The beloved home of the College of Creative Arts was named in honor of a leadership gift from the Valerie Canady Charitable Foundation on March 25, 2020. The former Creative Arts Center on WVU’s Evansdale campus is now known as the Loulie, Valerie and William Canady Creative Arts Center.
Valerie Canady is a Morgantown native and WVU alumna who was tragically killed in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. An accountant working in London at the time of her death, Canady was also an accomplished linguist and artist in different media of expression, especially piano.
Her parents, Loulie and the late William Canady, established the Foundation to honor her memory and share their family’s passion for the arts. William, a professor of biochemistry at WVU for 40 years, supported his college education by working as a professional portrait photographer. He was also a lifelong lover of music, especially classical, Appalachian folk and jazz.
The Canady family has provided generous support to the College of Creative Arts for many years. The ongoing Canady Chamber Series brings classical music acts from across the country to Morgantown, and the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation Scholarship is among the College’s most prestigious awards. The Canadys also played an important philanthropic role in creating the Art Museum of WVU. They were honored for their contributions as WVU’s Most Loyal West Virginians in 2018.
Along with the naming, the Canadys also established the Canady Fund for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts in 2020, which will provide for arts programming, educational enrichment opportunities, building improvements and discretionary support to benefit students, faculty and staff within the College of Creative Arts.
The Canady gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University.