Four West Liberty University students and two faculty members were welcomed into the Order of the Torch honorary, Tuesday, April 29 in a ceremony held at historic Liberty Oaks, the alumni house located on the Hilltop campus.

From left, Neupane, Trey Zambito, Alfred de Jaager, Jim Haizlette,

From left, Rozen Neupane, Trey Zambito, Alfred de Jaager, Jim Haizlett and Michael Murphy gather after the Order of the Torch ceremony.

“We are pleased to honor our hard working students and faculty who embody the institution’s mission so well. The Order of the Torch is a fine example of our success as a college. I congratulate all the students and faculty being inducted this year,” said President Robin C. Capehart. 

2014 graduates Michael Murphy, Bellaire, Ohio, Rozen Neupane, Kathmandu, Nepal and Andrew Price, Bluefield, W.Va. and rising senior Alfonso “Trey” Zambito, Wheeling, were the student scholars honored. Retired Associate Professor of Music Alfred de Jaager and Associate Professor of Art James Haizlett also were inducted into the men’s honorary society during a festive dinner celebration.

In addition to the new members, 11 current members attended the induction ceremony and congratulated the new honorees. Dr. Mohamed Youssef, Order of the Torch member assisted in the festivities.

Order of the Torch membership includes leading faculty members and WLU’s highest achieving students, chosen based upon a demonstration of excellence and leadership in three areas: classroom academics, campus activities and community service.

All four of the student inductees this spring were excited to be accepted into the prestigious group.

“I have always believed in hard work and determination,” Neupane said. “Maintaining a good GPA and being involved on campus have been my priorities throughout the last four years. High academic achievements and an involvement in the campus community are two of the most important criteria for being inducted into the Order.”

The honorary society has a rich tradition and dates back to 1932, when West Liberty was a State Teachers’ College and President J.S. Bonar organized the Torch Society, as it was then known, to serve as the ranking men’s honorary. The organization consisted of both faculty members and the most distinguished male students in terms of scholarship, service and sportsmanship.

The Torch was reinvigorated through the efforts of current President Robin C. Capehart and is now known as the Order of the Torch. By retaining the symbol of the torch, the updated honorary maintains tradition and links to the rich history of WLU, West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education established in 1837. It continues to serve as the ranking men’s honorary at West Liberty University today.