United Executive Chairman Richard Adams Receives WVU Honorary Doctorate

United Executive Chairman Richard Adams Receives WVU Honorary Doctorate

06/12/2023 | Corporate News

Richard Adams with an Honorary Doctorate Degree
WVU President Gordon Gee (second from left) presents United Executive Chairman of the Board Richard Adams with an Honorary Doctorate Degree, alongside Chambers College of Business and Economics Milan Puskar Dean Joshua Hall (far left) and WVU Faculty Senate Chair Scott Wayne (far right), during the recent 2023 WVU Chambers College Commencement Ceremony at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, on Saturday, May 13.

Parkersburg, W.Va. – Richard M. Adams, Executive Chairman of the Board of United Bankshares, Inc. and United Bank, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business degree by West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee during the recent WVU John Chambers College of Business and Economics Commencement Ceremony, held at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

In addition to the hundreds of traditional diploma recipients, Adams was one of two to receive an honorary degree during the graduation ceremony. Diana Lewis Jackson, a member of the United Bankshares, Inc. Board of Directors and CEO and founder of Action Facilities Management, also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree.

Each year, WVU presents Honorary Doctorate Degrees to selected individuals who have achieved the highest standards of excellence and made an enduring impact in their fields and overall society. A Parkersburg native and WVU alumnus, Adams was bestowed the honorary Doctor of Business degree in recognition of his distinguished career and successful tenure leading United, in addition to his numerous profound contributions to the Mountain State, his alma mater and the nation’s banking and financial services industry.

During the ceremony, Adams addressed the new WVU business graduates, offering what he believes to be two fundamentals of success in both the business world and in life – being goal-oriented and having core values.

Recognized as the longest-serving CEO among the top 100 U.S. banks in 2022, Adams began his leadership of United Bankshares at the age of 29 when he was named President and CEO of United’s predecessor bank, the Parkersburg National Bank, a single-office, $100 million community bank. He served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of United from 1984 until April 2022, when he became United Executive Chairman of the Board. When Adams took the helm in 1975, he set a goal for United to be in the top five in financial performance among the 50 largest banking companies in nation at a time when it was not even ranked in the top 500 companies. By working at the goal each day, today, United is 38th in the nation.

“Goal-setting has been key to success at United,” he stated. “If you want to get some place in life or in business, you’ve got to set goals and execute.”

To Adams, the second fundamental – core values – is equally important. United’s core values of integrity, hard work, teamwork and caring have guided the Company throughout its 184-year history, and Adams says part of the Company’s success is due to the nearly 3,000 United team members who live out those values each and every day.

“Having the right core values is essential to being a winner, whether in the business world or in your personal life,” he shared with the WVU graduates.

In addition to his WVU undergraduate business and honorary degrees, Adams is a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. Over the last several decades, he guided United through 33 acquisitions, growing the Company to nearly 250 locations with approximately $30.2 billion in assets across eight states and Washington, D.C. While the Company expanded its footprint into some of the most desirable markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions, Adams ensured United remains true to its deep roots, solidifying the Company as one of West Virginia’s largest employers, as well as the largest publicly traded company headquartered in the state, and its overall commitment to giving back to the communities in which it serves.


United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: UBSI) is a financial services company with consolidated assets of approximately $30.2 billion. It is the parent company of United Bank, which comprises nearly 250 offices in Washington, D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and offers a competitive suite of banking and lending products, treasury management, wealth management, mortgage services, personal and business credit cards and more. In 2023, United was named the Most Trustworthy Bank in America by Newsweek, joining the list of the Most Trustworthy Companies in America. For more information, visit ubsi-inc.com.

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