James LaRosa was a businessman whose ventures from 1920 until his death included hotels, restaurants, apartment houses, real estate, construction and, eventually, coal mining. LaRosa, who immigrated to the United States in 1911, remained active until his death in 1983, independently leasing coal lands, establishing new coal tipples, and producing coal in Upshur County. He founded the LaRosa Fuel Co., Inc., forerunner to the diversified LaRosa Corporation.
LaRosa's son, James LaRosa, Clarksburg businessman and chairman of LaRosa Fuel Co., donated time, manpower, and equipment to redesign and renovate three athletic fields on campus. The LaRosa Athletic Fields (a soccer field, a softball field, and a rugby/intramural field) are named in his honor.