing 50 individuals.
Stahl grew up in Warwood, one of nine children. His father took the bus each day to work for Wheeling Steel as a bookkeeper. Stahl recalls the nurturing, safety and strength of the community, riding city buses as a child, and later hitchhiking to class at Central Catholic High School. He caused a bit of trouble in high school, recalling a slip delivered to him from the then head-of-school, Brother Phillip John, indicating “detention until further notice.” On the other hand, he was voted “best dancer” of the class of 1959. After graduation, he registered for college, something that was unheard of in his working class family. He matriculated to WLU, where, following the lead of many of his peers, he chose accounting as his major. He had the good fortune of enrolling in a biology class taught by a visiting professor from Vanderbilt University who introduced new research on DNA. Stahl was swept off his feet, and became a chemistry and biology major, which remains his passion. He went on to pursue a Ph.D. in pharmacology at West Virginia University and postdoctoral training at the University of Missouri, working in a temporary office building that housed a nuclear reactor. There he met undergraduate Sharon Mullen, who later became his wife. The two then spent three years at Vanderbilt University, he as an Arthritis Foundation Fellow and she pursuing a degree in art history. They eventually settled at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., where Stahl has served as professor, department head and now professor emeritus. He has received many awards for his years of work, including the Senior Recognition Award given by the American Society for Cell Biology, to honor his work supporting the advancement of women of science. Stahl’s research has been extensive including two critical discoveries in the realm of cell biology. He was honored by WLU as a member of its inaugural Notable Science Alumni Wall of Honor in 2014 and the Alumni Wall of Honor in 1995.