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Fred VanKirk

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A 1953 graduate of Ravenswood High School and a U.S. Army veteran, Fred VanKirk earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from WVU in 1962 and 1968, respectively.

He worked one year for the Boeing Airplane Company before starting his career with what is now the West Virginia Division of Highway in 1963.

He became chief engineer-planning in 1977, state highway engineer in 1982 and served his first stint as highway Commissioner in the last half of 1984. He was appointed Secretary of Transportation in 1995. He served in one, and at most times two, of the latter three positions from 1984 to January 2005 except for a three year retirement period (1997-2000).

Governor Bob Wise appointed him to the combined position of Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Transportation and Commissioner of WVDOT-Division of Highways.

VanKirk was responsible for the administrative oversight and jurisdiction of the divisions of Highways, Motor Vehicles, Public Transit, Parkways, Economic Development and Tourism Authority, State Rail Authority, Public Port Authority and Aeronautics Commission.

Working for the citizens of West Virginia for more than 40 years by holding numerous engineering, managerial and leadership positions at the WVDOT, VanKirk has made significant contributions to society and the residents of West Virginia.

Highlights of his career were witnessing the development of West Virginia's transportation system, working with the legislative and congressional delegations and the opportunity to serve WVU as chairman of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Board.

He is married to the former Jo Ann Hardman of Ripley and the father of one son, Charles Mark.