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Steven Bonanno retires after more than 37 years of service to the state

Steve Bonnano stands at podium at WVU Jackson's Mill.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Service to the state and commitment to West Virginia University’s land-grant mission define the career of WVU Extension Service Dean and Director Steven Bonanno. Bonanno retired May 15 after more than 37 years of service.

Bonanno joined WVU as an Extension agent in Pleasants County in 1982. In 2005, he was named unit director for WVU Extension’s former Community and Economic Workforce Development unit, and, in 2015, he was named dean and director of WVU Extension Service.

WVU President Gordon Gee praised Bonanno’s leadership, saying, “Under Steve, the WVU Extension Service has transformed into a modern agency that addresses youth development in every locale, while still maintaining its strong traditional roles the Service has been known for since its inception.”

Bonanno oversaw record fundraising initiatives for WVU Extension Service, including $14.8 million raised during WVU Foundation’s State of Minds capital campaign. 

“Having the opportunity to serve WVU, WVU Extension Service and the people of West Virginia has been my highest honor,” Bonanno said. “I am proud of the accomplishments during my role as dean, including programs and resources that have allowed us to transform communities and improve the lives of West Virginians.”

Bonanno was instrumental in the development and execution of substantial facility enhancements at WVU Jackson’s Mill, including the recently announced construction of the Annette S. Boggs Educational Center, the state’s first fully dedicated STEM and makerspace facility. Additional improvements include renovations to cottages, construction of yurts and enhanced outdoor education opportunities for visitors.

Additionally, Bonnano worked to enhance opportunities and college-going emphasis for 4-H youth; developed and implemented a strategic plan for WVU Extension Service; formed key partnerships with academic units, including joint faculty appointments, as well as partnerships with state, local and community leaders; and helped to expand youth programming, including STEM-based activities and outreach.

“I am very proud of the accomplishments of the faculty, staff, youths and volunteers of WVU Extension Service,” Bonanno said. “It’s been a privilege to serve in this role. I know that the great work of WVU Extension will continue to be instrumental in helping move West Virginia forward, while maintaining its commitment to the University’s land-grant mission.”

Sue Day-Perroots, former associate provost for WVU’s undergraduate education, has assumed the role as interim dean.

For more information about WVU Extension Service, visit Follow @WVUExtension on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more information.



CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Extension Service

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