MORGTANTOWN, W.Va.— West Virginia University alumnus George R. Farmer Jr. was a successful attorney who devoted his career to carrying on the giving tradition of one of West Virginia’s most celebrated benefactors. In doing so, he helped transform his alma mater and the Morgantown community through impactful philanthropic giving that will be remembered long beyond his passing Monday, at the age of 92.
Farmer was a longtime attorney, advisor and friend of Hazel Ruby McQuain, who donated millions of dollars to WVU and other charitable causes in the greater Morgantown area during her lifetime. Following her death in 2002, he continued to build upon her legacy as chairman of the board for the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust and J.W. Ruby Foundation. Largely via the Trust, Farmer provided many generous gifts to support education, healthcare, athletics and more at WVU.
A native of Morgantown, Farmer earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from WVU’s Eberly College of Arts and Sciences in 1953 and his J.D. from the College of Law in 1956. He practiced law with the Morgantown firms Farmer & Farmer – founded by his late father – and Jackson Kelly, specializing in litigation, banking, business and corporate law, real estate and estate planning.
“George Farmer has been a dear friend of mine for more than 40 years,” WVU President E. Gordon Gee said. “I met him when I was the dean of the College of Law, and we became fast friends. He was always a strong advocate of the University, as well as the College of Law, and I respected and admired him immensely. He and his beloved family have continued to support the University with both time and treasure. His vision for our University and the State of West Virginia was always forward thinking and his love for both ran deep. He had a great wisdom about him, and I will deeply miss my friend.”