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Feeling most at home

In recognition of what it means to be a Mountaineer, the West Virginia University Alumni Association will celebrate recipients of the 2022 Homecoming and Alumni Service Awards during Homecoming Week, Oct. 24-30.

Jihad Dixon (’17, ’19) will receive the John F. Nicholas Jr. Award during the Homecoming festivities. Dixon, higher education program graduate, was highly involved in many aspect of campus life. He was the president of the WVU NAACP and the Higher Education Student Association, a resident assistant at Dadisman/Stalnaker Halls, a diversity ambassador within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion , a member of Mountain Honorary, a student representative of the WVU Student Conduct Board and WVU Residency Committee, and a student senator and executive leader in the Student Government Association.

Upon graduation, Dixon worked with University Relations and Enrollment Management, specifically planning new student orientation programs. He left for Washington, D.C. to further his career in higher education policy, external affairs and communications at the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Dixon has a passion for uplifting the community and advocating for equity, access to education and opportunity. His efforts with the Obama Foundation as the associate for strategy and operations for the My Brother's Keeper Alliance creates opportunities for employment and mentorship for boys and young men of color. Additionally, he serves as the president of the WVU Black Alumni Association.

The John F. Nicholas Jr. Award recognizes a WVU graduate who has given outstanding service and contributions to a geographic chapter, special interest or school/college alumni group. The award is named in memory of Nicholas, a distinguished WVU alumnus and former chapter leader in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

The WVU Alumni Association awardees will be recognized at the Homecoming parade Friday, Oct. 28, and during halftime of the WVU vs. TCU football game Saturday, Oct. 29.

Additional 2022 WVU Homecoming award recipients include: Mary Marantz (’02), grand marshal for the 2022 Homecoming parade scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, on High Street in Morgantown; Charles E. Emanuel (‘97), 2022 Outstanding Alumnus; Greg Darby (‘80), David W. Jacobs Lifetime Service Award; Hilah Zia (’11, ’13), Margaret Buchanan Cole Young Alumni Award; Ben Ashley (‘15), James R. McCartney Community Service Award; and David Hill (‘80), Paul B. “Buck” Martin Award.

WVU will also recognize the first group of trailblazing women to participate in the Mountaineer Marching Band during the Homecoming parade and as part of this year's Homecoming halftime performance. The WVU Alumni Band and "The Pride of West Virginia" will celebrate this inaugural group of women, who refer to themselves fondly as the "Dirty Dozen," as they mark this 50-year milestone.

See the full schedule of Homecoming Week activities.