Along with Carter G. Woodson, West Virginia State has employed numerous influential scholars. For example, Naomi Garrett of the Department of Modern Languages served the institution from 1947 to 1972. During these years, Garett's foreign student program received national acclaim. Garrett’s parents were both educators and books filled their South Caroline home. She earned her MA from Atlanta University and Ph.D. in French from Columbia University. Prestigious fellowships from the Ford, Rosenwald and Fulbright Foundations and Columbia University permitted her to pursue doctoral and post-doctoral work in France. Her research included a study of francophone African poetry at the Bibliotheque National Paris.
At this time she met and forged relationships with many French and Caribbean writers. An outstanding scholar and teacher, Dr. Garrett has received numerous awards for her teaching and service and her published articles and book reviews are numerous. Her retirement from West Virginia State College after a long and distinguished career led her to assume distinguished professorships at Denison University, Rhode Island University and the College of Charleston, West Virginia.