This Is Home: Dr. HG Young III, PhD.

Dr. HG Young III, PhD. is the most tenured professor at West Virginia University Parkersburg, having been there almost since the beginning of the college.
Dr. HG Young III, PhD. is the most tenured professor at West Virginia University Parkersburg, having been there almost since the beginning of the college.
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 7:34 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Dr. HG Young III PhD. has been a familiar face at West Virginia University Parkersburg for quite some time.

“I’ve been here over 40 years, and I am now the most senior faculty, but not oldest. Most senior, but not oldest faculty member, and I think the only faculty member still here that taught at Parkersburg Community College.”

Originally from Clendenin, WV, Dr. Young grew up 20 miles north of Charleston. An alumni of West Virginia Wesleyan and West Virginia University Dr. Young says that he came to work at WVUP by taking a chance.

“It’s just one of those things that happens in your life. I graduated from college. I got a job teaching high school. I was happy doing that. There was a notice of an opening here. Sometimes you just throw your hat in the ring. I got called for an interview and things happened pretty quickly, and I was hired here at age 23. First of all, I’m part of the college’s General Education faculty and what that means I teach courses for all students, specifically music appreciation, and I’ve had a lot of students in my classes over many years doing that. Secondly, I’m responsible for students who come here and want to transfer and earn a degree in music, and then I’m responsible for providing opportunities for student performance. I have been responsible for the college chorale throughout my career, and we’ve done a variety of things. We in the last probably 15 or more years, we’ve done regular the West Virginia Symphony.”

Throughout his time at WVUP, Dr. Young has helped many a chorale and groups of artists to create musical and artistic experiences where the students he teaches and the community in which he lives. One such experience comes every year around Christmas time, where students from the college chorale, along with members of the community, have the opportunity to sing with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, among other accomplishments.

“We have had this partnership with the West Virginia Symphony I believe this may be the 17th or 18th year. They perform a concert called the Sounds of the Season and it’s a holiday concert. We have been invited to be part of that for all of these years. We rehearse the music in Parkersburg, we go to Charleston for a rehearsal, we perform with the Symphony at the Clay Center, and then there’s a performance here at Blennerhassett School on Sunday afternoon. So that has been a really wonderful partnership for us, and it’s a concert that I hope everyone would want to come to. Santa seems to have been there every time and lots of other special holiday music. In addition to that, over the years we’ve also sung some significant choral works with the West Virginia Symphony, most recently the year before last, we sang Mozart’s Requiem, and we learned that during the pandemic. So that was a challenge, but a great experience. Before that we had sung Beethoven’s 9th and we were ready to sing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, just as the pandemic hit, so that was a great opportunity lost. But the partnership with the West Virginia Symphony is something we do now, that I feel very proud of.”

When asked if there were any milestones from his time at WVUP that stuck out to him, Dr. Young says that it all comes down to the core of many a teacher’s joy.

“Back to what I said earlier, I think that the things that we do with the students have been the highlights. Our production of West Side Story here was just an incredible performance for a number of years. We did Renaissance Dinners, and we were invited to the Greenbrier, and we performed Renaissance Dinners in costume at The Greenbrier. You know the opportunity to sing with the West Virginia Symphony, so I would say that the major highlights, at least for me, are those opportunities to have for students to be able to do performances of great art, great for students to do performance of great works of art at the highest level. And if we do that, I think that I’m contributing what my part of WVU Parkersburg is all about.”

L.V. Hissem for WTAP News, This Is Home.