b'Articles of SUMMER 2020GRATITUDEStronger TogetherMarshall changes lives. Marshall has educated many first-generation college graduates, which in turn changes families, neighborhoods and lives, said Dr. Joe Touma who, along with his wife, Dr. Omayma Touma, has dedicated much of his adult life to shaping Marshall University and helping others achieve their lifelong goals and ambitions. Marshall is an economic engine in Huntington, the tri-state area and the state of West Virginia.Drs. Joe and Omayma Touma met while pursuing their medical degrees at Damascus University School of Medicine in Syria. Upon completion of their schooling, they began training in Memphis, Tennessee, and then went to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where they learned of Huntington, West Virginia, by accident. Near the end of their journey at Wayne State, Joe began contacting state medical associations in various states. He and Omayma made 15 visits to various cities, but ultimately chose to call Huntington home.I started getting persistent phone calls from Steve Soltis, then chief executive officer of St. Marys Medical Center, inviting us to visit Huntington. We were not aware of Huntington, and had no connection to it, so we decided to check it out. Huntington offered us Joe and Omayma Touma adoptedeverything we were looking for - a beautiful city, great hospitals, a university and the Huntington decades ago and madepromise of a medical school.it their home.Since that time,During one of their first visits to Huntington, the Drs. Touma met with Dr. Albert Esposito, they have improved the tri-stateswho assured them that within a few years, Marshall University would have a medical medical community, its museums,school and they would have the opportunity to teach and be involved. After two years in Huntington, Joe was introduced to the director of Marshalls Speech and Hearing downtown and Marshall University,Center and was appointed as an adjunct professor. Later, he was appointed as a clinical in each case through theirprofessor at the School of Medicine, where he became the representative of the Ear, Nose commitment of time, their visionand Throat division in the Department of the Surgery Advisory Council. and generosity.No couple has hadCiting one of his most exciting experiences at Marshall as his appointment to the Board a greater impact on Huntingtonof Governors, Joe served as chairman for two years, which allowed him to help shape and Marshall.In addition, theythe growth of Marshall and Huntington. He held many positions, such as chairman, on the Marshall University Foundation Board of Directors. He is always willing to assist in the are great parents, and provide adevelopment of Marshall. wonderful example to us all of how life should be lived.Of all my involvement, I am most proud of my tenures on theLake Polan, Chair, Marshall UniversityBoard of Governors and the Foundation Board of Directors as Foundation Board of Directors well as the rapid growth of the university and the many new colleges that were established during my service. I had the privilege of serving with President Stephen J. Kopp, who was a 519 John Marshall Drivevisionary and a determined president, who changed the face of Huntington, WV 25703 p 304.696.6264Marshall, Joe said.www.marshall.edu/foundationEditor: Kristin RhodesContinued on next page '