4-H Program Coordinator –
Chad Proudfoot uses his extensive record of public service, historic preservation and educational activity on behalf of West Virginia University to benefit fellow West Virginians throughout the state.
Proudfoot uses his knowledge of the state’s people and programs to improve the lives of West Virginians through his support of education, public service initiatives and preservation of the state’s rich historical past.
From a young age, Proudfoot has had a passion for history, public service and education.
At age 10, he opened West Virginia’s Blue Book for the first time; the book explains the state’s governmental structure in detail. It was only a matter of time before he began implementing the knowledge and experience he has gained over the years to educate youth and families.
“As a public historian, I love being able to educate young and old about their heritage, and the role that their culture has played in society,” says Proudfoot.
Proudfoot’s long-term relationship with WVU, paired alongside a personal and professional enthusiasm for public service, education and the preservation of history, made his career goals unique – how could he marry these passions for his profession? The answer was WVU’s Extension Service.
Through Extension, he serves as the Cultural Resource Specialist for the 4-H Youth-Development program. The position supports and implements educational curriculum and state programs at WVU Jackson’s Mill, where Proudfoot also serves as the Historic Preservation Officer.
The core topics of these curriculums include heritage, citizenship, civic engagement and history. The programs allow 4-H youth, families and others throughout the state to learn more about West Virginia’s past, present and the development of its future.
“We have a duty to educate younger generations about their cultural makeup—both good and bad,” Proudfoot says. “Historic preservation is a vital part of that education”.
“A life dedicated to public service will produce rewards far greater than what anyone sees in a paycheck” Proudfoot says.
Proudfoot’s previous accomplishments include serving on the West Virginia Capitol Building Commission, where he was involved with the Capitol dome and State Museum restorations and renovations, and serving as vice president of the State Historical Society.
“We must be vigilant to identify and preserve those structures and objects that help tell the story of who we are and give us a sense of place,” he says.
Proudfoot attended WVU, where he earned master’s degrees in history and public administration. He also earned a graduate certificate in cultural resource management and Bachelor of Arts in political science.
In 2013, Proudfoot was awarded the Ethel and Gerry Heebink Award for Distinguished Beginning Service to the state of West Virginia. The award recognizes an individual’s efforts in public service that have benefited broad segments of the state, which includes service to West Virginia and the University.
To reach Proudfoot, call 304-406-7021, or e-mail Chad.Proudfoot@mail.wvu.edu