Matt Hayes is new executive director of alumni relations at Marshall

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University
Matt Hayes
Matt Hayes
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University’s new executive director of alumni relations knew at a very young age where he would attend college.


“I knew when I was in the sixth grade that I would be coming to Marshall University,” said Matt Hayes, who officially started his new position with Marshall on March 18.


Indeed, Hayes came to Marshall from New Martinsville, W.Va., and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in 1994 and a master’s degree in safety technology in 1997. Now, he’s come to Marshall again, this time to take on a job he refers to as “the opportunity of a lifetime.”


“I am absolutely thrilled to be here,” said Hayes, who is 41. “Just to have the opportunity to give back and to serve Marshall University … I couldn’t ask for anything else.”


Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation, said he likes what he sees of Hayes. “Matt’s a strong alum. He has great enthusiasm, great energy and extensive corporate experience,” Area said. “He’ll help take us to the next level in the alumni association. He is passionate about Marshall University. He really wants to make a difference. He’s going to grow into the position very nicely.”


Hayes came to Marshall from Wells Fargo Insurance. Previously he was at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Altria, Premier Farnell Corp., and The Herald-Dispatch. Many of those positions, he said, provided him the opportunity to develop specialized skills in meeting the needs of clients as well as building and maintaining strong business relationships.


Area said Hayes, who has lived in the Huntington area for the past 23 years, has “hit the ground running” at Marshall.


“The alumni association is going to do a lot of great things,” Hayes said. “We are reaching out to connect with the student population, to increase their familiarity with the alumni association, and to let them know about the opportunities they have to be involved.


“We are working on strengthening our clubs around the country and can’t wait to meet as many of our alumni as possible.  Alumni Weekend will be here in about five weeks and we are looking forward to showcasing our great university.  I plan to spend time with our deans and faculty so I can share more of the Marshall story as I visit with alumni. I am very optimistic about the future.”


Hayes is involved in numerous community organizations, including Rotary Club of Barboursville, CONTACT of Huntington, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Tri-State, Norway Avenue Church of Christ, Huntington City Mission, Huntington Chamber of Commerce and Milton Middle School. He and his wife, Stephanie, also a Marshall graduate, are the parents of two children, Jadon and Kaylin.


Hayes was born in Wheeling and raised in New Martinsville, graduating from Magnolia High School in 1989.


“I knew very early that Marshall was where I wanted to be,” Hayes said. “This is home.”


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