HIGH HONOR: PSC to recognize Haines posthumously

Deborah Swick-Cruse
Special to the News Tribune
Kenneth Haines

KEYSER - West Virginia University Potomac State College will posthumously recognize former professor Kenneth Haines with the Alumni Achievement Award during the Alumni Association’s Awards Banquet Saturday, Oct. 16. Duke Ebert will accept the award for his longtime friend.

Having taught at the college for 44 years, Haines is remembered with fondness and gratitude for the impact he had on thousands of students, especially his guidance and encouragement both in and outside of the classroom.

Haines began his teaching career at the college in 1952 as an instructor of foreign languages. He taught French, Spanish, German and English until his retirement in 1996, at which time he was granted the designation of Professor Emeritus of Modern Languages.

In addition to being chosen as an Outstanding West Virginian by West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton in 1996 and as a Distinguished West Virginian by Gov. Bob Wise in 2001, Haines was also recognized with the following honors: WVU Honorary Degree; Doctor of Humane Letters; Outstanding Professor Award; Distinguished Service Award; and the W.E. Michael Community Citizen Award.

His name was inscribed on the Duke Anthony Whitmore/Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Academic Achievement Wall at Potomac State College, as well.  

A Keyser native, Haines earned an associate degree from Potomac State in 1950. He earned his bachelor's degree in 1952 and a master's degree in 1953, both from WVU. He also studied at La Sorbonne in Paris, France, via a Fulbright Fellowship; at Indiana University; Laval University in Quebec City, Canada; and at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

In 1988, a group of his friends established the Kenneth Franklin Haines Scholarship to assure that he will always be remembered for his outstanding service to the college, as well as his commitment to former and future students. Haines has also given back to the college with the establishment of the Dr. Nancy M. Miller Scholarship Fund.

Haines was an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Association of Teachers of French, German and Spanish; Phi Delta Kappa; the Modern Language Association; the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages; and the West Virginia Foreign Language Teachers Association.

He was also a faithful member of the Keyser Presbyterian Church and the Keyser Rotary Club, holding many leadership positions within those organizations.

Additionally, Haines served more than 20 years in the roles of secretary, treasurer and president of the college’s Alumni Association as well as secretary of the PSC Foundation, Inc. He also served as president of the Faculty Club, was a faculty sponsor of the Student Government Association and served as a faculty advisor to the Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society for 28 years.

Throughout his career and life, Haines enjoyed participating in activities and events at the college, as well as volunteering his time to various projects.

A Celebration of Life ceremony for Haines will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 16 at the Church-McKee Arts Center. Speakers will include Lucas Taylor (dean of Student Experience), Ebert and members of the Keyser Presbyterian Church.  

Light refreshments will be served on the Church-McKee Arts Center Plaza following the ceremony.

(Note: The safety of students, faculty, staff and guests continues to be an important guiding factor. Should the threat of COVID-19 and the delta variant increase, plans for these events could change. WVU Potomac State will announce these changes, should they occur.)