BUCKHANNON — West Virginia Wesleyan College honored two of its former staff Friday when the school dedicated a new plaque, benches and two trees to Herb and Phyllis Coston.
Herb taught history at Wesleyan from 1969 to 2008 and Phyllis was a faculty member from 1963 to 1998. Phyllis is best known for her work as a reading specialist and working with students with diagnosed learning disabilities.
The Costons were welcomed on campus Friday by Wesleyan staff, former students and friends to celebrate the dedication. Jim Chang, a former student of the Costons, said he helped fund the dedication in order to show how grateful the community is for their time at the college.
“I know they have played important roles in so many people’s lives,” Chang said, “so I wanted to thank them and let them know we are all eternally grateful.”
The benches are in front of Haymond Hall, where both of the Costons worked during their tenure at Wesleyan.
“The windows of our offices where we worked for years are overlooking this area, right where they put the plaque,” Herb said.
Vice President of Advancement Bob Skinner said he could remember working with both of the Costons.
“I had Herb in a class at 8 a.m., and he did not have white hair and I had a full head of hair,” Skinner said. “Back in the day when Mrs. Coston worked in admissions, we would fight over the admittance of a student — and she of course always won.”
Other people in attendance included Herb’s first teaching assistant and two of Phyllis’s former classmates who traveled from Florida for dedication. Phyllis said she was proud to see former students at the event.
“It’s really an honor, and it’s been wonderful to see these children succeed,” Phyllis said. “When I started the program, we were the first in the country, and they were always told they could never succeed — and now they’re doctors and lawyers.”
The Costons said they never really felt like they left Wesleyan.
“We’re here all the time, so it doesn’t really feel like we ever left,” Phyllis said. “We take walks across campus in the evening, but now we have something else to see.”