POSTED: Sept. 4, 2012 - West Liberty University lost a longtime former employee and alumnus on Monday, Sept. 3, when Liberatore A. “Libby” Orsini, 87, of Follansbee, W.Va., passed away in Trinity West Hospital. Orsini was the director of finance and an assistant professor of business for 39 years.
“West Liberty University mourns the passing of its longtime friend and former financial director Libby Orsini. He remained loyal to the Hilltopper campus throughout his life and his influence is visible in many of the buildings and infrastructure that we use today,” said President Robin C. Capehart.
Orsini was inducted into the West Liberty Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, the same year he ended his administrative career. During his tenure he was instrumental in the planning, funding, designing and execution of 29 building projects across campus, including the Bartell Fieldhouse, (1980), Krise Hall (1970) and the Paul N. Elbin Library (1970).
A 1949 graduate of West Liberty, Orsini went on to earn his master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1952. Following six years of high school teaching, he assumed his role as business manager in 1955.
During his early years at West Liberty, he taught classes and advised students at the Wheeling campus while simultaneously serving as the college’s business manager. He also spent time recruiting for the college by speaking at area high schools and at local community meetings.
Orsini was a charter member of several school boards including the College Foundation Board and the Hilltopper Club, which raises money for WLU’s athletic scholarship fund. He also was a founding member of the Hall of Fame Committee and he served on committees to select a WLU president for two presidential selections.
He also was a charter member of the West Virginia Colleges and Universities Fiscal Officers, serving as president for two years. He also served as administrative representative to the West Liberty State College Advisory Board.
Orsini served a six-year term as a commissioner of the West Virginia Board of Banking and Financial Institutions and was a member of the Brooke County Board of Education from 1970-1982, serving two presidential terms.
In 1991 he received the Medal of Distinction from West Liberty and in 1993 he received a certificate of appreciation from Gov. Gaston Caperton for 35 years of public service to the state of West Virginia.
He received a Resolution of Friendship and Appreciation from West Virginia’s Colleges’ and Universities’ Fiscal Officers, Resolution of Commendation for Leadership and Service as Treasurer of the West Liberty State College Foundation, Inc. and is a member of the 2004 Brooke County Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his wife, Dora Grilli Orsini ’63, a retired associate professor of business at WLU.
Memorial contributions may be made in Orsini’s name to the West Liberty University Athletic Fund, 208 University Drive, West Liberty, WV 26074.
For more information on his funeral arrangements, please visit the James Funeral Home website.