WVU Parkersburg Launches Leadership Academy. West Virginia University at Parkersburg has launched a Leadership Academy to encourage its students, faculty and staff to develop and nurture their leadership capacities. The first 15-member Leadership class is currently participating in a 15-hour program of workshop sessions. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held with college officials and contributors to the Academy's Center for Leadership Development. Shown (left to right) are WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage; Robert Lowe of State Electric; WVU President Emeritus David Hardesty; Bob D'Avria, Leadership Academy director; Steve Backus of ProComm; John Garrison of Parkersburg Office Supply; Rhonda Richards, executive dean of academic affairs, and Chip Pickering of Davis Pickering & Co, Inc.