Michael Belmear Speaks to ALMBS

Michael Belmear
Michael Belmear

Michael Belmear began his career in higher education at West Virginia University working as the stack supervisor for the downtown main campus library from 1971 to 1974. He was then hired at WVU as an admissions counselor from 1974 to 1978 and was responsible for increasing minority enrollment. During that time, both overall university enrollment and minority enrollment increased.

Michael Belmear came to Fairmont State as a Student Affairs counselor in August 1979. In this position, he served as a counselor and recruiter. His duties were later expanded to include advisor to the Student Government and Student Activities programs. For 31 years, he was director of the New Student Orientation program, and he also created and directed the annual statewide Fairmont State and Pierpont Leadership Conference. In 1993, he was appointed Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and then served as Vice President for Student Affairs for FSU and Pierpont. His responsibilities included housing, multicultural affairs, disability services, student health service, counseling, student activities and development, career services and managing the Turley Center.

During his time at Fairmont State and Pierpont, Belmear worked to get Student Government executive officers paid, created the statewide student leadership conference, expanded the New Student Orientation program, created the Fairmont State and Pierpont Celebration of Ideas Lecture Series, served as Vice President for the Governor’s Commission on the Holocaust, created the Student Affairs Hall of Fame, organized and helped create the exchange program with the University of Calabria in Italy including a Summer Exchange Camp for high school students from Italy and created the Diversity Scholars Camp for minority students.

Throughout his professional career, he was selected as the Classified Staff Employee of the Year in 1995, elected President of The WV Association of Student Personnel Administrators, received the West Virginia Association of Student Personnel Distinguished Service Award, received The City of Fairmont Arts and Humanities Commission Patron of the Arts Award and was selected as the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival 2009 Honorary Italian Man of The Year.

Belmear is a native of Fairmont and earned his B.A. degree in Public Relations and M.A. in counseling and guidance from West Virginia University. He taught undergraduate classes in Developmental Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Race, Class and Gender; and Empowering Leadership. He and his wife Robin live in Morgantown and have two sons, Michael and Andrew. He enjoys golf and is an avid reader.