Rufus shakes hands with Mountwest Community and Technical College President Keith Cotroneo.

Photographer: Linda Lockhart


Rufus was a hit with the local community.

Photographer: Linda Lockhart

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Rufus welcomes new community college partner

Semesters institutions are underway for fall and Rufus traveled to Huntington to help Ohio University’s newest community college partner, Mountwest Community and Technical College, kickoff the start of the academic year last week. Mountwest was the twelfth college to join OHIO in the partnership that creates a seamless path for associate degree graduates to earn an OHIO bachelor’s degree without having to leave their own community.

The partnerships will be part of Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis’ spotlight at this week’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, held at Columbus State Community College, one of the college partners in the program. Two students who are attending Ohio University from a distance as a result of the college partnerships will share their experience at the meeting.

Rufus’ appearance in downtown Huntington was part of the annual block party hosted by Mountwest to celebrate the start of fall term. Mountwest is currently located in the heart of Huntington, on the Marshall University campus. The school, formerly a part of Marshall, was accredited as an independent institution in 2003 and took the name Mountwest in 2010.  A new campus is currently underway.

The big Bobcat was a quite a hit as he mingled with the crowd and appeared with Mountwest President Keith Cotroneo on stage during an entertainment break to welcome the gathering of more than 500 people.

Mountwest became the first out-of-state partner in the college partners program when they signed an agreement with OHIO in May. As a result of the proximity to the Ohio University Southern campus and specifically the Proctorville Center, located just across the Ohio River from Huntington, Mountwest students have extended options to complete their OHIO coursework, either online or at an OHIO campus. The first students from Mountwest begin work toward their OHIO degree this term.

Nearly 1,000 students have been admitted to Ohio University through the partnerships since the program was launched in fall of 2008. The number of college partners has grown to thirteen, with Steubenville’s Eastern Gateway Community College joining in June. Information about the partnerships is available at