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! s p m a h C The 2019 season has been stellar for the CU women’s soccer team. Even better, it’s been history-making, one for the record books. Capturing the program’s first Mountain East Conference Championship with a 2-0 victory over Fairmont State on Nov. 17 in Beckley, W.Va., the team also tallied Concord’s first conference crown, regardless of league affiliation, with the win. Thanks to this success, the Mountain Lions, under the tutelage of head coach Luke Duffy, automatically qualified for their first NCAA tournament. The Mountain Lions entered the tournament with a record of 19-1. The 19-1 mark is also the best record in the region with Slippery Rock sporting the second-best record of 18-3. CU played West Chester on Nov. 21 as the third seed for the NCAA Atlantic Regional Tournament. Action took place on the campus of Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Penn. While putting up a

valiant performance, Concord saw the clock run out with West Chester on top 2-0.

Concord Players Receive High Honors

Concord had six players named to the D2CCA All-Atlantic Region Team with four players landing on the first team and two more on the second team. Sophomore forward Leah Foster became the program’s first ever regional player of the year as she entered the NCAA Tournament tied for 11th in Division II in points with 44. Freshman forward Rachel Bell, junior defender Morgan Carmichael and junior midfielder Mira Kontio made the AllAtlantic Region First Team along with Foster. Junior defender Alyssa Mahar and junior midfielder Yasmin Mosby made the All-Atlantic Region Second Team. The six all-region selections for Concord are the most in program history for a single season. Carmichael is the only repeat all-region selection from last season as she was voted second team all-region in 2019. █


President Dr. Kendra Boggess Vice President for Advancement Alicia Besenyei



Chair, Concord University Foundation, Inc. David Kirby '79 MAGAZINE STAFF: Director of Communications Amy Pitzer Staff Writer Sarah M. Pritchett Creative Services Manager Foster Sheppard '14 Contributing Writer Lindsey Byars '03

Homecoming 2019

26 The Singing Superintendent 32

LeAnne Davis Morrison '03



Contributing Editors Sarah L. Turner '98 Blake Farmer '17 Jordan Roark '14


Athens-Concord Town Social


University News


Charleston Dinner


On the Road with ROAR



Pathways Scholarship


Alumni Happenings

Please contact Amy Pitzer at 304-384-5211 or pitzer@concord.edu


Scholarship Spotlight


Alumni Spotlight


Hall of Fame


Class Notes



Oldest Living Alumni


In Memory

Fill out the Alumni Contact Information Update form under the Alumni tab! concord.edu/advancement

ON THE COVER: Members of the CU Women's Soccer Team celebrate the win that cemented them as the champions in the Mountain East Conference.

The Concord University Magazine is published by the Concord University Advancement Office. A portion of the cost is underwritten by the Concord University Foundation, Inc.

Email: advancement@concord.edu Mail:

Office of Advancement PO Box 1000 Athens, WV 24712-1000

Phone: 304.384.6311 Fax: 304.384.6017

UniversityNews Jessica Lynch Keynotes Veterans Day Observance

From left to right, Alicia Besenyei, Vice President for Advancement, Jessica Lynch, President Kendra Boggess and Veterans Advocate, Dr. George WIlliams '11


Acknowledging the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans on Veterans Day has become tradition at Concord University, and for 2019, the observance took on special significance. This year, former American Prisoner of War (POW) Jessica Lynch served as the keynote speaker for the annual program held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in University’s Point’s Wilkes Family Chapel. Lynch, a former Private First Class (PFC) with the United States Army and native West Virginian, was injured and captured by Iraqi forces after her unit was ambushed in Iraq on March 23, 2003. Jessica’s recovery by U.S. Special Operations Forces on April 1, FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

2003 is recognized as the first successful rescue of an American POW since World War II and the first ever of an American female. She is a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal. Today, 16 years since her capture and rescue, Jessica speaks around the United States about overcoming her obstacles and how perseverance helped her survive. The Concord University community was honored to be latest audience to hear her firsthand account and learn through her inspirational presentation about courage and patriotism.


Debbie Brown, Jessica Lynch and West Virginia House of Delegates, Jeff Campbell '96

“No matter what kind of obstacles or struggles (you face), know that you have that strength inside you,” she said. “You find a will to keep on…to make it one more day,” she said. Offering a powerful account of her experiences in Iraq, Jessica shared how her will to persevere carried her through terrifying and painful days of captivity and how she calls on it today as she continues with physical therapy to deal with lingering effects from her injuries. Lynch is intent on sharing that despite the most difficult circumstances – whatever they might be – a positive outlook and determination can truly help individuals live fulfilling lives and accomplish their goals. After her military service, Jessica went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education K-6 and a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies. She is currently teaching in Wirt County, West Virginia as part of a long-term substitute job. Talking with the media following her presentation, Jessica said that on most Veterans Days speaking engagements take her away from her home state. But for this year, “being here and local, being home and close to family” made the day especially meaningful. She said that the prayers and knowing “that they had my back” got her through her ordeal. Acknowledging the sacrifices – and stories – of all veterans, Jessica said, “I love hearing from the older veterans. I get to tell mine (story) and they share a piece of what they went through.” The welcome for Concord’s Veterans Day observance was provided by Alicia Besenyei, Vice President for Advancement. Concord President Kendra Boggess offered remarks on behalf of the University. The ConChords performed the national anthem. The Concord University Foundation sponsored this event.

PHOTO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES We appreciate the photographs you share with us for possible inclusion in Concord’s magazine. To help us provide quality reproduction of photographs, we are offering the following guidelines for your information. Photographs need to be at least 300 dpi. Image file size needs to be at least 1mb per photo. Photos should be in jpeg format and taken with a camera and not a cellphone. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Advancement at advancement@ concord.edu or 304-384-6311. Thank you!




West Virginia Director of Homeland Security Addresses Patriot Day Ceremony

In a speech filled with reflection and patriotism, Michael L. Todorovich, director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, delivered the keynote address during Concord’s Patriot Day observance on Sept. 11. The program was held in University Point’s Wilkes Family Chapel during the national day of service and remembrance that honors the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. “It’s been 18 years since those attacks, but the memories are real,” he said. “I was at the Pentagon a month after this and saw the tarps and saw the hole where that plane had gone into the Pentagon and it tore at the heart of who I am. Why? Because

I’m an American. I’m a patriot. I love what our country stands for,” he said. Realizing that some of the students seated before him may be too young to have recollections of Sept. 11, 2001, Todorovich asked the audience two questions: ‘Where were you when the attacks came? What were you doing?’ He recalled personally, that as he watched news coverage of the events of that day unfolding, tears ran down his cheeks, “because our land, our nation, my home, was being attacked.” Todorovich was appointed by Gov. Jim Justice as director of the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) in October 2018. He had served

the previous year as the agency’s deputy director. His other leadership positions since December 1999 include Statewide Interoperable Coordinator (SWIC), liaison to the W.Va. National Guard’s Joint Operations Center (JOC), and special projects officer. Prior to December 1999, Todorovich served over 40 years in the W.Va. Army National Guard. Enlisting as a private, after graduating from the W.Va. Military Academy as a second lieutenant, he progressed through the ranks to become lieutenant colonel. During his military service, Todorovich earned multiple awards including the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and the Army Meritorious Service Medal. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Military Leadership from the University of Charleston and a Master of Religion from Liberty University. Todorovich Closed with another question: “Will you, will I, will we remember 9/11? I pray that we do.” The PikeView High School JROTC presented the colors. The Concord ConChords performed the national anthem. The program concluded with a stirring rendition of taps performed by Concord sophomore Zac White of Princeton, WV.

Chess Club Hosts Tournament at Erma Byrd Center


On July 13, 2019, 16 chess players participated in the Beckley Summer Open at the Erma Byrd Center. The event was organized by the Concord University Beckley Chess Club. David Hundley served as tournament director. After four rounds of play, Mike Baker of Bridgeport, WV won the tournament. The tournament was a United States Chess Federation rated event. It was also a grand prix tournament for the West Virginia Chess Association. Concord Instructor of History Keith Lilly says that players of all levels from beginners to more experienced competitors are invited to be part of the club. To learn more contact Lilly at rklilly@concord.edu or 304-384-5615. FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE


CALENDAR JANUARY 13 Spring Semester Begins FEBRUARY 3 Groundhog Day Breakfast 8 am Pais Fellowship Hall University Point FEBRUARY 29 President's Ball Student Center Ballroom MARCH 2 Concord University Day at the Legislature State Capital MARCH 28 Murder Mystery Fundraising Dinner for the Alexander Fine Arts Main Theatre OCTOBER 03 Homecoming Weekend 2020 Phi Sig 60th Reunion Contact John Lecco for details. jlec@carolina.rr.com

Concord Recognized Among Most Affordable Online Schools Concord University has been recognized as one of the “Most Affordable Online Colleges” in the nation by Study. com. Concord is ranked at #29 among the 50 institutions named in the 2019 rankings recently published by the online learning platform. Concord is the only West Virginia college or university appearing in the recognition. According to Study.com, Concord was selected for the honor based on “financial aid, affordability, academic and career resources for students, the quality of education, faculty, and more.” “It is nice that Concord University has once again been nationally recognized for our affordability,” stated William Allen, Vice President of Enrollment Management. “The University continues to work hard to make a college education affordable for all students including working adults.” A variety of online courses are available at Concord for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Concord also offers online classes for individuals seeking the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. The graduate degree programs at Concord are all online. These include Master of Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Health Promotion. For additional information go to https://study.com/ resources/most-affordable-online-schools

Keeping Up With Concord Social media has allowed people to keep in touch with individuals, groups and activities all across the globe and Concord is using some of these tools to keep its alumni connected to the University and each other. You can keep up with Concord through any (or all!) of the following outlets:

Facebook: Concord University Alumni Association, Inc. and Concord University Twitter: @CampusBeautiful and @ConcordUAlumni

LinkedIn: Official Concord University page and the Official Concord University Alumni group

Snapchat: ConcordU1872

Instagram: ConcordUAlumni

We hope you will take advantage of each of these sites as a quick and easy way to keep up with Concord!




Partnership Established with Raleigh General Hospital for Foster and Adoptive Care Training

In order to address the growing need for foster parents in West Virginia, Concord University has partnered with Raleigh General Hospital to provide foster and adoptive care training. Raleigh General is providing the training facilities for the Concord University Social Work Department to provide pre-service training to foster and adoptive parents in the region. The partnership began on July 1 of this year. “We are grateful that Raleigh General Hospital shares a strong commitment to our community including our foster/adoptive families,” stated Dr. Scott Inghram, Assistant Professor/MSW Program

Director. “This is evidenced though our new partnership, of which I am confident, will be fruitful for many years to come.” The West Virginia Foster and Adoptive Care Training (WVFACT) provides mandated training to potential foster and adoptive parents (Pre-Service) in order to become a certified foster family. Additionally, families receive continuous training (In-Service) to ensure that children are in a safe and healthy environment. As the most populous county in this region, Raleigh County is the site of six series of pre-service trainings annually. Each series or round of training is made up of

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seven three hour classes, for a total of 21 hours of training. While some of the trainings are held at the Raleigh County Department of Health and Human Resources offices on Neville Street in Beckley, Raleigh General Hospital’s Training Center will serve as the secondary site. The Training Center is located on the campus of Raleigh General Hospital on Harper Road in Beckley. Matthew Roberts is the CEO of Raleigh General Hospital. Joyce Pitsenbarger, RN, CPCE, is the Training Center Coordinator. For additional information please contact Dr. Scott Inghram at inghramcs@concord.edu or 304-384-5215. Those who are interested in learning more about becoming foster and/or adoptive parents should visit www.WVFACT. com or call 304-716-4498.


Students’ Physical and Academic Health Spotlighted in Ribbon Cuttings

Physician assistant Ruth Rhodes accompanies Dr. David Campbell and Dr. Sarah Beasley as they cut the ribbon on the Concord Student Health Center.

Back-to-back ribbon cuttings in August celebrated the opening of two new centers for Concord students. The ribbon was snipped on Aug. 28 for the Student Health Center, located on the first floor of Wooddell Hall. The following day, Aug. 29, the Study and Tutoring Center on the mezzanine level of Marsh Library was officially opened.

Student Health Center “We are thrilled to be opening the Concord University Student Health Center!” stated Dr. Sarah Beasley, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “Having an accessible and affordable walk-in health clinic on campus for our students is critical to their health and well-being.” Dr. Beasley spoke outside of Wooddell Hall’s front entrance during the morning ribbon cutting ceremony. “We are committed at Concord to providing services and support to our students so that their priority and focus can be academics and earning their college degree,” she said. According to Dr. Beasley, student health has been one of the three top

concerns of the Student Government Association. “Fortunately for Concord Dr. David Campbell and Tracy McCallister recognized this student need and were determined to find a solution,” she said. Physician assistant Ruth Rhodes and Jennifer Stull, a registered nurse, will staff the health center. It will be open for use by Concord students on days that classes are in session at the university. Hours will be Monday – Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – noon. Most of the services provided by the center will be covered by the health services fee that is part of the student tuition package. Students will be responsible, however, for costs incurred outside of the health center including lab work, x-rays and prescriptions. In the event that medical care beyond what can be provided by the on-campus health center is deemed necessary, referrals will be made to area health care facilities for specialty care and other procedures.

library’s mezzanine, the Study and Tutoring Center officially marked its opening with an afternoon ribbon cutting. “Yesterday we celebrated the opening of the student health center to support students’ physical health and today we celebrate our new Study and Tutoring Center to support students’ academic health and success,” Dr. Beasley said. “Here students will be able to access our drop-in tutoring, which we have for every freshman level course and many of our upper level classes as well,” she said. “Our students who are in our federally funded Student Support Services program can get one-on-one tutoring. Students will have a place to study quietly alone or with a study group.” Dr. Beasley explained that the center is “a collaborative effort among Student Affairs, including our Center for Academic and Career Development, our Bonner Scholars Program, and Student Support Services, and Athletics, and Academics. She acknowledged the contributions of Dr. Sheila Womack, Director of Student Success; Beth Sampson, Student Support Services Academic Coordinator; Luke Duffy, Head Women’s Soccer Coach and Coordinator of the Athletic GRIP program; Kathy Ball, Director of the Bonner Program; Kevin Garrett, Athletic Director; Connie Shumate, Director of the Library; and Alycea Watson and other graduate assistants working at the center.

Study and Tutoring Center With students already taking advantage of the space on the




High School Graduates Getting a Jump Start on Their Teaching Degrees by Lindsey Byars '03

American Medical Association President and Bluefield, WV native Dr. Patrice Harris giving a presentation.


Since Concord’s founding as a Normal School in 1872, the institution’s roots have been deeply planted in preparing teachers for the education profession. Not only has this mission not changed, it has grown to meet the diversified needs of the field and the economic demands that face West Virginia. According to a U.S. Department of Education report, the nine highest areas that experienced teacher vacancies in West Virginia during the 2018 to 2019 school year were Special Education (19.19%), Science (18.86%), Wellness (11.78%), Elementary (11.11%), English (11.11%), Social Studies (10.77%), Business (8.75%), Art (4.71%) and Music (3.75%). All of these shortage areas could be met by education majors at Concord University. Our mission is to serve the needs of the region, and that is exactly what Concord’s Education Department is doing. Recently, CU collaborated with the West Virginia Department of Education to give vocational completers a jump start on their Education degree. In a continued effort to make college more affordable, students who completed the state’s Careers in Education

program will receive credit for two required education courses – that’s six hours of college credit for free! These classes are EDUC 210, a requirement for all education majors, and SPED 265, a class required for students pursuing Special Education or Elementary Education. On top of free credit, these students can also be admitted into Concord’s Teacher Education program without submitting a portfolio or doing 75 volunteer hours working with children. This agreement will benefit current students who completed the vocational program while in high school as well, as long as it’s within three years of their completion date. Dr. Andrea Campbell, CU Department of Education Chair, says, “These individuals have already demonstrated a heart for kids and an interest in a career as an educator prior to graduating high school.” On August 8, Dr. Kathy D’Antoni, Assistant Superintendent of Schools in the Division of Technical and Adult Education, traveled to The Campus Beautiful with Tami Maynard, a coordinator from the


Hospitality, Education and Training office, to sign the agreement with President Boggess. “This agreement merges two great programs that will ultimately lead to more outstanding educators in the classroom serving students of West Virginia and beyond,” Dr. Campbell adds. Also new this fall is a twist on the traditional student teaching experience. Instead of spending one semester in the classroom, education majors will do a yearlong residency. Beginning in the fall, students will experience a block semester, which alternates between learning on campus and applying what they’ve learned in the actual classroom with students of their own. By spring, they’ll be ready to take over a classroom full time. The goal is for our education majors to spend 400 hours in the classroom their final year before graduation, ensuring that our graduates are prepared for the career ahead. Dr. Campbell explains that this approach will not only provide Concord students with more onthe-job training, but a better idea of what the profession requires because they’ll be in the classroom from the start of the school year to the end. She adds that this approach does lean heavily on mentoring teachers as a key element to a student teacher’s education: “The year-long residency is a true partnership between the community and the university.” Concord education graduates are among the best in their fields. The 2019 West Virginia Teacher of the Year, Ms. Jada Reeves, is a Concord University graduate. She teaches 5th grade at Bradley Elementary in Mt. Hope, WV. After graduating from Concord University, she continued her education with a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from Marshall, and in 2013, achieved National Board


Certification. She is an online facilitator and the Lead Coordinator for the Southern WV National Board Certification Cohort through West Virginia Department of Education. She is on the planning committee for the WV division of Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching, she’s a blogger for the National Board for Professional Teaching’s blog, and she is the Board of Director for the Education Alliance. Ms. Reeves is one of the many successful graduates we are proud to call a Concord alumni. If education is a career path you are considering, Concord does offer a Master of Arts in Teaching, a 36 hour, online program to prepare individuals for teaching in a specific content area in grades PreK-Adult,

5-Adult, or 9-Adult. For graduates looking to advance their education degree, Concord offers a Master of Education with four different areas of concentration: Educational Leadership and Supervision, Reading Specialist, Special Education Excluding Autism, and Special Education Including Autism. These degrees, like all of Concord’s masters programs, are offered entirely online, so no matter where you live, Concord can help you further your career. In August of this year, Concord University was recognized as one of the “Most Affordable Online Colleges” in the nation by Study.com. CU was ranked 29 among the 50 institutions named based on financial aid, affordability, academic and career resources for

students, the quality of education, faculty, and more. Even if you have graduated and moved away from “The Campus Beautiful,” Concord is still here to help you achieve your next educational goal. If you have any questions about what Concord’s Department of Education offers, please visit our website at concord.edu/education. You can also contact Dr. Andrea Campbell at 304-384-5362 or acampbell@concord.edu. From high school students expressing an interest in teaching to seasoned veterans ready to advance their career, the Department of Education is here to help our students achieve their goals.

Concord Esports Victorious in First Tournament Action

Concord University’s Call of Duty esports team won the Collegiate Call of Duty “Goodbye Black Ops 4” tournament Oct. 19. CU claimed victory in the national competition with full 3-0 sweeps, with a 15-0 record to end the tournament. The win comes in the first tournament action for Concord Esports since announcing formation of its inaugural varsity team – Call of Duty – this summer. On the way to the crown, Concord beat Purdue, Florida State (twice), Illini Esports, Utah, and SAU. Concord competed in the event from the University’s esports training facility in the Nick Rahall Technology Center on the Athens campus. Members of Concord’s winning Call of Duty varsity team are Jamie Nickell (WV), Andrew Thompson (VA), Chase Daffron (TN), Niko Thibeault (CT) and Brandon Ridgeway (WV).

“We knew going into the tournament we would probably win it, we were incredibly confident.” Concord Esports Head Coach Jacob Neerland said. “No one wanted to win more than we did, and the 15-0 map count is pretty good proof of that.” “Our games were streamed as the main event throughout the entire tournament, and the casters seemed pretty impressed with our synergy as a team,” Neerland said. “Our sub machine players Jamie Nickell and Andrew Thompson especially couldn’t be stopped. Everyone on the team played exceptionally, but Jamie and Andrew kept every opponent on the back foot. This opened up a lot of options for what we could do and let our main AR Brandon dictate every move our opponents could make. “Finally, Chase and Niko kept us grounded, coming up clutch multiple times when we needed a big play. Overall, I’m incredibly proud of what such a young team was able to pull off. I think that speaks to the level of talent we have on this team and I’m excited to see what we can do moving forward,” Neerland said. Concord holds the distinction of being the first public college or university in West Virginia to offer varsity esports to its students. Call of Duty is one of three teams Concord has registered with the National Association of Collegiate Esports. League of Legends and Overwatch are also part of CU’s esports competitive lineup. For additional information on Concord University’s esports program, contact Jacob Neerland at jneerland@ concord.edu or 304-384-5320. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



Concord University welcomed 20 new faculty members for the Fall 2019 semester. Dr. Germain Badang is joining Concord’s faculty as an Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Université de Yaoundé; a master’s degree from Universidad de Salamanca; and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He comes to Concord from Dayton, Ohio. Dr. Maya Bhatt is serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He received his M.Sc. from Tribhuvan University; M.S. from Nagoya University; and Ph.D. from the University of New


Hampshire. Dr. Bhatt comes here from State College, Pennsylvania.

He comes to Concord from North Oxford, Massachusetts.

Dr. Manjunath Burdekar is serving as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Franklin Pierce University, and both an M.Ed. and Psy.D. from Springfield College.

Dr. Anita Deck is serving as an Associate Professor of Education. Deck earned a B.S. and a B.S.Ed. from Concord University. She received a M.A. from West Virginia University and an Ed.D. from

Ms. Katherine Bowe has been named an Instructor in Mathematics. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Concord University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University. Bowe has taught adjunct for Concord and lives in Princeton.


Mr. Rafael Castañeda-Saldaña is joining the faculty as an Instructor in Biology. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree from Virginia Tech. He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.


Virginia Tech. She lives in Crab Orchard.

Ms. Nola Gum is joining Concord’s faculty as an Instructor in Social Work. She holds a B.S.W. from Concord University and an M.S.W. from West Virginia University. Ms. Gum has taught adjunct for Concord and lives in Princeton. Ms. Nia Key has been named an Instructor in Social Work. She earned a B.A. from Kent State University and an M.S.W. from Temple University. Ms. Key comes to Concord from Sioux City, Iowa.

Mr. Kyle Moore is serving as Instructor in English as a Second Language. He received a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein University and a master’s degree from Northern Arizona University. Mr. Moore arrives at Concord from Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Santanu Nandi is joining the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics. Dr. Nandi holds a B.Sc. from Calcutta University; M.Sc. from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research; M.A. and M.Phil. from Graduate Center CUNY, and anticipates completing a Ph.D. this year. Dr. Nandi comes to Concord from Toledo, Ohio. Ms. Terri Philpott has been named an Instructor in Social Work. She earned a B.S. from Bluefield State College and an M.S.W. from West Virginia University. Ms. Philpott is a Ph.D.

candidate at Walden University. A resident of Athens, she has been Director of Student Support Services at Concord while also teaching adjunct at the University.

a B.S. and M.S. from Tashkent State University and a Ph.D. from North Dakota State University. Dr. Usmanov comes here from Forest City, Iowa.

Dr. Prabin Rai is serving as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He earned a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Tribhuvan University and a Ph.D. from Kent State University. Dr. Rai comes to Concord from San Luis Obispo, California.

Dr. Kenroy Wedderburn is joining Concord’s faculty as Associate Professor of Finance. He received a B.Sc. from the University of Technology, Jamaica; an M.B.A. from Pace University, and a D.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Wedderburn comes here from Plainview, Texas.

Dr. Stephen Pridgen is serving as an Assistant Professor of Sociology. He holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Dr. Pridgen has taught adjunct for Concord and lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Ms. Jacqueline Sampson is joining Concord’s faculty as an Instructor in Geology. She earned an A.A. from Pasco-Hernando Community College and M.S. from the University of South Florida. She comes to Concord from Spring Hill, Florida.

Dr. Gregory Simonian has been named an Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Physics. He received a B.S. from California Institute of Technology and an M.S. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Dr. Simonian comes here from Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Shukhrat Usmanov is serving as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics. Dr. Usmanov earned


Mr. Garrett Walker has been named an Instructor in Communication Arts and Media. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from Marshall University. Mr. Walker has taught adjunct for Concord and lives in Shady Spring.

Dr. George Williams has been named an Assistant Professor of English. He earned a B.A. from Concord University; M.Litt. from University of Aberdeen; and Ph.D. from University of Dundee. Dr. Williams has taught adjunct for Concord and lives in Princeton. Mr. Kevin Zhang is serving as an Instructor in Mathematics. He holds a B.S. from Methodist University and M.S. from North Carolina A & T State University. He comes to Concord from Greensboro, North Carolina.

Nominate them for a 2020 CUAA Award! Nominations due March 1, 2020 https://apps.concord.edu/forms/view.php?id=54213




FreshFest Added to Welcome Week Lineup


CU welcomed new and returning students to campus for the fall semester with a variety of activities. Movers and Shakers returned for another year to help students with the task of moving their belongings into the residence halls during move-in day. Students and their families appreciated the help from this faculty brigade. FreshFest 2023 – a new event for students – welcomed freshmen to campus this year. With a focus on fun and learning about life as a Mountain Lion, FreshFest and the CU Organizational Fair were held the afternoon of Aug. 19, the first day of the semester. The FreshFest celebration included a rally in the Carter Center main gym featuring the band, cheerleaders, athletes and Roar. President Kendra Boggess was among those who spoke to the freshmen gathered on the bleachers for the event. “Please take advantage of every

opportunity here,” she encouraged the Class of 2023. “This is the beginning of your college experience.” As she celebrated their first day of class with the freshmen, Dr. Boggess said she looked forward to the time when they would be college graduates and she could shake their hands in congratulations at commencement. The CU Organizational Fair introduced the Class of 2023 to campus life, and was held following the rally in the Fine Arts Center. Greek organizations, academic clubs, and other groups filled the lobby and art gallery with exhibits. Representatives explained how their particular group offered ways for the freshmen to connect with classmates, volunteer, have fun, expand their horizons and become involved with the many great opportunities available to Concord students. Lots of giveaways, inflatables on the lawn and icy, cold snacks from the Advancement


Office rounded out the enjoyable afternoon. The week’s activities continued with UP Welcomes U. The gathering provided all CU students with a mid-day activity under the University Point portico on Aug. 21. With a spin of the prize wheel, students won free items such as T-shirts and fanny packs. The Advancement Office hosted this event. Advancement also hosted CU Night at the Princeton Rays on Aug. 22. Alumni and friends were invited to join the campus community for an evening of baseball action at Hunnicutt Field in Princeton.


Breiel Duncan, daughter of Wes and Sara Duncan, both ’99 grads, took ROAR with her to Hawaii this summer.

Lynnis Hill and ROAR roughed it together during a recent camping trip at Camp Creek State Park.

Lisa Jones, Janet Conroy, Jimmy Jones took ROAR with them to Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts July 2019.

ROAR accompanied the Volleyball team on their trip to Anchorage, Alaska to compete in the UAA Invitational.

Bob & Eva Gallione '68 celebrated their 52nd Anniversary with ROAR at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England.

TAKE ROAR WITH YOU! Janet Conroy also ventured to São Paulo, Brazil with ROAR and enjoyed the national drink caipirinha.

Show us where you’ve taken Roar! Find your cut out of Roar on page 79 of this magazine. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



AMA President Patrice Harris Inspires Students during Campus Visit

American Medical Association President and Bluefield, WV native Dr. Patrice Harris giving a presentation.

Concord University was honored to welcome Dr. Patrice Harris, president of the American Medical Association (AMA), to campus on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 for an afternoon of presentations. She met with students, participated in a Q&A session with the media and addressed a near-capacity audience in the main auditorium of the Fine Arts Center during a talk entitled “Leading with Authenticity”. Dr. Harris became the 174th president of the AMA in June 2019, and the organization’s first AfricanAmerican woman to hold this position. She grew up in Bluefield, W.Va. and attended West Virginia University where she earned a BA in psychology, an MA in counseling psychology and ultimately, a medical degree in 1992. “I’m so honored to be back in my hometown of Bluefield and Mercer County and Concord,” she said in her afternoon lecture. “Our area in southern West Virginia is very special to me, always has been,



and it always gives me great pleasure to come back, particularly during this time of the year. It’s such a beautiful place.” Dr. Harris completed her psychiatry residency and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine. She has diverse experience as a private practicing physician, public health administrator, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist. Noting that she has had “a variety of career experiences,” Dr. Harris encouraged the students in the audience to “do different things.” “At the end of the day, no matter what career path you pursue, it is important to lead with authenticity,” she said. “I have had the wonderful opportunity throughout my career in medicine and throughout my career in organized medicine to lead from my sense of purpose regarding efforts and interests that were very important to me, efforts and interests that I thought


are very important as we advance health care across this country.” She explained that a popular physician of television fame influenced her decision to pursue a career in medicine. “My inspiration for going to medical school was Marcus Welby,” she said. “Dr. Welby not only cared about his patients inside the exam room, he cared about his patients outside the exam room,” she said. “And, I saw that physicians were well respected in the community and they had a platform.” “Never did I ever dream I would have this platform as President of the American Medical Association, but certainly, again, another dream that came true, the opportunity to impact the health of everyone in this country, not only on an individual level, but on a community level and across this country,” she said. Her work in battling the opioid epidemic is one major way her leadership is influencing the health and wellbeing of this country. Currently, she spearheads the AMA’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic and has been chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force since its inception in 2014. She explained to her Concord audience that she not only has a professional interest in the opioid epidemic, but a personal one as well. “I was aware, living in Atlanta since 1992, of the impact that this opioid epidemic has had on our wonderful, beautiful state,” she said. “And, so as I led and chaired the AMA’s collaborative efforts on the opioid epidemic, I always had a keen view and vision of how this was impacting the state of West Virginia.” The vaping epidemic is another issue the country is now battling, she said, along with the need for affordable health care. “One of the issues that the AMA has as its core is advocating that everyone has access to affordable, meaningful health coverage,” Dr. Harris said. “There are myriad challenges that we all face as a community and I want you to know that the AMA and the physicians want to be your partner,” she said. “It’s going to take all of us to address some of the many challenges that affect us today.” She has learned that it is “important for physicians to be involved, to be leaders.” “Absolutely as physicians, we need to take care of our patients and be involved in that way, but we also need to lead and lead with authenticity in other venues,” she said. Earlier in the day, Dr. Harris met with Concord students from various organizations and academic areas. Among the groups represented were McNair Scholars, the Black Student Union, women in STEM, psychology and athletic training majors and pre-med students.

While outlining her own academic and career paths, she also gave the students worthwhile advice regarding their futures. “Be curious. Ask questions. Know your own worth and value,” she said. “Each of you is different. Each of you have your own gifts.” “Every one of you in this room is enough,” she emphasized. “Embrace the journey.” Following her time with students, representatives of regional media outlets had an opportunity to interview Dr. Harris on a variety of topics ranging from academics and good health to rural health care to being an inspiration to young people. “I never miss an opportunity to get in front of young students,” she said. “It’s about the representation of what’s possible. I want to be a part of closing that Belief Gap.” Her advice to students, she said, is “dream big, dream beyond what’s just in front of you.” She also encourages them to “work hard, value education.” An accolade for her hard work and determination came just that morning when she was inducted into the Bluefield High School Hall of Fame. Dr. Harris is a member of the BHS Class of 1978. She said that as she celebrated with former teachers and guidance counselors at the school, it was a “wonderful full circle moment, a very emotional moment” and an honor “to be recognized by your hometown and high school”. “I began in Bluefield, W.Va., and I carry Bluefield, W.Va. with me wherever I go,” she said. “I am who I am today because of Bluefield, W.Va.” Dr. Harris’ visit to Concord was hosted by the University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. Continuing education credits were offered to medical and social work professionals who attended her afternoon lecture by the Charleston Area Medical Center Health Education and Research Institute and the Concord University Social Work Department. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019


‘ARTS ALIVE IN ATHENS’ THEME FOR 33RD ATHENS-CONCORD TOWN SOCIAL Campus and community gathered on CU’s front lawn for the 33rd Athens-Concord Town Social on Aug. 18. The sunny, summer afternoon featured live entertainment, an array of vendors and games for the kids. Awards honored service to the town and university. Theme for the 2019 version of this popular event was “Arts Alive in Athens.”


s a special tie-in with the theme, the 2019 Fire Hydrant Paint Contest was launched at the town social. Artists of every age were invited to submit their designs for the contest which involves repainting fire hydrants in the Town of Athens. (Be sure to look for the freshly painted hydrants when you are in Athens!) Musical, dance and living history performances, along with artists among the vendors, further linked to the theme. “The 33rd Athens-Concord Town Social was a successful day!” Dr. Sarah Beasley, chairperson, said. “The turnout was great – community members, CU students, faculty, and staff all enjoyed the live music, local vendors, and the opportunity to see friends old and new.” A special highlight each year is the awards ceremony honoring individuals, organizations and businesses that have enhanced the community and campus life of Athens and FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

Concord University. The Town Social Committee presented the following awards: Elder Citizen, Dr. Karl Fezer; Good Neighbor, Deborah Baxter; Business Longevity, First Community Bank Athens; and Total Community Involvement, Athens Volunteer Fire Department. The Athens Lions Club announced two awards. The Citizen of the Year honor was presented to Srene Lokay. Top bragging rights for the Beautification Award went to Lucy Gardener and Bruce Lilly. Honorable Mention for Beautification was awarded to Gina and Charles Lane, Pam and Jim White and Terri Turner. Several scholarships were presented to Concord University students. A Jean Beasley Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Emily Davis. Recipients of an Athens-Concord Town Social Scholarship are Brooke Phillips and Makayla Farley.


elder citizen award Dr. Karl Fezer Karl Dietrich Fezer was born in 1930 in Tenafly, NJ. In 1951 he earned a bachelor’s degree at Cornell College of Agriculture, and continued his education by receiving a master’s degree at Haverford College. He earned his PhD at Cornell’s Department of Plant Pathology in 1957.

He then worked for the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, as an instructor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Botany. He devoted six years of research to barley and wheat diseases, working to prevent the next epidemic. During this time, he cultivated broader interests in the history and philosophy of science, which led him to teaching undergraduate biology courses and to serving three years on the faculty at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD. In 1966, together with his wife and four sons, he moved to Athens WV, where he started work as chairman of the biology department at Concord, serving from 1967 to 1985. He taught classes in general biology, genetics, micro-biology, evolution, biology seminars, and independent research, as well as general physical science, astronomy, science and religion ethics, among others.

In the ’70s, as the Board of Regents was slashing college biology departments across the state, he was able to show them the importance Concord served to southern West Virginia for pre-med students and training medical laboratory technicians. In the early ’80s, he helped found the National Center of Science Education, and served on its first board and was editor of its bimonthly periodical. He was president of the WV Academy of Science for one year. Dr. Fezer received the Interdisciplinary Incentive Award made jointly by the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. This made possible a sabbatical as

Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. At this time he started writing his own book “Scholarly World, Private Worlds” and years later, the book was published.

Along with his job at Concord, he has been a farmer, gardener, grew Christmas trees, and was a member of the Lions Club, receiving his pin for 45 years of service. He is considered an “Amateur Philosopher”. Even in his later years, he still has the ability to teach on many levels and many different subjects.

good neighbor award Deborah Baxter

Deborah Baxter is known around town as someone who is always willing to help her neighbors in times of need. This special caring takes a variety of forms, but is always accomplished with the same spirit of generosity.

Deborah graduated from high school and attended Beckley College before coming to Concord in the early ’70s. The path of her life changed, however, and she left college, married, and became a mother. Even so, she never lost the desire to become a teacher. In the early ’80s Deborah returned to Concord and finished her degree and began her teaching career in Mercer County. She taught at a number of different schools in the county until she took a permeant position at Athens Elementary. She taught there until her retirement in the spring of 2017. Along the way, she met the love of her life, David Baxter, and they were married in late ’80s. Regrettably, he passed away in 2018. She has two sons, David Joseph Cantrell, who resides in Warren, PA, and SFC Samuel Cantrell, US Army retired, who lives in Clarksburg, WV. »



Deborah spends most of her time presently working with an afterschool tutoring program through the Athens Baptist Church, occasionally subbing in positions at Athens Elementary School and entertaining the newest addition to her family, “Bo”, a Maine Coon cat.

Business Longevity First Community Bank – Athens

important factors, First Community Bank strives to offer a “unique brand of hometown banking”. In addition to providing financial services, the Athens location is part of the community in other ways. The branch hosts Athens Appreciation Days and has been part of Concord’s Homecoming parade.

As a benefactor for the Town Social, First Community provides financial support that is valuable in putting on the event. This year, the bank sponsored the T-shirts. Bank employees are also faithful participants as vendors on behalf of the bank with their “money machine” being a crowd favorite.

Total Community Involvement Athens Volunteer Fire Department The Athens branch of First Community Bank is part of the bank’s history that spans three centuries and traces back to 1874. First Community has been serving the residents of Athens and surrounding areas from its location at the corner of Vermillion Street and Route 20 since October 2001. This branch is one of more than 40 branch banking locations operated by First Community Bank in four states.


Athens customers are provided with a full-service brick and mortar facility that offers products from loans, personal accounts and safe deposit boxes to lobby, drive-thru and ATM banking. With “community and customer involvement” as FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

The mission of the Athens Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) is “to provide excellent fire, emergency medical response and rescue services to the citizens of Athens and surrounding communities”


on a 24/7 basis. The department is selflessly dedicated to serving the town, the Concord campus and an area that extends to the Summers County line and on Rt. 20 toward Princeton. The AVFD has served the community for more than 90 years. While a volunteer department by name, this organization operates like a larger, professional department. Weekly training meetings, a dedication to having up-to-date vehicles and apparatus and an impressive ISO rating make them a topnotch group. Recent renovations to the South State Street station are also noteworthy.

On a non-emergency basis, the AVFD is a valuable part of the community as well. Their community service includes visits to schools for career days and other events to talk about fire safety and service with the department. The flashing lights and whirring sirens from their shiny red fire trucks are a staple at Concord’s annual Homecoming parade, and the sprinkler they set up at the Town Social is popular with the kids to cool off and have fun.

Citizen of the Year Srene Lokay

Srene Lokay is known as a selfless person who gives 110 percent of herself each and every day.

Srene is a special education teacher at PikeView High School. The principal has this to say about Srene: “All of the students know her. She greets students as they enter the school each morning and many go to her to share stories and seek advice. She notices things about students, for example, if a student has worn shoes with holes in them, she will work to find them a better pair. Srene keeps school supplies available for students who need them. If a student is hungry she makes sure they have food. She has worked many years with others to ensure that students have turkeys and groceries during the holidays. She also champions a fundraiser at Christmas to raise funds to help identified students get Christmas gifts each year. Srene takes pride in her school and works countless hours helping to

landscape the campus to keep the school grounds looking great.”

Srene also serves the Athens community. She is a member of the Athens Lions Club and through this club, provides books to elementary students each year. She also organizes a group of PikeView students to go out into local elementary schools to do read alouds. Her principal further states that “Srene is committed to children and that commitment is evident through her desire to see that all kids have tools to be successful, such as food, clothing, and books.” She concludes by saying that “if Srene sees a need, she will work to fill it.”

Srene is just as giving in her personal life, helping her friends and raising her family. Srene is an amazing lady with a heart that knows no limits.

Beautification Award Lucy Gardener and Bruce Lilly

The home of Lucy Gardener and Bruce Lilly makes for an attractive setting in their West Broadway Street neighborhood. This summer the property was especially lovely.

With several white rocking chairs and beautiful flowering plants and ferns, the welcoming covered front porch beckoned guests and passersby and seemed to say, “Come sit and visit for a spell.” An American flag waved in the breeze, and a whimsical toy wagon rested to one side. The charming lawn is thoughtfully landscaped and decorated. Special touches like a birdbath, birdhouse and hanging baskets with pops of colorful blooms add to the delightful space. █



‘EX-DISNEY GUY’ JOHN FORMICA SHARES HIS CUSTOMER SERVICE MAGIC AT CHARLESTON DINNER While enjoying an evening of fine dining in an elegantly decorated setting, guests at Concord University Foundation’s recent Charleston Dinner learned about creating a “Disney-like culture” among their customers and employees. ohn Formica, the “Ex-Disney Guy”, was the featured speaker for fundraiser held at Embassy Suites in Charleston, WV, on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. Proceeds from this event will be used to help fund scholarships and other campus projects. Formica is a highly sought after internationally known speaker, business consultant and author of the top selling book, “Making the Customer Experience Magical Now!-How to Succeed in Business and Beat out Your Competition Today”. Prior to his speaking career, John acquired more than 25 years of experience in top management positions with service industry leaders including Walt Disney World Resort®, Hyatt and Hilton Hotels and Sunrise Senior Living. During his 10 years at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL, he was selected to manage



their top luxury resort properties during Disney’s Resort Division expansion from four to 16 hotels and lead his teams to achieve the highest guest satisfaction ratings among all Disney World Resort Hotels. Today, John is “America’s Customer Experience Coach” and leading authority on tourism, hospitality and service industries alike. He has successfully coached hundreds of small businesses and tourism communities to build customer loyalty for life, increase visitors, attract more customers and create “Whistle While You Work” Team Environments. Alicia Besenyei, Vice President for Advancement, said the evening offered “an excellent opportunity for business leaders to learn from one of the best in the customer service arena while also supporting Concord University students.”


Presenting sponsors Dr. Brad Lane '02 and Andy Paterno '70

“Mr. Formica’s experience and knowledge is easily translatable to any industry,” she said. “Learning to be better leaders, build customer loyalty and create a Disney-like culture is something we all strive for.” Mrs. Besenyei issued the welcome and Concord President Kendra Boggess offered remarks on behalf of the University. Musical accompaniment was provided by The Oxley Quartet. The generous support of patrons and sponsors is greatly appreciated in helping make this dinner a success. A special thank you goes to Presenting Sponsors, Dr. Brad Lane ’02 and Andy Paterno ’70; Patron of The Foundation, Aramark; and Table Sponsors, Princeton Rescue Squad/ Brandon Hicks, Realtor, David Barnette ’74, Ed Bailey ’75, BB&T, Chapman Printing Co., Pace Family Foundation, and CU Alumni Association. Information about contributing to or establishing scholarships for Concord University students is available by contacting the Concord University Foundation at 304-384-6266. █ CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019


Keith Butcher ’75 Equally at Home in the Classroom and on the Stage eith Butcher is a performer and an educator. Sometimes on snowy, winter days in West Virginia, the two vocations merged into a very special attention grabbing moment. Butcher earned the moniker the “Singing Superintendent” for using his talent as a vocalist to announce snow days for Fayette and Nicholas counties. Tweaking the lyrics of popular songs, he shared his tunes with parents and employees through an automated phone messaging system. By adding a touch of humor to the announcements, Butcher saw a positive way to connect with his students and their families. “With my musical background, I thought I could build a rapport with the community by making them (announcements) a little more fun,” he said, explaining it was a way “for the community to see you as a person and someone they can connect with.” The first of his singing snow day announcements, he said, was a college fight song in which he changed the wording. Spotlighting tunes by famous artists including Michael Jackson and Adele, he also included the ever popular “Country Roads” and the classic “Let it Snow” in his set list of snow songs. He became an internet sensation of sorts as parents shared his messages on social media. »



Bethany Cook as "Annie" and Concord University graduate Keith Butcher (1975) as "Daddy Warbucks" in Theater West Virginia's 2019 production of "Annie" performed at the Cliffside Amphitheater of Grandview State Park near Beckley, WV.



"NYC" from the musical Annie performed by Karissa Dumbacher of Orlando, FL as "Grace," Bethany Cook of Wyoming County , WV as "Annie" and Keith Butcher of Houston, TX as "Daddy Warbucks."


“They shared with each other, shared with relatives in other states,” he said. “I know what the term viral means.” His catchy snow day jingles even captured some big time media attention. When his story showed up on CNN’s morning show with Robin Meade, he said he was in a staff meeting unaware that he had made it to the national spotlight. His assistant burst in exclaiming, “Turn on the TV!” Understandably, he was alarmed at first, he said, but soon realized he was the reason for the excitement. “She was playing our latest snow day announcement. She was playing that on national TV,” he said. His coverage also included a live interview on FOX Network’s Fox and Friends. FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

As an educator, he was pleased when his musical messages sparked creativity in his students. “Kids started sending me ideas,” he said. Willing to share the spotlight, he gave his student song writers credit when he performed their snow day songs. A native of Summersville, WV, Keith graduated from Concord in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. His academic path wasn’t always headed toward music, however. “I enrolled at Concord as a math major,” he said. Although focusing on mathematics, his passion for music wouldn’t let go, and would eventually win out. “I really wanted to study music. It was something I really wanted to do and needed to do,” he said. Listening to his heart, Keith explained how he switched his focus to music education, and after auditioning, “got in as a voice major.” The move proved to be advantageous for Keith as a student and down the road professionally. He credits the outstanding music and theater training he received at Concord with preparing him for an extensive performing career. In particular, he says, he benefited greatly from vocal training provided by Dr. Jim Fleming. “For young artists, Concord’s Alexander Fine Arts Center was a supportive and thriving community of instructors and performers, which prepared many of us for successful careers both on and off the stage,” he said. “It was a just a wonderful time to study the arts at Concord College. I really appreciate the experience I got at Concord,” he said, adding he has “wonderful memories” of his days on campus. Keith performed with the Concord Chorale and the Chamber Singers. His time on stage also included appearances in college theater productions. He said there was “lots of collaboration between the theatre department and music department for musicals produced.” Among his Concord theatre credits are roles in productions of “Finian’s Rainbow” and “Man of La Mancha”. He earned an Alexander Fine Arts Best Supporting Actor Award in 1974. Along with all of his musical and theatrical responsibilities, Keith also belonged to Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Butcher went on to earn a master’s degree in Education Administration from West Virginia University in 1979 and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Marshall University in 2014. In the early days of his career in public education, Keith taught on the elementary »

"For young artists, Concord's Alexander Fine Arts Center was a supportive and thriving community of instructors and performers, which prepared many of us for careers on and off the stage."



Keith Butcher as "Preacher Anse Hatfield" in Theater West Virginia's musical production of "Hatfields and McCoys."


school level in Nicholas County, West Virginia. He transitioned into administration with a stint as a teaching principal in the county for several years. He would go on to serve Nicholas County as a teacher of the gifted and in several other positions as principal. Braxton County also benefitted from his services as an elementary school principal. Following nearly three decades as a classroom teacher and principal, Keith held positions with the State Department of Education. These included: Assistant Director and Executive Director of the Office of Instructional Services, State Title I Director, and Executive Director of the Office of Federal Programs and Accountability, State Title I Director. Then, from 2006-2012, he served as the Executive Director of the Regional Education Service Agency I (RESI I). He also taught on the university level for his alma mater. He served as an adjunct instructor for a certification program in Educational Leadership as the result of an agreement between RESA and Concord. “It gave me a special feeling to teach for the institution I graduated from,” he said about the partnership. “It was a real thrill. I enjoyed it.” Another stop in his educational career took him into county leadership, serving first as the superintendent of Fayette County Schools, then as the top administrator for Nicholas County Schools. The move into county administration set the stage FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

for his “Singing Superintendent” gig. Butcher also has administrative experience on the national level. He served as the team leader of the Comprehensive Assessment Systems, Council of Chief State School Officers from 2004-2007, and as both the vice-president and president of the National Association State Title I Directors. In 2007 he chaired the National Title I Conference in Long Beach, CA. He also has a number of conference presentations and publications to his credit. Today, he has moved from his home state to the Lone Star State to live and work in Houston. Employed by the University of Houston as a clinical assistant professor since 2016, Butcher is currently Program Director for the K-12 Professional Leadership Programs in the university’s College of Education. “I teach teachers and administrators,” he said. Butcher’s professional affiliations include membership in the National Center for Crisis Management; American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress; Texas Association of School Administrators; University Council for Education Administration; and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. While Keith has dedicated more than 40 years to his career as an educator, he still finds time for the stage. He was able to perform with Theatre West Virginia (TWV) during the 2019 season


thanks to his summer being free from academic responsibilities at the University of Houston. He lent his gifted tenor voice to the role of Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks in “Annie” and to another of the Grandview based company’s signature musicals, “Hatfields and McCoys”, playing Preacher Anse Hatfield. “This summer was my eighth season with Theatre West Virginia over a 40-year period,” he explained. “I really wanted to come back…and support local arts in West Virginia.” Captivated by the stage when he attended TWV as a youngster, Keith found his way into the limelight himself and “in college spent summer at Grandview.” Initially part of the chorus, he explains, “I worked my way into larger roles 36 years ago.” TWV is the “first professional company I worked for,” he said.

It is no doubt that "The Campus Beautiful" means something special to each of us. Concord University gave us the foundation to build our career as we continue to carry the Concord spirit wherever we go. September 27, 2019 marked a day that Mountain Lions from all over came together to give back to the University. The goal was set to raise $24,000 in 24 hours for the CU Annual Fund for Concord University’s 2019 Day of Giving. Through this fundraising effort, the Concord community rose to the challenge and not only helped the University meet the goal, but exceed it. Alumni and friends of Concord from all over gave back to support the efforts of the University. The funds that were raised from Day of Giving will help support current and future development at Concord University by providing aid for scholarships and campus projects. Advancement

Inducted into the Theatre West Virginia Hall of Fame in 2016, Butcher has performed in many operas including “Madame Butterfly” and “Carmen” and has appeared in numerous theater productions throughout West Virginia. Along with TWV, Keith’s other theater credits in his home state include performing with the Mill Whistle Players in Richwood, a community known in West Virginia as a lumber town. He appeared in “Bury Me by Nancy Hart” and portrayed Jim Comstock in the company’s “Best of ‘Hillbilly.’” With the Off Main Street Players in Summersville, he took the stage in “Hello Dolly” and “Oklahoma”. He has also performed as part of the symphony chorus with the West Virginia Symphony in Charleston. In Texas he sings weekly with the church sanctuary choir at First Methodist Houston. █

Student Representatives made over 3,000 phone calls to alumni asking for donations and pledges for Day of Giving. Excitement filled the air of our Student-Alumni Engagement Center the night of September 26 as donations were coming in and delightful conversations with alumni were taking place. Kasey Walls ‘20, Tyler Kenneda ‘21, Ryan Ralosky ‘21, and Lexi Mizia ‘23 are Advancement Student Representatives in the Office of Advancement who connected with alumni over the phone spreading the news of Day of Giving. By 11:00am on Friday, September 27 the 2019 Concord University Day of Giving successfully reached its goal. Concord University’s 2019 Day of Giving brought in a total of $42,075 thanks to the generosity and dedication demonstrated by alums to "The Campus Beautiful. "






LeAnne Davis Morrison ’07 Puts English Degree to Work in the Corporate World eAnne Davis Morrison says her passion for English and writing has taken her from sitting in Concord classrooms to “literally sitting in the boardroom.” As a communications executive with EY (Ernst & Young), she is part of the professional services giant’s leadership team as the company embarks upon what she describes as “massive change.” “In a nutshell, I’m to be a tireless advocate for the change at hand, as the outputs from this role will influence the firm’s perception in the market and the way more than 88,000 EY people worldwide think, feel and act,” she said. LeAnne began her career with EY in 2013. She has since served in several capacities at the firm’s Atlanta location. These include: Internal Communications Manager, Global Audit, Global Assurance; News Editor, Communications and Engagement, Global Assurance; and Pursuit Strategist (specialty in Assurance) Southeast Region Business Development. As Global News Editor, she said that her responsibilities “included everything from conducting interviews, writing candid features and business-driven updates, and managing a small staff of writers in Hong Kong, London, Paris and all sorts of places between.” » CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



LeAnne with her husband, Tom and their 2-year-old son, Pax.


“The role even extended into the video and digital arena, giving me an opportunity to grow my skills even further,” she added. Today, with a recent promotion, she has assumed the dual role of Strategic Communications Lead, Global Audit and BMC Program Lead, Sustainable Audit Quality. Both positions are within Global Assurance. “I work with key audit leaders to develop the internal and external communications strategies for the service line’s strategic priorities,” she said. The immediate focus, she explained, is “on the digitalization and project management of our audit methodologies with the goals of increased tech adoption and higher quality audit inspection results.” Her duties don’t end there. “Other responsibilities include developing positioning messages, as well as creating content that supports our auditors’ understanding of the importance of this change and motivates them to action,” she said. “I am collaborating and advising on the development and activation of internal enablement and providing content support for area-level training events. I’ll lead the communications strategy and plan, as well as source, write, edit and distribute material across multiple channels.” LeAnne has found that her years with EY have been – and continue to be - rewarding. “My time at EY has been an incredibly rich experience. From chairing communications FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

on-site for global leadership events to attending team meetings in London, New York, Chicago and other exciting cities – I’m continually thankful for the opportunities I’ve had with this organization,” she said. “With my new role that I started in July, I’ll branch out from the internal arena into the external media with ey.com, LinkedIn and even Twitter,” LeAnne said. One of the important highlights of her career thus far is associated with these expanded opportunities to communicate the EY message. In September, her “first contribution to the firm’s external thought leadership presence on LinkedIn” was slated for release. “I’m excited, proud and extremely nervous,” she admitted about the accomplishment. Prior to joining EY, LeAnne worked as a business analyst for iHealth Technologies and a software analyst with CGI. Admitting that she had “more of a background in Shakespeare than IT”, LeAnne took on the challenge of the position nonetheless. LeAnne graduated from Concord with a bachelor’s degree in 2007. Her majors were English with an emphasis in writing, Literature and Journalism. She minored in public relations. Continuing her education, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Literature from Georgia State University. She explains how her Concord education is benefitting her in her career. “When I first decided to set my sights on an English degree at Concord, I had no idea I’d end up where I am today. I’d hoped maybe to go into journalism. My primary goal at the time was to ‘grow up’ to be a writer. I wanted to travel, to meet interesting people, to research interesting topics and to share interesting stories. Twelve years later, I’m doing just that,” she said. “In some ways, the smaller skills that come with an English degree have been invaluable – knowing how to write clearly, succinctly, align to a style guide and how to tailor a message to different readers,” she explained. “More so, however, I left Concord with a skill set I didn’t even realize – the ability to process complex information and translate it for various purposes and audiences. The rigorous, research-based literature programs and wellround communications courses equipped me with the basic tools I needed to walk into any environment, from technology to financial services, set up proverbial shop and start writing effectively.” Reflecting on her days as a college student, LeAnne says that some of her best Concord memories took place in the classroom.


"I left Concord with a skill set I didn't even realize – the ability to process complex information and translate it for various purposes and audiences. “I really cherish my memories of class time, honestly. I feel as though the English and Communications departments focused not only on academic rigor, but also on collegiate comradery. I distinctly recall active, engaging literary discussions in classes with Dr. Ofsa, Dr. Brichford, and the beloved late Dr. Kane. Similarly, the real-life applications discussed in classes with Ms. Canterbury, Dr. Williams and Dr. Parker have stuck with me to this day. I often look back and wished I’d leaned in more to the conversation, and built stronger relationships with my peers,” she said. LeAnne held several leadership positions as a Concord student. She served as editor of The Concordian and president of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and was an SGA representative. Along with being a summa cum laude graduate, LeAnne also racked up an impressive list of additional achievements while she studied on “The Campus Beautiful.” She was recipient of the Zarefesky Public Speaking Award in 2004; listed in Who’s Who of America’s College Students in 2006; and received an Honorable Mention award at the West Virginia Undergraduate Literary Symposium in 2007. What’s more, she was selected to attend Pueblos Inglais Spanish language program in 2005, and named Upshur County Fair Queen in 2005. While she gained exposure for her writing talents through The Concordian, LeAnne also saw her work published in The Princeton Times (2006) and West Virginia South Magazine (2005). Adding to her accolades, she received the West Virginia Press Association Honors Scholarship in 2006. As a professional, the awards keep coming for LeAnne. She is a two-time recipient of the “Spirit of Leadership” award (2018 and 2019) from the EY Global Assurance Brand, Marketing and Communications team, and has been honored with the “Outstanding Achievement” Vision award (2015) from the EY Southeast Region Business Development Team. She has

also received an impressive 40-plus Bravo and Applause awards. Her dedication as a professional is further evidenced by taking advantage of career advancement and training opportunities. “I’ve completed the U.S. firm’s Business Development Certification program and I’m currently working on my Certificate in Marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as my Digital Badge through the EY Badges program,” she said. “I’m also a certified professional in the Miller Heiman Effective Client Encounters and Strategic Opportunity Management methodologies, as well as certified in the TRACOM social styles program.” As a means of giving back, LeAnne is involved with a variety of corporate and community activities that benefit her colleagues and her neighbors. “Much like my time at Concord, I try to stay busy,” she said. She volunteers each year with EY Connect Day, explaining that it is “a national corporate responsibility event where essentially every EY employee in the U.S. joins together to serve in the community.” She’s also been a peer advisor for new hires at EY and a high school mentor through the national College Map program. She is a member of Gwinnett Church where she is part of small groups for women and married couples. An avid reader, LeAnne belongs to The Literary Guild, an Atlanta-based book club for women. She puts her skills to work as a volunteer editor for Atlanta Personal Chef Service and other local businesses, and serves as a pro-bono resume reviewer and interview coach. And, she says she also enjoys supporting local theater productions. LeAnne and her husband, Tom, have a 2-yearold son, Pax. They live in Atlanta. She said the family’s pastimes include hiking and camping. The Morrisons also enjoy traveling both in the U.S. and abroad. LeAnne is originally from Buckhannon, WV. As a nod to her home state, she says they “aim to vacation in West Virginia once a year.” A visit to Glacier National Park and international treks to London and Ireland are also on their itinerary for this year. █







CARLY RAMSEY THANKFUL FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM PATHWAYS SCHOLARSHIP Established in 2016 at Concord, the Pathways Scholarship was first awarded to CU students for the 2016 – 2017 academic year. The scholarship is geared towards retention efforts with the goal of helping Concord students finish their degree programs. This scholarship has been made possible with a five-year challenge grant from the Maier Foundation in Charleston, W.Va. The Maier Foundation is a private, nonprofit, charitable corporation for the furtherance of higher education in the state of West Virginia. With the challenge in place, the Concord University Foundation and the Concord Office of Advancement are partnering with donors to secure the 2:1 matching funds needed to meet the challenge.


or Concord senior Carly Ramsey, being a recipient of the Pathways Scholarship helps to set her mind at ease when it comes to student debt. “This scholarship helped to ease the financial burden of tuition. For that, I’m truly thankful,” Carly said. “It’s easier to stay focused on the goal of getting a degree when you’re not weighed down with a crushing amount of debt.” Carly is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and is majoring in Elementary Education K-6. Her anticipated graduation date is spring 2020.

She is currently involved in a yearlong residency which includes block and student teaching. “Right now, I’m in the block portion which means I go to my field placement for four weeks and then I come back to have classes at Concord for three,” she said, speaking in October. Carly is a resident of Lerona, W.Va. She is excited to be doing her field placement at her elementary school alma mater, located in the Mercer County community that she calls home. “I’m placed in the 1st grade classroom at Sun Valley Elementary School. I love the school and » CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



"I'm extremely grateful for all of them, because each and every one has helped me get to where I am today."


I adore the students! Way back in the day, I went to Sun Valley (K-5); so, it’s been a treasurable experience to be able to teach in a school that’s near and dear to my heart,” she said. Carly graduated from PikeView High School in 2013. As a Concord student, she has excelled academically, enjoyed extracurricular activities and spent time working on campus. She has been named to the Dean’s List each semester, and has received several more scholarships in addition to the Pathways Scholarship. These include: The ACT Scholarship, the Charles and Una Melton Scholarship, the Marguerite Miller Education Scholarship, the Concord Undergraduate Scholarship, and the Clyde and Elizabeth Maxey Scholarship. “I’m extremely grateful for all of them, because each and every one has helped me get to where I am today,” she said. As a member of Rotaract at Concord, she participated in “Chefs Battle Child Abuse” and with West Virginia GEAR UP, she took part in the “Art Career” workshop. “I also participated in Concord’s ‘Night in The Art Gallery,’” she added. Carly worked in the university’s bookstore prior to her nearly two-year stint in the Advancement Office, where her work as a student employee has been a way of paying it forward to future Concord students. In Advancement she has assisted with numerous activities and events that have helped raise funds and awareness for scholarships and other campus projects. To name a few, she participated in the Phonathon and helped with preparations leading up to Concord’s first President’s Ball. Carly was also part of the “It Starts with You” commercial and helped office personnel produce the “A Seat for You” campaign video. When asked about some of her favorite classes at Concord, Carly replied, “I’ve had so many memorable classes and professors, it’s hard to pick favorites!” “A professor who’s had a monumental impact has been Dr. Kathy Hawks in the Education Department. She’s truly the epitome of what we FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

educators aspire to be. Those who’ve had the privilege of having her as their professor know just how inspirational she is,” she said. “A class that I LOVED was ceramics, taught by Professor Biggs,” she continued. “It was a fun experience and his humorous teaching style made it all the more enjoyable. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty and creating unique pieces of art. It’s definitely something I want to keep exploring in the future.” Also among her top picks are Art for the Classroom Teacher and Music for the Classroom Teacher. In the music class, she learned to play the ukulele, thanks to Dr. Jacob Womack, she says. Dr. Jonathan Berkey’s West Virginia History and Mr. Tom Davis’ Biology round out the list. Reflecting on what makes Concord special, Carly says, “It’s a feeling of warmth that I get when I’m walking on the sidewalk in the morning or when I pass a certain building that holds a cherished memory. “I’ve made life-long friendships here,” she continues. “I’ve laughed, cried, and made so many wonderful memories at Concord that I’ll forever treasure my experience. It’s changed my life and it’s helped mold me into the person I am today, and that’s not something a person thinks about until they’re about to say goodbye.” With completion of her undergraduate degree approaching, Carly shares her plans for the future. “Following graduation, I intend to start my career in my chosen field of study. I can’t wait to get out there and start making a difference in the lives of children! It’s my passion and my calling,” she said. “I also plan to return to Concord to enroll in the Master of Education Program, with a content specialization in Reading Specialist.” Away from the classroom – as a student or a teacher – Carly enjoys crafting and family time. “I love to craft! I’m a D.I.Y. fanatic thanks to Pinterest and my handy-dandy Cricut machine,” she admits. “I also love spending time with my family!” she says. “I wouldn’t trade time spent drinking coffee at Grandma’s house, watching football games on Saturday with Dad, or spending quality time with Mom for anything in this world. I’m truly blessed to have such a supportive and loving family.” To find out more about the Pathways Scholarship or to contribute to this important fund, please call the Concord University Foundation Office at 304-384-6056 or email foundation@concord.edu █




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If you would like to support the CU Pathways Retention Scholarship, make your donation today to the Concord University Foundation Inc. and write Pathways on the memo line of your check or give online www.concord.edu/pathwaysgive. $

86% 8 201

The Concord University Pathways Retention Scholarships are awarded to 35 rising or current sophomores, juniors or seniors who are WV residents, meet established financial aid requirements, are performing well academically and on the path to completing their degree. Concord University has partnered with the Maier Foundation to make these awards possible but needs your donation to continue to match the Maier Foundation’s sponsorship.

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Retention 2018 '16 -'17 '17 -'18 '18 -'19 '19 -'20 '20 -'21 Funds matched by Maier Foundation

Total funds raised

Funds raised by CU Foundation

Funds Raised by CU

Total Funds Awarded

Total Funds Matched

Total Funds Endowed

240k $ 120k


280k $ 80k


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CU Overall




E.T. "Ted" Boggess Scholarship


Friends and Family members of E.T. “Ted” Boggess have established a memorial scholarship in honor of the first “Gentleman of Concord” who passed earlier this year. Ted was a devoted family man, talented architect, and committed member of the community. Because of his steadfast support of President Kendra Boggess, his wife of 40 years, Ted was a presence on Concord’s campus, one that is dearly missed. by Lindsey Byars '03

Mr. Ted Boggess and President Kendra Boggess



“Ted had a passion for education and this community,” President Boggess says. “He was the most generous person I’ve ever known.” It is this generosity and passion that Ted’s family hopes to celebrate with this scholarship. Ted Boggess began making his mark on Mercer County in 1966 when he moved his family to Princeton and established his firm, E.T. Boggess Architect, Inc., a family operated business still serving the area today. In the beginning of his career, Ted’s company designed more than 130 churches, more than any other West Virginia architect. As his firm grew, Ted became more involved with his local community and his work branched out to include commercial, educational, and governmental buildings. Included in the extensive portfolio is the Chuck Mathena

ETB Architects have designed and built many of the most recognizable structures in Princeton, WV. Pictured above are the Mercer County Courthouse Annex, the Chuck Mathena Center, the WV Tourist Information Center and the WV Princeton Railroad Museum.

Center, a 1-thousand seat auditorium, gallery, and conference space dedicated to bringing performing and visual arts to the area. Because of the design’s versatility, the building functions for the community, providing space for formal events like weddings and proms while also accommodating large-scale conferences and performances. The building itself if beautiful, but the design reflects the needs of the area. For Concord University’s Rahall Technology Center, the firm incorporated the historic White Hall Dormitory to create a space with technologyenhanced classrooms, labs, and conference rooms. These are only two of the many buildings throughout the area that serve as community

hallmarks, proudly reflecting Ted’s talent and devotion to bettering the region. Not only did Ted give back to the community through architecture, he took an active role in a multitude of committees and organizations. He was involved with and committed to the establishment of the Little League Baseball and Football Associations in Princeton. He served on multiple committees that raised the funds and obtained support for the new Princeton Community Hospital. Ted was a member of the Princeton Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, the Princeton Planning and Zoning Board, and both the Elks and the Kiwanis Clubs. Ted attended the Princeton First Church of God and served as Chairman of the Board and as a Sunday School Teacher, as well as serving for ten years as a member of Warner Press Board, » CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



As a member and Coordinator for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, Ted could combine his passion for architecture with his devotion to

"Ted had a passion for education. He was the most generous person I've ever known."


the national publishers of the COG. He was a charter member of the Concord College President’s Club, and a member of the Southern Plumbers. Ted was a member of the American Institute of Architects, was a registered architect in 9 states, and was a member of Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture. He proudly served more than 25 years on the WV State Board of Architects, having been appointed to that role by five different West Virginia governors. FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

- Dr. Kendra Boggess

education. He served on many committees, all responsible for establishing educational requirements for new architects and evaluating architectural programs at colleges and universities throughout the country. Ted Boggess will be remembered by many for the hard work, dedication, and


achievement he obtained through a life well lived and a community diligently served. In an interview with the Princeton Times, mayor David Graham said, “Ted was an outstanding citizen of Princeton and a civic-minded force in our community. He’s going to be sincerely missed throughout our area.” Through the scholarship established in Ted’s name, it is Dr. Boggess’s hope that the endowment grows so students with the same passion to impact their community will have help achieving their goals. Once the award is endowed, the E.T. “Ted” Boggess Scholarship will be awarded to a southern West Virginia freshmen, with preference to Mercer County residents. This student, like Ted, must be involved in their community with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. The scholarship will be renewable for four years (eight consecutive fall and spring semesters). █

If you would like to contribute to the E.T. “Ted” Boggess Scholarship, contact the Concord University Foundation at www.concord.edu/tedboggess or by calling 304-384-6266.





From the annual parade to the coronation of royalty to the gatherings for alumni and friends, Concord University’s Homecoming 2019 offered a fun-filled time of celebration on “The Campus Beautiful”. Fall formed a colorful backdrop for events and activities with many hued leaves and a touch of autumn coolness in the air. »




parade & bonfire A popular event for campus and community alike, the parade is a much anticipated part of Homecoming each year, and for 2019, its reputation remained intact. Starting at the CU football field, the merry procession made its way up Vermillion Street the evening of Thursday, Oct. 17 and concluded at the Concord United Methodist Church. The sunshine and blue skies helped keep the cool autumn breeze in check as the traditional assemblage of floats, bands, student organizations, Homecoming candidates and other marchers and entries entertained onlookers lining the venue. Riding in style in an aqua and white convertible and decked out in his signature “Uncle Sam” costume, Grand Marshal Jake Hatcher led the caravan. At 102 years of age,



Jake nimbly carried out his duties, tossing candy to the children and greeting the crowd with a huge smile. Jake attended Concord and Bluefield State colleges and is a former administrator in the field of social work. A resident of Princeton, he is also a veteran having served in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army. During his service, he earned the Presidential Citation, commendations from Admiral Chester Nimitz, and the Navy Commendation from Admiral J.J. Clark. He has also worked at the United Nations, the Princeton Post Office and in realty. He is a familiar personality in the Princeton Veterans Day Parade and is known for the delightful designs he paints on rocks. After the parade Homecoming tradition continued with the bonfire in the Valley. »





Quest for the crowns The parade is a big part of the competition for Homecoming Royalty. This year, five teams, representing 10 Concord student organizations, vied for the crowns. Candidates and their respective organizations put their creative talents to work on costumes, banners and floats that they showed off during the parade. These specially crafted items count toward the final tally of who receives the crowns. All were based on this year’s student selected theme – “A Night at the Movies”. With their appearance in the parade behind them, the candidates and organizations tuned their attention to competing in the Lip Sync contest. This super-charged evening of entertainment took place on Friday, Oct. 18 in the Carter Center’s main gym. A student popular vote, billboards displayed around campus and a philanthropy competition – with 1253 total items collected for the CU Food Pantry – rounded out the categories in the quest for the crowns.

Alumni Gatherings

Alumni enjoyed a number of opportunities to reconnect and reminisce with classmates, friends and teammates during Homecoming 2019. This year’s Reunion Classes are the Class of 1969, celebrating their 50th and the Class of 1994, their 25th. Friday, Oct. 18 was a big day for alumni athletic competitions. The Athletic Department’s 9th Annual Golf Tournament took alums and friends to the links that morning for the popular fundraiser. Alumni runners and current members of CU’s men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at Pipestem that day in the Concord Alumni Meet. The softball team hosted their alumni game in the evening. The Office of Advancement brought CU After Hours to campus for Homecoming with a gathering on the President’s House lawn Friday night. With live entertainment and free admission, the event offered guests the opportunity to donate to the Concord University Annual Fund. Festivities for alumni, fans and friends continued on Saturday, Oct. 19 with a daylong agenda of activities and events.




Reunions Add to the Celebration 2019 marks the 50th reunion for the Class of 1969 and the 25th reunion for the Class of 1994. These two classes were invited to gather in a Hospitality Room set up in their honor in University Point’s Alumni Lounge. Heather Pinks, who is a member of the Class of 1994, traveled from Winston-Salem, NC to Athens for Homecoming. She explained that she especially enjoyed “catching up with the lifelong friends that I made while at Concord.” “I don’t get to see or talk with them very often and Homecoming is a great chance for us all to get together,” she said. Reflecting what’s the same and what’s new since she was a student, Heather said, “The campus is still beautiful as it was when I graduated, nestled up on the mountain. The University Point center is new and the Starbucks looks like a nice addition.” Heather attended high school in Princeton then majored in Travel Industry Management at Concord. A group of Mountain Lion football teammates also gathered at Homecoming for a reunion and special salute to their achievements. The Athletic Department recognized Concord’s 1984 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) Championship Football Team during a pre-game ceremony at Callaghan Stadium prior to kickoff of the contest with Fairmont State.

Two members of the 1984 team were officially inducted into the Concord Athletics Hall of Fame earlier that morning as Reggie Perry, an All-WVIAC First Team linebacker on the conference championship team, and assistant coach John Pinter joined the esteemed group. The 1984 Mountain Lions went 8-3 overall and sported a WVIAC record of 7-1. Additionally, the 1984 team became the fifth team in program history to advance to the postseason as they made it to the first round of the NAIA Playoffs before being eliminated by Carson-Newman. Also enjoying Homecoming were members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity of Southern WV’s Chi Alpha graduate and Zeta Sigma undergraduate groups who were on campus in support of the 80th Anniversary of the Chi Alpha chapter. The chapter was reactivated in November 2018. The Omegas were raising funds to support their scholarship, and are looking to increase the number of scholarships they award and continuing to grow and give back to southern West Virginia communities. Their projects include Thanksgiving, Christmas and clothes drives, along with healthcare initiatives. They are working to be reestablished on campus. Omega Psi Phi Fraternity is well represented among Mountain Lion football alumni. » CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



game day


Bookended by a frosty morning and a chilly evening, game day (Saturday, Oct. 19) saw temperatures in the upper 50s making for a pleasant day weather wise for football and alumni festivities. Morning events at University Point provided a good start to the busy agenda. Guests at the Keg & Eggs brunch, held under the portico, enjoyed made to order omelets and live music. The Athletic Department held its 2019 Hall of Fame induction in the Pais Fellowship Hall, honoring eight former athletes across eight sports and one former assistant football coach. Two teams were also recognized. The 50th and 25th Reunion Classes had a special place to gather in the Hospitality Room set up in the Alumni Lounge. Teas and other gatherings for sororities and fraternities were also part of the big day along with affinity tents and tailgates in the parking lots. Turning to football, Concord took on the Fairmont State Falcons at Callaghan Stadium with a 1 p.m. kickoff. While the Mountain Lions didn’t claim the victory in the 56-27 contest, FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

they did offer several touchdowns to the Homecoming crowd and added to individual career achievements. While hauling in CU’s sole touchdown in the first half, junior wide receiver Tywan Pearce caught four passes for 73 yards, and set the program record for career kickoff return yards as he has 1,390 for his career. For the Homecoming game, Pearce had four returns for 85 yards. Two touchdowns went to senior wide receiver Brandon Plyler who caught scores of 37 and 34 yards on his way to a career day. Plyler set single-game career highs in receptions (10) and yards (165) while tallying his sixth career multi-touchdown game. He also moved into the top 10 in career receiving yards, and now has 1,769 for his career. A Grill & Chill post-game party on the University Point patio rounded out the weekend’s festivities. Guests were treated to hamburgers and hotdogs with all the fixings and enjoyed time to recap the fun of Homecoming with friends and classmates.


and the winners are‌ When the much anticipated moment had finally arrived, it was time for the halftime coronation ceremony and news of the winners of the 2019 Homecoming Royalty crowns. Each team was announced, giving them a moment in the spotlight as they made their way across the football field toward the home crowd. Excitement mounted as the results of each of the competitions were announced. Then, the names of Homecoming Royalty sounded across the stadium. Amaka Obijuru, of Abuja, Nigeria, representing the International Students Club, and Bryce Deeringer, of Ruskin, FL, representing Phi Delta Pi, took top honors. President Kendra Boggess crowned them at the 50-yard line.

The announcement had barely been made and the crowns placed on their heads, when zealous club and fraternity members rushed the field toward the winners in celebration and congratulations. With a tie, the first runners-up were Erica Willis, of Athens, WV, representing Alpha Sigma Tau, and Benjamin (Ben) George, of Bluefield, WV, representing Sigma Tau Gamma, and Jocelyn Scott, of Princeton, WV, representing Sigma Sigma Sigma, and Meloita Reynolds, of Ripley, WV, representing Nu Zeta Chi. Second runners-up were Kendra Job, of Louisburg, NC, representing Delta Zeta, and Christopher (Chris) Cohenour, of Beckley, WV, representing Phi Sigma Phi. Also competing for the 2019 crowns were Kaitlin (Katie) Whitehead, of Pembroke, VA, representing Alpha Sigma Alpha, and Roland Jaworski, of Winston-Salem, NC, representing Tau Kappa Epsilon. â–ˆ



THE CONCORD UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT INDUCTED ITS 2019 HALL OF FAME CLASS AT A SPECIAL CEREMONY DURING HOMECOMING ON OCT. 19. THE MORNING PROGRAM TOOK PLACE IN THE PAIS FELLOWSHIP HALL IN UNIVERSITY POINT. The class is made up of eight former athletes across eight sports as well as one former assistant football coach as voted upon by the Concord Hall of Fame Committee. Additionally, the 1961 baseball team and the 2014 football team were recognized. The inductees include Andy Cather (baseball, 1996-99); Jamie Cluesman (women’s basketball, 2003-08); Randy Jennings (men’s basketball, 197882); Brian Kennedy (football, 2008-11); Erica Farmer Morgan (women’s cross country and track & field, 2003-06); Leanna Neuner (women’s soccer, 2003-06); Reggie Perry (football, 1981-84); John Pinter (football, 1974-88); and Therese Podgorski (volleyball, 1998-01). This section was compiled by Wes McKinney '13 in the CU Sports Information Office.





CLUESMAN WAS A KEY MEMBER of two 20-win seasons for the women’s basketball program including their first ever 20win campaign during the 2006-07 season under head coach Kenny Osborne. The former standout guard for the Mountain Lions was twice named to the All-WVIAC Second Team and was also selected to the All-WVIAC Tournament Team in 2006-07. Furthermore, Cluesman holds two school records to date with 655 assists – the only player in program history with more than 500 assists, and is first in steals with 277. Cluesman also ranks fifth in career blocks with 64 and 10th in career rebounds with 536. Cluesman is the only player in program with 900 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists.

2014 Football Team AS FOR THE 2014 FOOTBALL TEAM, the Mountain Lions were the first team in program history to win a playoff game. In fact, Concord won two playoff contests and advanced to the NCAA Division II Semifinals. It was the first regional championship for CU since 2006 when men’s golf won the regional title. The team in 2014, coached by Garin Justice, won the Mountain East Conference Championship by winning 13

games by an average margin of 23.5 points. On the squad was MEC Offensive Player of the Year Calvinaugh Jones who was also one of six AllAmerican on the team along with Andy Ellington, Derrick Johnson, Rustin Mayorga, Coleman Osborne and TJ Smith. During Concord’s recordsetting season, quarterback Brian Novak was also named a Harlon Hill Finalist – the award given out to the best NCAA Division II Player. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



Leanna Neuner | WOMEN'S SOCCER

NEUNER WAS VOTED to be inducted with the 2018 Concord Hall of Fame Class, but was unable to attend the ceremony last fall. Neuner is one of two players to be named WVIAC Player of the Year in women’s soccer program history as she shared the honor with teammate and 2017 Hall of Famer Megan Davies in 2006. During her player of the year season, Neuner was also named to the Daktronics All-Region Second Team as she tallied 20 goals and 44 points. In program history, Neuner ranks second in goals scored with 45 and her 99 career points are third all-time.


Former Basketball Standouts Sign Pro Contracts Early August was a busy time for Mountain Lion men’s basketball as Terry Hopewell and Tommy Bolte signed professional contracts to play internationally.

Hopewell Inks Contract with France’s Laval US A former CU forward, Hopewell (2013-16) landed a contract with Laval US of the NM2 in France. Hopewell spent last season playing for CE Bisbal Basquet in Spain. The Columbus, Ohio native also spent time in Uruguay playing professionally for Cordon after completing his eligibility at Concord at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Hopewell was a member of Concord’s 2016 Mountain East Conference and NCAA Tournament-bound team where he averaged 12.8 points and 10.9 rebounds per game for the 22-10 Mountain Lions. For his career, he averaged 10.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. Additionally, Hopewell finished his career at Concord, fifth in blocks (96), sixth in field goal percentage (56.9) and 11th in rebounds (701). During his senior season, Hopewell was named All-MEC Honorable Mention and was selected to the All-MEC Tournament Team after averaging 18.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in CU’s three wins en route to the MEC Championship.



Bolte Signs with Spain’s Real Murcia Bolte, a former Mountain Lion guard, signed with Real Murcia of Spain’s third division (LEB Plata). Over his career at CU, Bolte was one of six players in program history to go over 2,000 career points, and was the only player in the history of the program to notch career marks of 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. At Concord Bolte was a two-time All-American, earning first team distinction from the Conference Commissioner's Association (CCA) as a junior. During his junior season, Bolte led all of Division II in scoring with 31.8 points per game. The Chillicothe, Ohio native was a part of 70 wins in his time in the Maroon and Gray including a 2016 Mountain East Conference Championship as well as back-to-back appearances in the MEC Tournament Semifinals in 2018 and 2019. The season for Real Murcia began in September.


Therese Podgorski | VOLLEYBALL

AS THE ONLY PLAYER IN PROGRAM HISTORY to record 400 or more kills in a

single season, Podgorski accomplished the feat twice as she notched 434 and 432 in 1999 and 2001 as the latter campaign ended in a selection to the All-WVIAC First Team. Overall, Podgorski finished her career as the all-time leader in kills at Concord with 1,470 and is 10th in all-time hitting percentage at .184. Her 84 solo blocks rank eighth in program history. Podgorski will be the first volleyball player inducted into the Concord Hall of Fame since Katrina Terry in 2008.

1961 Baseball Team

THE 1961 CONCORD BASEBALL TEAM WON the school’s second championship

with the first being the 1954 baseball club. It was the second championships in eight seasons for head coach Robert Kyle. The team included Eddie Holcomb, Pete Ergenbright, Harry Tyree, John Kersic, Tom Halstead, Tom Morgan, Bill Penny, Bernie Hamrick, Bernad Shinault, Wallace Flinchum, Bob Liakos, Chester Sword, Willis White, Bill Baker, Wayne Taylor, Dennis Perdue, Fred Parker, Ed Elmore, Bob Rodes, Dave Cook and Jerry Smith.

Reggie Perry | FOOTBALL PERRY HELPED LEAD SOME OF THE BEST defenses at Concord during the 1980s as the Mountain Lions made the NAIA National Playoffs in 1981 and 1984 with Perry on the roster. Perry was tabbed to the All-WVIAC First Team in 1983 and 1984. At the conclusion of the 1984 campaign, Perry was voted to the NAIA Honorable Mention All-American Team, the ninth player in program history to earn the distinction. During the Mountain Lions’ 9-2 season in 1981, Perry and Concord defense pitched three regular season shutouts and allowed just 9.1 points per game in 10 regular-season games before falling to Elon in the postseason. In 1984, Perry was on a defense that led the Maroon and Gray to an 8-3 record before facing Carson-Newman in the playoffs.

John Pinter

| FOOTBALL PINTER WAS A CATALYST on the sidelines for six

football conference championships in 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1984 and 1987. Over his 15 years with the Concord football program, Pinter helped coach 15 current members of the Concord Hall of Fame and Perry will make the 16th Hall of Famer Pinter tutored. From 1974-88, the Mountain Lions posted a record of 111-45-5, a win percentage of .704.




Randy Jennings | MEN'S BASKETBALL

JENNINGS’ CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE men’s basketball program spans both as a player and an assistant coach. Jennings was a three-time member of the All-WVIAC Second Team during the 1979-1980, 198081 and 1981-82 seasons. During the 1979-80 season, Jennings also added an All-WVIAC Tournament accolade to his resume. Throughout his career, Jennings scored 1,757 points which ranks ninth and his 454 assists are seventh most in program history. As an assistant coach on 2015 Concord Hall of Famer Steve Cox’s staff from 1989-98, Jennings helped the Mountain Lions to three conference championships in 1991, 1995 and 1997. The 1990-91 team also advanced to the NAIA Sweet 16.

Brian Kennedy | FOOTBALL


KENNEDY WAS A PIVOTAL PART of the turnaround of Concord football during the early part of the 2010s. In the final three years of his career, Kennedy helped the Mountain Lions to three straight winning seasons from 2009-11 after CU had not had a winning season since 1998. The former Concord rusher was on the 2011 conference championship team, the first league title for the Mountain Lions since 1990. Kennedy wrapped up his career as the leader rusher at Concord with 4,188 yards and currently ranks second in career rushing yards. Kennedy’s 38 career touchdowns also rank second in program history. He was voted to the All-WVIAC First Team three times and was an all-region pick in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Kennedy made Don Hansen Football Gazette’s All-American Team as an Honorable Mention pick in 2010. FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

Erica Farmer Morgan | WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY SHORTLY AFTER 2017 HALL OF FAMER Mike Cox took over the cross country and track and field programs at CU, Morgan became his first conference champion during the spring of 2003 as she took home victory in the 400-meter dash at the WVIAC Championships. Morgan went on to finish runnerup three other times in the 400-meters during her collegiate career, earning All-WVIAC Second Team in each instance. Additionally, Morgan earned a podium finish in the 200-meter dash in 2005 and aided the 2006 4x100-meter relay team to a conference championship. Overall, Morgan stood on the podium as a top three finisher at the WVIAC Championships a total of nine times in her career.



Men’s Golf Wins MEC Championship

and moved up five spots during the final round. Freshman Carson Proffitt, of Camp Creek, W.Va., went from tied for eighth to tying for fifth at the MEC Championship as he put together a round of 74 and a total of 226. After a second-round 83, freshman Bauer Galloway, of Vale, N.C., returned to form with a 78 on the final day to finish tied for 23rd with a total score of 239. Galloway vaulted seven spots on the final day. Meanwhile, fellow freshman Michael Growe Jr., of Pineville, W.Va., was also in the 70s with a final round 79 as he was 29th with a total of 244. Leading by just one stroke over Davis & Elkins and another six strokes ahead of Charleston entering the final round, the Mountain Lions created some early separation. With the final three Shown from left to right are Michael Growe Jr., Bauer Galloway, Noah Clark, teams – Concord, Charleston and Davis & Elkins Brett Laxton, Carson Proffitt and Head Coach Trent Howard. – starting on the back nine, CU played the back part of the Cobb Course at +6 as a team while The Concord University men’s golf team won its third Charleston was +11 and D&E +21. The Mountain Lions Mountain East Conference Championship and first since were led on the back by Laxton’s one-under and Proffitt's 2014 as it shot a tournament-best 297 on its way to the even-par nine of 36. league crown. The competition was held in October at On the front nine, the lead for the Mountain Lions never The Resort at Glade Springs, Daniels, WV. dipped below seven strokes. By winning the MEC Championship, Concord As a team, Concord had 11 birdies on the back nine automatically qualifies for the NCAA Atlantic/East including three from Growe Jr. The Mountain Lions added Regional in the spring. five more birdies on the front nine to tally 16 birdies as Concord finished with a three-round total of 908 to top a team on the day. All five golfers for CU had at least Charleston by nine strokes. CU was the only team to break two birdies. Growe Jr. and Laxton each had four birdies 300 during any round of the MEC Championship. including a birdie-three for Laxton on the 8th hole— Sophomore Noah Clark, of Pearisburg, Va., finished acting as the 17th hole—to unofficially seal the title for second with total of 221 after a final round of 75. Junior Concord. Brett Laxton, of Pineville, W.Va., tied for third as he carded Glenville State’s Kyle Chung won medalist honors as he the low round of the tournament with a final day twofinished one-under for the tournament at 215. under, 70. Laxton was one shot back of Clark with a 222

Andy Cather | MEN'S BASEBALL

AS THE BASEBALL PROGRAM’S FIRST all-region player under 2016 Concord Hall of Famer and head coach Kevin Garrett, Cather was selected to the American Baseball Coaches’ Association (ABCA) All-Region Second Team in 1998. The next spring, Cather did one better and was voted to the all-region first team. Within the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), Cather was named an all-conference performer in three of his four seasons in the Maroon and Gray as he earned the first team nods in 1997, 1998 and 1999 as a designated hitter. Even though Cather is 20 years removed from his playing days in Athens, he still ranks fourth in career home runs with 32 and is top 15 in all-time batting average. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019


living OLDEST


the n i d e u ss i s a w ll a When a c ’s d r o c n o C r o f e n i z a g spring ma ”, we i n m u l a g n i v i l t s e “old ing z a m a n a m o r f d r hea al i c e p s e s e Th . s m u l group of a ng i d n a t s t u o e v a h s l individua their n i s t n e m h s i l p m o acc lives, l a n o i ss e f o r p d n a personal the o t e f i l e v i l o t e u n i and cont and , s 0 9 , s 0 8 r i e th n fullest i k. We r a m y r u t n e c e th t even pas ce in a l p r i e th d n a m e salute th ord! c n o C f o y r o t s i h e th




At 87 years of age, Col. Eddie Lee Rhodes is a youngster among Concord’s oldest living alums. Born in McGraws, W.Va., he was raised in Summers and Monroe counties and is a 1950 graduate of Peterstown High School.

Eddie earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from Concord in 1954. He was President of Kappa Sigma Kappa Fraternity and Vice President of the student council.

“I will always have fond memories of Concord and many doors over the years have been opened for me due to my time at the now University.”

Eddie joined the Air Force in August 1954 as an Airman, was commissioned in 1960 and retired in July 1987 as a Colonel with more than 32 years of service. He worked in intelligence operations, aircraft maintenance, missile nuclear safety and contracting

manufacturing in procurement. Following his military career, Col. Rhodes was a contract administrator in Northrop Grumman Corporation’s B-2 Bomber Division. He says he “retired again” in 1997. Eddie married Marion Bingham, a British citizen, in 1957. Their family includes four children, four grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.

by earning a master’s degree in physical education from West Virginia University. She taught school for 25 years in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Then, she and her husband moved to Florida for his career. Her family includes three children and several grandchildren. Although she completed her studies at Concord decades ago, Mrs. Wiles enjoys being a Concordian to this day and is a proud alumna. Joan is originally from Williamson, W.Va. and currently lives in Gulfport, Miss. While she was a student at Concord, she was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and worked in the physical education department. A Phys. Ed major, Joan enjoyed swimming. She graduated from Concord College on June 2, 1949 and continued her education

"I had a good education."

A favorite item of clothing for her is a sweater from her alma mater. “I wear that Concord College sweater all the time,” she admits.

Mrs. Wiles celebrated her birthday in October, turning a young 92. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



during the war years meant saying goodbye to many students who were drafted or enlisted in WWII,” she said. “1943 came and our campus had few male students. It was changed by air force cadets that came on the campus.” Her own life was changed in a very special

"Concord during the war years meant saying goodbye."

Elizabeth Ann Woody Bogema, who turned 97 in August, began her studies at Concord State Teachers College in September 1940, enrolling in a two-year program for elementary teaching. She would go on to earn credits in the summer and transition into a four-year secondary degree. She graduated in May 1943. Elizabeth Ann describes what life was like for Concordians at this time in history. “Concord

way when she met cadet Andrew Bogema. She and Andrew married in 1944 and had two children. They lived in Michigan where Elizabeth Ann taught for a number of years. She then switched careers. “When my husband bought a business in 1967, I ran the jewelry department of a small town pharmacy from 1967-1982,” she said. Following several decades of retirement in North Carolina, they would later return to Michigan.

Evelyn Lilly Blake has enjoyed a lifelong love for nature and the arts. Growing up in West Virginia, she performed with the Shady Spring High School band and played the snare drum in Concord’s marching band. As a biology major at Concord, she was especially inspired by a botany course she took from Dr. Meade McNeill. The excursions he led for students to identify plants remain among Evelyn’s best Concord memories. A talented seamstress, Evelyn minored in art.

Evelyn earned a bachelor’s degree from Concord in 1942, pursued a master’s degree at Virginia Tech, and enjoyed a career in teaching. She received an honorary doctorate from Concord in December 2018.


Extending exceptional generosity to her alma mater, Evelyn donated toward the purchase of new uniforms for the marching band. She is a major contributor to The Allie Irene Strasko FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

Research Trust Fund, which supports science research and study. Additionally, her bequest creates the Evelyn Lilly Blake Endowed Science Fund at Concord.

Evelyn’s effervescent personality remains her trademark today at the young age of 99. She currently lives in Daleville, Va.


Fred L. Taylor, I celebrated his 101st birthday on Oct. 8. Born in 1918, Mr. Taylor is a veteran and a retired educator. He currently lives in Lewisburg, WV.

Fred took not one, but two paths at Concord on his way to receiving instruction for a career in education. He attended Concord State Teachers College from 1936 to 1938 when he earned his Standard Normal Teaching Certificate. After teaching four years and serving in the U.S. Army for four years, he returned to Concord College from 1946 to December of 1948, earning his Bachelor of Science in Education degree.

Continuing his education, Mr. Taylor received a Master of Arts degree from Marshall in 1949. His dedicated career as an educator includes 45 years as a teacher and principal with Monroe County Schools in West Virginia.

Mr. Taylor’s family has continued his legacy of earning a Concord education. Several members have graduated from his alma mater or may have a Concord diploma in their future.

administrator, Ethel taught in the states where they lived. She also added a bachelor’s degree and graduate studies to her resume. They landed in Roanoke, Va. where Ethel continues to make her home. She spent a good portion of her more than three decades in education teaching in Roanoke.

Ethel was born in Keenan, W.Va. As a girl, she rode a horse to school from the farm where she lived. Ethel attended Concord from 19381940, receiving a Normal Certificate. She was a member of the Glee Club and lived with her aunt and uncle in Athens.

While her late first husband, Guy Biggs, advanced his education and career as a school

While Ethel’s second husband, John Lamanca, is now deceased, his family has become her family.

Once named the most beautiful young woman on Concord’s campus among a group of beauties, Ethel remains a lovely lady to this day. Looking radiant at her 104th birthday celebration in September, she is happily surrounded by family in photographs from the momentous day. An avid gardener, Ethel’s undertaking this past summer included tending a patch of 40 tomato plants. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019



her classmates as they marched into their commencement ceremony. Today, she considers this a favorite memory from her college days.

Jessie taught school in West Virginia at the beginning of her career. Work as a buyer in retail saw her visit New York and Charlotte. She also spent a quarter of a century as a proofreader for the state legislature.

Jessie Ball Beckett turned 105 in February. She has enjoyed a full life centered around family, education, work and seeing the world. Born in Athens, Jessie excelled as a student at Concord. She graduated in 1943 – at the head of her class – with an associate degree in business. In recognition of this high academic achievement, Jessie had the honor of leading

Her travels have taken her to all U.S. states, into Canada and across Europe. She has lived in various communities in the Mountain State including Beckley, where she resided for many years. She and her late husband also spent time in Pittsburgh, Penn. Jessie now makes her home in Sam Black Church near Lewisburg, W.Va.

When Louise Utterback celebrated her birthday in March, she received congratulations and best wishes from the likes of Gov. Jim Justice, Sen. Joe Manchin and President Donald Trump. Considering that this year she turned 106, the greetings were well deserved.

Along with celebrating momentous birthdays, Louise enjoys visits with family, friends, neighbors and former students in her Greenbrier County home.


Beginning her road to becoming a teacher, Louise, went to Alderson Junior College. She would later earn a degree from Concord in 1947. Her late husband, George, also graduated from Concord and was an educator as well, teaching the sixth grade. The Utterbacks were well-liked and respected educators and members of their community. FALL 2019 CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE

Mrs. Utterback devoted her entire career as an educator to teaching the second grade. After teaching at Blue Sulphur and Asbury, she would spend 22 years in the classroom at Alderson Elementary School in Alderson, W.Va. She retired in 1967. She is a member of Old Greenbrier Baptist Church in Alderson.



Are you interested in serving as a mentor to a current CU student? Are you looking for support and resources as you chart your own career path? If so then we encourage you to join the Mt. Lion Career Community! This new career services platform is available to all Concord alumni and students and can provide assistance no matter where you are in your professional journey.

Visit www.collegecentral.com/concord to sign up today!



AlumniHappenings Concord Night with the Princeton Rays Concord Night with the Princeton Rays was held August 22, 2019 for the final game of the 2019 Mercer Cup. Highlights of the evening included Concord student Cassidy Hicks performing the national anthem and President Kendra Boggess throwing out the first pitch.

CUAA Pine Trees Chapter Scholarship Recipient

Left to right: Deborah Gillespie, President of Pine Trees, Joy Robinette, scholarship committee member, Andrea Butler and Melissa Butler.



Each year, the Pine Trees Chapter of the CUAA awards a $2,000 scholarship to an education major who plans to attend Concord University. This year's recipient is Andrea Butler, a 2019 graduate from Montcalm High School. She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Melissa Butler. Andrea was an active member of the Key Club and served as vice-president of the National Honor Society. She participated in the community clean-up campaign and was a member of the volleyball team. She will pursue a degree in secondary education with a teaching field in History.


Pine Trees Summer Social

CU After Hours – Morgantown

The Pine Trees Chapter of the CUAA held their annual picnic on July 19th at the home of Ott and JoAnna Fredeking. Members brought donations for the Concord food pantry.

Tyler Compston '15 and Kelsey Leadman '15 at the CU After Hours at the Mountain State Brewing Company in Morgantown, WV on September 19, 2019.

Alpha Sigma Alpha Reunion

Every year, the Concord alumni of Alpha Sigma Alpha get together for a fun filled weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC. This year sisters from the Should be ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s shared memories of their years at Concord. Submitted by Debbie Castaneda '74




JUNE 2019

Jonathan Bolt ‘04 Congratulations to Concord alum Jonathan Bolt ’04 on being selected as one of two 2019 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award winners! Each year Poets & Writers selects a state to feature in this competition and West Virginia was the state chosen for 2019 so writers from the Mountain State were invited to submit works of poetry or fiction for consideration. Jon’s work was chosen as the winning entry for poetry. This fall Jon went to New York City for the opportunity to visit with industry professionals to gain insight and advice, as well as to establish professional contacts. Congratulations again to Jon on such an outstanding accomplishment!

J U LY 2019

Nicolas Diehl ‘91

Congratulations to Concord alum Nicolas Diehl ’91 on recently being named the Executive Director of the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority. In this newly created position Nic will be responsible for oversight and marketing of the airport and its many resources. Best of luck Nic in this new and exciting position!



Monica Oglesby Holliday '10


Congratulations to Concord alum Monica Holliday on recently being named the Young Lawyer of the Year for West Virginia! The award is sponsored by the West Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Section and was presented to Ms. Holliday in Charleston in April. Holliday currently serves as the legal director of ChildLaw Services, a Princeton based agency, where she works on protecting the legal rights of children who are involved in any legal process. Congratulations to Monica on this well-deserved recognition!

Alyssa Morris '16 Congratulations to Concord alum and former softball standout Alyssa Morris on being named the head softball coach at Union College! Morris takes over the head coaching position for the Kentucky college after serving as an assistant coach last season. Best of luck to Alyssa and her team in the 2020 season!

Alumni Spotlight features outstanding achievements of alums and is highlighted on CU’s website. To read further about these incredible alums, visit www.concord.edu/advancement/alumni-spotlight



Athletic Training Alumni

CU After Hours – Northern VA

Athletic Training alumni met up for lunch at Slice in Las Vegas during the 2019 National Athletic Trainer's Association Annual Symposium held June 24 - June 27.

Alumni and friends in northern VA gathered at The Bungalow Lakehouse in Sterling on July 17th for the second CU After Hours of the month. Alums in attendance included (L to R): Olga Novikova ’17, Mario Ciarlo ’55, DaEun Jung ’16, Joe Friedl ’62, Sarah Turner ’98, Paula and Jim Crawford ’68, Brittany Loveless ’14 and Mark Borromeo ’15.

Left side from front to back: Olivia Reilly, Lacie Geisel, Tracy McCallister, Erica Bell (preceptor for the AT program), Lauryn Hunter. Right side from front to back: Bryn Hardy, Berkley Lowe, Adam Gellios, Tyler Wright, Kyle Schneider (former faculty member), Hiromi Kowata, and Estaban Apodaca (preceptor for the AT program).

Chambersburg, PA

CU After Hours - Martinsburg, WV

Alums gather at Brix 27 in Martinsburg, WV for a CU After Hours event. Pictured are Steve Gregory, Rita Bostic '64, Martha Collier Rizzo '64, Bob Rizzo '63, Jim Wyatt '55 and Sarah Turner '98.

Gordon Jones '65 and CU donor, Walter Bailey met up with Advancement in Chambersburg, PA in July. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019


Class Notes

ACHIEVEMENTS 1980s ____________ MARK GREEN ’81 was recently inducted into the Logan High School Hall of Fame. A 1977 graduate of LHS, Mark was a three-sport athlete for the Wildcats. He manned first and third bases in baseball; was top golfer for the schools’ team his senior year; and part of the 1977 Class AAA state championship basketball team, serving as co-captain and starting center. As a Mountain Lion, Mark played golf and was a starting forward and co-captain in basketball. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Concord, Mark began his successful career with UPS in Atlanta.

STACEY WILNER ’82 is a member of the Leadership Blount County Class of 2020. According to the organization’s website, Leadership Blount, based in Maryville, TN, is a “community leadership enhancement and development program.” Stacey is Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Choral Activities at Maryville College. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in music education from Concord, she has also earned a master’s degree in music and choral conducting from UT Knoxville. SCOT MITCHELL ’85 has been named the new chief executive officer of the Robert C. Byrd Clinic at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg. He has nearly three decades of service to rural communities in health care. Scot comes to his

new post after having served as the CEO of Cordova Community Medical Center located in Alaska. He was also the administrator at the Summers County ARH Hospital. Additionally, he served the West Virginia Legislature as the Senate Health Committee’s budget and policy analyst. Scot earned a master’s degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in addition to his bachelor’s degree in biology from Concord. A native of Oceana, Scot currently lives in Summers County.

1990s ____________

SEAN WALKER ’92 has been named Assistant Superintendent for School Leadership for the Elementary Level with Williamsburg-James City County Schools. He has nearly three decades of experience as an educator including serving as a classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal. Prior to his new position, he was the director of elementary

Ellie White ’60 Pens Second Book

When ELEANOR TRIPLETT WHITE ’60 retired from teaching, she said the free time allowed her to focus on writing. Her first project “Squire’s Legacy: The Life and Struggles of Clifford Earl White,” which she and her husband James Edward White ’60 worked on together, has been followed by her recent book “Maggie: For the Love of a Rover.” “Squire’s Legacy” shares the inspiring story of Jim’s father and his family’s life in the Ameagle section of Raleigh County, West Virginia. With nods to Ellie’s family, “Maggie” has been dubbed by the book’s publisher as an historical romance. This second book also has an Appalachian setting and takes place in Wilkes County, North Carolina While admitting that tackling these projects required discipline, Ellie says writing is rewarding and has been something she wanted to pursue once she had the time. “I personally have always had a desire for writing,” she said. Her husband shares her bent for crafting with words. “Jim is a storyteller,” she said. Collaborating with him on “Squire’s Legacy” worked well for them, she said, adding “We’re a good pair!” The Whites, both native West Virginians and former educators, lived and worked out-of-state for a number of years. Since retiring, Jim and Ellie have returned to the Mountain State, settling in Pipestem where they run the Nostalgia Inn, a bed and breakfast.



Class Notes schools for Virginia Beach City Public Schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from Concord and furthered his education by earning a master’s degree in administration/ supervision from the University of Virginia.

ANGELA HOPE JEFFRIES ’93 received the doctoral degree of Nurse Anesthesia Practice from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO on May 17, 2019. Angela is the daughter of Phil and Nell Jeffries of Athens. She graduated from Athens High School in 1989 and received a degree in Psychology from Concord. Angela graduated from the College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, VA with an associate degree in nursing in 1996. In 2001 she received a master’s degree in Health Care Administration from Marshall University and certification as a nurse anesthetist from the Charleston Area Medical Center School of Anesthesia. Angela is employed by CAMC in Charleston, WV. She resides in Charleston with her wife, Debbie, and her son, Noah.

2000s ____________

GARRETT FAHRMANN ’00 has been appointed Vice President and General Manager of the Rocket City Trash Pandas. He previously held the position of Vice President of Ballpark and Baseball Operations with the team. Garrett has also been affiliated with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the Fresno Grizzlies. Along with a bachelor’s degree in business management from Concord, he holds a master’s degree in sports management from Slippery Rock University.

MANDY SHEPHERD ’02 has recently joined Farm Credit of the Virginias (FCV) as a credit analyst in the company’s Staunton, VA, office. Her career in the financial industry includes experience in banking as a small business underwriter. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Concord with a concentration in Accounting.

MELODY BAILEY ’04 is the owner of Caring Transitions of Kanawha Valley, West Virginia’s first location of the national relocation services franchise. Based in Charleston, the service offers “downsizing, decluttering and estate sales for both full and partial liquidations.” For someone like Melody who has a “passion for planning, relocation and estate clearing” the business is a perfect fit. She was previously

Becky Sullivan ’01 Enthusiastic about the Area She Promotes As the new Executive Director of the New River Gorge Convention and Visitors Bureau and President of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, BECKY SULLIVAN ’01 has several big events and attractions under her jurisdiction that turn the international spotlight on the region. The New River Gorge Bridge, New River Gorge National River and the Summit Bechtel Reserve (a national Scouting center) are all attractions that Becky enthusiastically promotes in a region renowned for its whitewater rafting and breathtaking scenery. “It is a very exciting time for Fayette County as we have been the host to two National Scout Jamborees, one World Scout Jamboree, three Spartan Races and the 40th Anniversary of Bridge Day,” she said. “Bridge Day is our state’s largest one-day festival and our region’s signature event.” “The exposure our area receives from these events is remarkable,” she continued. “The New River Gorge region has the most beautiful scenery to offer and deserves the spotlight. We have the best communities and sense of feeling at home in West Virginia.” Becky received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Concord. Her major was business administration and she minored in Recreation and Tourism Management. A native of Fayette County, Becky has been working in tourism for more than two decades. Most recently, she served as marketing director for Visit Southern West Virginia. Her experience in the field also includes employment with Winterplace Resort, ACE Adventure Resort and Yellowstone National Park. She is a resident of Oak Hill. CONCORD UNIVERSIT Y MAGAZINE FALL 2019


Class Notes Josh Johnson ’11 Guiding Students into Aerospace Engineering JOSH JOHNSON ’11 can now add teaching aerospace engineering on the high school level to his resume. Along with the Honors Chemistry and A.P. Chemistry classes he teaches at Mingo Central High School, Josh is also the instructor for Advanced Careers: Aerospace Engineering. Having this class on his schedule is not only a feather in Josh’s cap, it’s also an honor for the Delbarton, W.Va. high school and the students enrolled in the course. “We were selected to participate when the assistant superintendent of the West Virginia Department of Education, Dr. Kathy D’Antoni, called the school to see if we were interested in offering this rigorous course. The ultimate goal is to work with Marshall University's new flight school so that students can have a smooth transition to college in the field of aviation or aerospace engineering,” he said. “The course is operated through our Career and Technical Education Department (CTE),” he explains. “Students had to undergo an interview process to be selected for the class.” Projects are part of the coursework, he said, such as “designing a pilot seat for a corporate jet, designing a wing, and ultimately building an R/C plane” Josh graduated from Concord in 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education with endorsements in Chemistry 9-Adult and General Science 5-9. Continuing his education, he received a Master’s Degree in Administration from Marshall University. Originally from Gilbert in Mingo County, he remains a resident of his home county today.

employed in state government before launching her small business.

BRIAN ZICKEFOOSE ’05 competed in the 2019 Boston Marathon. He ran the race in 2:55:33. His overall place is 1750, for gender, 1647 and age group, 1308. Brian participated on the cross country and track teams at CU from 2002-2005. He was a member of the 2004 cross country conference championship team, Concord’s first win since 1968. Brian has run in seven marathons, with two wins and a PR of 2:28:28. This fall he’s adding the JFK50 Miler Ultra Marathon to his running resume. ALLISON ADKINS ’06 was named Wyoming County Teacher of the Year. She has taught math for 12


years at Pineville Middle School. Allison earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Concord and a master’s degree from Marshall University Graduate College as a reading specialist.

IN MEMORY 1940s ____________

LOUISE (LOU) RYAN GRIMM ’46: March 21, 2019. Born near Princeton, WV on May 16, 1925, she was the daughter of Claude Ashby (C.A.) and Lillian Naugle Ryan. She was a 1942 graduate of Princeton High School.


She graduated from Concord with a B.S. degree in chemistry and math. While at Concord, she married Edward F. Grimm and they had one daughter, Lara Grimm Addison. She is survived by daughter Lara and husband Tom Addison of Pounding Mill, VA; one cousin, Tom’s brother, Larry Addison, a wonderful church family, former students, and countless friends from Maine to Florida. Lou taught 5 years at Pocahontas High and 25 years at Richlands High School, where she was department head for most of those years, and as a guidance counselor. She earned a MS degree from Virginia Tech in 1977, and retired in 1985. She still kept in touch with many of her former students. She served in several capacities at the Cedar Bluff United Methodist Church. She was a 43 year member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society. She enjoyed painting watercolors, and earned several awards locally and in Florida. Lou was on the SWCC Art Advisory Board and instituted

Class Notes the student art show in the Cedar Bluff Heritage Festival, which she chaired for 10 years. She was also chair of the Tazewell County Fair Art Show for many years. She was a member of the Appalachian Artists Association and helped simplify the registration system for their show. Lou and Ed spent 18 winters in Plant City, FL where she joined the East Hillsborough Artists Guild, assisting with their show in the Strawberry Festival. She also helped several “snowbird” friends with watercolors. SWCC has established a scholarship for art students with the name of the Ed and Lou Grimm Art and Soul Scholarship. BETTY LOU RONCAGLIONE BALL ’49: June 26, 2019. Born January 28, 1928 in Aracoma, WV, she was the daughter of the late Louis Roncaglione and Hazel Burgess Roncaglione. Betty was a graduate of Big Creek High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from Concord and her master’s degree from James Madison University. She was a retired teacher and guidance counselor having taught at James Madison Middle School in Titusville, FL, Colonial Beach High School in Colonial Beach, VA, and Pineville High School in Pineville, WV. She was a resident of Dania, FL. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, James Banner Ball; three brothers, Howard, Carl, and John Roncaglione; and one sister, Virginia Courtney. She is survived by her son, James Banner Ball, Jr. of Dania, FL; one sister, Lillian Bazzle of Williamsburg, VA and her son, Larry; and several nieces and nephews.

1950s ____________ ROBERT ANTHONY (BOB) BRUCH ’51: September 3, 2019. A lifelong resident of Bluefield, West Virginia, he was son of the late William J. Bruch and Eva Kilcoyne Bruch. Bob was a life-long member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and retired from the Norfolk Southern Railroad with 44 years of service on the Pocahontas Division. He served in the US Army in 1946 at the end of World War II and enlisted in the US Naval Reserve in 1947, where he served in surface, aviation, and Seabee units in Bluefield, Roanoke, and Norfolk Virginia. Bob advanced through the enlisted ranks, was selected for Warrant Officer, and retired after 33 years as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CW4). He continued service as a West Virginia Blue and Gold Officer for the US Naval Academy located in Annapolis, Maryland, mentoring young service members in their military career paths. Bob was a Beaver High School graduate (class of 1946) and continued his education at Concord College. He was a life-member of the Knights of Columbus (4th degree), a member of American Legion Riley-Vest Post #9, a life member of Bluefield Elks Lodge 619, and was an Eagle Scout. A quiet, hardworking and dependable man of faith, he served as a model for his family and is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years Mary T. Bruch; children Robert Allen Bruch (Kae) of Roanoke, Virginia, Anthony Lee Bruch (Cynthia) of Mandeville, Louisiana, and Katherine Ann Bruch (Leanna) of Bedford, Virginia; grandchildren

Ryan Austin Bruch (Bridgette), Jacob Spencer Bruch, Jonathan Corey Bruch and Haley Katherine Bruch; great-grandson Reid Austin Bruch; and sister-in-law Gail Bruch of Richmond, Virginia. He was preceded in death by his brothers Dr. William M. Bruch and wife Sarah of Richmond, Virginia, and John Donald Bruch of Richmond, Virginia, and sister Christine Schneider and husband COL Edwin A. Schneider, (USAF) of Honolulu, Hawaii.

MICHAEL N. DONATO ’54: July 25, 2019. The son of Nicholas and Concetta Donato, Michael was born in Windber, PA on September 1, 1932. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Ann Spinazzolo. He is survived by his wife Jane and his brother Dennis Donato and his three sons, Dean Donato and wife Genie and granddaughter Taylor, Mark Donato and wife Pam and grandchildren Grant, Wes and Maddy, and Scott Donato and wife Nicole and granddaughters Regan and Camden. A graduate of Windber High School in Windber, PA in 1950 and commonly known as “Bud”, he was active in both the band and orchestra having played trumpet and served as a student conductor. He received his B.S. degree from Concord University in Music Education where he was a member of the marching and concert bands playing trumpet, the choir and was on scholarship with the Bluefield Symphony in Bluefield, WV playing the French horn. He received a M.S. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York plus a Professional diploma of advanced graduate work at Teachers College in Counseling



Class Notes and Educational Administration. Additional study was done at the University of Virginia. Donato was first employed as a Band and Choral director at Castlewood High School in Castlewood, VA. He spent his summers leading a Dance Band at the Nags Head Casino in Nags Head, NC. After two years he was drafted into the Army. While in the Army, he served as a musician with the First Army Band in New York City and then spent a year as the Assistant Conductor of the Eleventh Air Borne band in Augusburg, Germany. Upon being discharged, he spent a year as the Band and Choral Director at Middlesex High School in Saluda, VA. In 1960, he was hired by the Derry Township Schools in Hershey, PA to be a music instructor. In this capacity, he was responsible for presenting many fine choral and Christmas performances. In 1968, he was appointed to an administrative position with the Derry Township Schools, where he worked in the Junior High School handling the budget, counseling and supervision of student activities. Upon his retirement from the educational community in 1985, he established a Gallery Of Art business specializing in art on oil canvases. From 1996 up to the present, after having moved to the Carlisle area to be close to his son Scott, Mr. Donato was involved as a volunteer with the Employment Skills Center as a counselor and literary skills provider on an individual basis with over 80 students from 32 different countries. He provided preparation for American citizenship. He assisted students preparing for university graduate work and executives from foreign countries. He was also a great supporter of his wife’s musical endeavors and the accomplishments of her voice and piano and clarinet students throughout the last 50 years. Michael has been a very faithful


member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and for as long as he has been a member, served in the capacity of assisting in the handling and the accounting of the weekly financial contributions. In addition, Mr. Donato has been very active as an alumnus of Concord University and in 2005 was chosen as a Golden Alumnus of the Year and presented with such an award at the University at that time. JANE P. GOODE CARPENTER’ 58: September 17, 2019. Jane was born on August 27, 1936 and was a resident of Greenwood, Missouri. She graduated from Princeton High School, where she was regarded musically as the school’s “songbird.” She earned a business education degree at Concord. She was a vocalist with the college choir, performed with the marching band, played piano and saxophone, and belonged to the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. She possessed a deserved reputation as a soprano and shared her gift at weddings, dozens of memorial services at Langsford Funeral Home and other community events.

1960s ____________

MELVIN CONRAD HARRIS ’62: July 18, 2019. Born December 27, 1935, at Pence Springs, WV, he was the son of the late Cary C. and Trilby Edith Allen Harris. Mel was a graduate of Talcott High School and Concord College. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War, a Mason, a Shriner and was the cornbread champion of Pence Springs, WV. He was retired from DuPont Corporation with 30 years of service. He was a resident of


Camden, SC. Mel was preceded in death by four brothers and three sisters. Mel is survived by his wife of 60 years, Beverly Kaye Mann Harris; two sons, Richard and Robert Harris, both of Camden, SC; and a twin brother, Marvin Harris and wife Loretta of Evansville, IN. Mel’s life motto was, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”

JAMES EDWARD GIBSON, JR, ’64: October 11, 2019. He was the son of the late James Sr and Mildred Gilmer Gibson. James graduated from Bluefield High School and attended Concord College. He served in the Army National Guard of West Virginia. James retired from Bluefield Community Hospital (BRMC) in 1986. He was a resident of Bluefield, WV. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by the love of his life, Rebecca Ann Chandler Gibson. Those left to cherish his memory are his two sons: Jeffrey Gibson and wife, Beth of Bristol, TN and Richard Gibson and wife, Robin of Bluefield, WV; siblings: Sue Stamper, Joyce Sexton, Robert Gibson and wife, Ginger, Michael Gibson and wife, Diana. James had four grandchildren he dearly cherished: Kyle Gibson and wife, Courtney, Sarah Brent and husband, Brandon, Bradley Gibson and wife, Laken, and Catherine Gibson.

NANCY LEE O’NEAL ’66: July 12, 2019. Mrs. O’Neal was born February 15, 1944 in Mercer County, a daughter of the late Woodrow Wilson Pendleton and Hazel Bowling Pendleton. Nancy was also preceded in death by one son, Casey O’Neal, stepson Gary O’Neal and one brother Homer Pendleton. She was a 1962 graduate

Class Notes of Princeton High School and a graduate of Concord College. She taught high school and worked with the health council, then devoted her life to raising her children. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Princeton, WV. She was loved and adored by everyone in the community. Nancy was the most kind and caring lady you could ever meet. She was admired by everyone. Mrs. O’Neal was described as “snazzy,” “a total sweetheart,” “compassionate,” “considerate,” “reliable,” and “loveable.” She was a resident of Princeton. She is survived by her beloved husband of 49 years, Bill O’Neal; one son, Riley O’Neal; one daughter, Christy O’Neal Hedrick (David); her four grandchildren whom which she cherished, Isabella Hedrick, Savannah Hedrick, Alexandria Hedrick, and Dalton Hedrick; her two dear nephews, Mike Pendleton (Kim) and Wes Pendleton; and her beloved best friend, Rita Montrosse. She was dearly loved and now will be dearly missed. She will continue to live on in those she is survived by and also by those whose lives she touched. MARGARET LOUISE THORN ’67: July 26, 2019. Born July 14, 1931 at Green Valley, she was the daughter of the late James W. “Bill” Via and Ella LaFon Via. Margaret was educated in Mercer County, received her degree from Concord College in Public Administration, and earned her master’s degree from WCOG. Margaret retired from the WV DHHR as Regional Supervisor for Child Support & Enforcement after many years of service. She was a resident of Princeton. She loved her dogs and enjoyed her flower gardens. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her

husband, Carlyle Payton Thorn and a daughter, Margaret Elaine Wiley McGinnis along with six siblings: Willie Mae, Betty, Wanda, Elaine, Tom and Jim. Survivors include her daughter and son-inlaw, Mary Ann and David Linkous of Princeton; grandson and wife, John and Diana McGinnis of Bluefield; granddaughter, Margaret McGinnis of Toledo OH; a greatgranddaughter and two great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; two very special nieces, Gayla Slade of Chesapeake VA and Nancy Carrico of Marion VA; and her faithful canine companion, Daisy Ann.

1970s ____________

LEE ROY ELLISON ’70: August 1, 2019. Born March 28, 1929 in Mt Hope, WV, he was the son of the late James and Chessie Hudson Ellison. Lee was a graduate of Mt. Hope High School and attended Beckley Junior College, Morris Harvey College and Concord College. He had been a member of Johnston Chapel Baptist Church for more than 60 years. Lee had been a resident of Princeton for 55 years. He was a veteran of the US Army and he served in Korea. He was a member of the D.A.V. He had previously been employed as a teacher, worked at various sales jobs and was a local accountant and a tax preparer. Lee owned and operated several businesses in the Princeton area, as well as being a real estate developer. In addition to his parents, Lee is preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Bobbie Jean Ellison (His Lovely); his son, Roger Ellison; four brothers, Eugene Woolwine Ellison, Junior

Woolwine Ellison, Lloyd Ellison and James David Ellison; and two sisters, Virginia Coleman (Jenny) and Mary Edmonds (Eulane). Those left to cherish his memory include his sons, James and wife, Recie, Larry and wife, Pam, Jonathan and wife, Tonya all of Princeton; three brothers, Jerry Ellison and wife, Charlotte of Beckley, Mack Ellison and wife, Dorothy of Maple Fork, and George Ellison and special friend, Terri; two sisters, Ruby Riley and husband, Dave of Beckley, and Barbara Davis; six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews; and friends that he knew from being a member of the Omelet Shop Gang in Princeton.

JO ANN HENDRIX ’70: July 12, 2019. Jo Ann was born on March 15, 1948 in Mount Kisco, NY. She was raised in Middletown, NJ by parents Carol (Holly) and Richard Siegwarth before moving to Maryland. Jo Ann attended Concord University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in education and was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority. She then went on to teach for a few years in Bethany, DE. She was also employed with Lockheed Martin. She was a resident of Pasadena, MD. Jo Ann was a member of Anne Arundel Rug Hookers (AARH) for over 20 years. She loved making rugs and was very talented at doing so. She was also a member of the SSS Ski Club for over 30 years and met Roger at the Ski Club. She is survived by her loving husband Roger Hendrix of Pasadena, and her brothers, Bob, Craig, Wayne, and Vern Siegwarth, all of New Jersey. Jo Ann loved vacationing with her brothers and husband at the cabin in Vermont.



Class Notes OAKEY JOSEPH CALVERT ’72: August 17, 2019. Born in Princewick, WV January 14, 1950, he was the son of the late Joseph Buchanan and Virginia Arista Meadows Calvert. Oakey retired from the Mercer County School System in 2007 after 35 years of service last serving as Principal of Mercer Elementary School in Princeton. He began his career at Montcalm Elementary School as the first male kindergarten teacher in the Mercer County School System. He later transferred to Sun Valley Elementary where he taught sixth grade and eventually became principal. He later served as principal of Straley Elementary before his final move to Mercer Elementary. Following retirement Oakey worked for the WV Department of Education for several years traveling around the state visiting schools to promote the importance of higher education and the availability of the Promise Scholarship. In recent years Oakey substituted in Mercer County Schools as a principal and also in the classroom, doing what he loved most in education, teaching children. He was a graduate of Stoco High School and earned his B.S. in Education and his master’s degree at Concord University. He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Princeton and was a resident of Princeton. Survivors include his wife and love of his life, Donna Ann Terry Calvert of Princeton; two daughters, Cari Beth Calvert Triplett and husband David of Greensboro, NC, and Julie Tiller and husband Chad of Summersville; three grandchildren, Erin Farley Cron and husband Justin, Hannah Farley Jackson and husband Harley, and PFC Roman Gum and wife


Tommi; five great-grandchildren, Landon, Liam, Nora, Emily and Riley; one brother, Gary Calvert and wife Nancy of Coal City, WV; and his faithful constant canine companion Sophie.

1980s ____________

SUSAN BLAIR RIGGS ’88: June 11, 2019. Susan was born in Huntington on February 6, 1956, the daughter of the late Bert and Janice Blair. Susan graduated from Vinson High School, a member of the Class of 1974. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Concord College, graduating summa cum laude. During her career as a music teacher, she directed choir and band grades elementary through high school in Talcott, Sandstone, Hinton, Smoot, and Rainelle, WV. She also directed choirs at Big Clear Creek Baptist Church in Rupert, WV, and First Baptist Church in Hinton. A classically trained soprano, Susan was a frequent soloist for churches, schools, and community events. She was dedicated to training young

1990s ____________

EMDEN LEE SYRES, JR. ’94: May 29, 2019. Born in Princeton September 20, 1971, he was the son of Emden “Pete” and Brenda Thomas Syres of Princeton. He was employed in the Information-Technology Department of American Airlines in Charlotte and previously worked


in the same field for Textron Industries in Charlotte for 15 years. He was a graduate of Princeton High School, earned a double degree in Chemistry and Biology from Concord University and continued his education at West Virginia University before relocating to the Charlotte area where he made his home for the past 25 years. He was preceded in death by his maternal grandmother, Mary Thomas and his paternal grandmother, Doretta Syres. In addition to his parents survivors include two sisters, Sherri Sanbeck and husband Richard of Lenoir, NC and Karen Wheby and husband John of Princeton; several nieces and nephews; and his close friend and business partner Eddie Lusk of Hickory, NC.

2000s ____________

KRISTIE LEIGH CASE ’03: September 19, 2019. After graduation from Fayetteville High School, Kristie went to college at Concord University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Travel Management. During Kristie’s career, she worked at various financial institutions in positions from clerical to management. She was a resident of Oak Hill, WV. Kristie was the mother of Indea (22 months) and step-mother to Hunter (16), Tori (14) and Parker (7). She was wife to Joshua Jeremiah Richardson. Kristie is survived by her husband and children; mother and father, Louise and Jack Case; grandmother, Nina June Case Perdue; in-laws, Ladell and Ray Hanson; aunts and uncles,

Class Notes Becky and Bill Workman, Dee and Les Bolen, Barb and Brian Parrott; cousin, Dustin Parrott; and many extended family members. Those relatives that have preceded Kristie are grandmother and grandfather, Irene and William L. Workman; grandfather, Jack Case Sr.; aunts, Mary Cook and Peggy Workman; uncle, Jimmy Workman; and numerous extended family.

Friends of Concord ____________

HILDRED SMITH ALLARD: September 1, 2019. Mrs. Allard was educated in the public schools of Hinton, West Virginia. She became a Certified Professional Secretary and attended the National Business College in Roanoke, VA and The University of Maryland. Mrs. Allard served as the Executive Appointment Secretary to three consecutive Governors of West Virginia (1960-1967). She then served as the Confidential Assistant to three Chairmen of the Interstate Commerce Commission in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Allard was an accomplished and gifted musician. At a young age, she started playing the piano on radio and television for her Uncle Harry Peyton who was an evangelist. As a volunteer (and in addition to working in the Governor’s office) for almost 10 years, she served as Music Director at Reynolds Memorial United Methodist Church, playing the piano and organ as well as directing the choir. While working for the Governor of West Virginia, she also played the piano at the Governor’s Mansion for special occasions. She was a resident of Evans, Georgia. In addition to her husband, Judge David H. Allard, survivors include: her step sister, Elizabeth Miller of Roanoke, VA; two step sons, John

Allard and Clayton Allard; and seven step grandchildren. Mrs. Allard was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Gladys Willey Smith and also her brother, Arthur Smith, Jr.

FRANCES PAULINE COLOBRO: August 27, 2019. Born May 26, 1925 in Welch, WV, she was a daughter of the late Posey L. White and Vertie E. Gallimore White. Mrs. Colobro was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She graduated from Welch High School. She attended Concord College and Bluefield State College to receive her degree in Education and was a long-time educator in Mercer County and McDowell County schools. A resident of Bluefield, Mrs. Colobro was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma and Beta Sigma Phi. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her son, Frank Colobro. Survivors include her beloved husband of 75 years, Tony Colobro; three children, Susan Maupin and husband Ray, Nick Colobro and wife Carol, and Tony Colobro, II; grandchildren, Mickey Maupin, Kristi McCoy, Anthony Colobro, Nicky Colobro, Courtney Colobro, Krystal Colunga, and Holly Disibbio; nine great-grandchildren; niece, Anna Mercanti; and nephew Jack Colobro. JAMES “JIM” MILTON HUFFMAN: August 26, 2019. Jim was born on June 7, 1939 in Oak Hill, WV. He grew up in Fayette and Raleigh Counties and was a 1957 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. Jim served in the United States Air Force from 1957 to 1961. Upon his discharge from the military, Jim graduated from West Virginia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education

and received his Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies. The majority of his career was spent in the field of higher education. He retired as the Associate Director of Admissions from Concord University in in 2005. He held previous roles in the Admissions Offices of Potomac State, West Virginia Tech, and West Virginia State College. Jim was passionate about discussing the importance of higher education with high school students and reveled in their academic and personal successes. He received the Anderson Milam Award from the West Virginia Association of College Registrars and Admissions Organization for service in his field. Other significant roles in his career include the personnel director of the United States Mine Health and Safety Academy and the manager of the Raleigh County Airport in Beckley, WV. As airport manager, Jim was surrounded by his love of aviation on a daily basis. One of his most notable moments was hosting the Blue Angels as part of the Raleigh County Airshow. He received his pilot’s license while in the Air Force and continued to fly single engine planes and picked up an occasional corporate co-pilot gig on the side for his own enjoyment. Jim was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing in tournaments including the West Virginia Amateur where he placed well in some of the top flights. He was blessed with a supportive set of golf friends and played in many weekly games at Grandview Country Club. He was a resident of Beaver, WV. He was an active member of Perry Memorial United Methodist Church, serving in various leadership roles and singing in the choir over the years. He was a frequent soloist and member of the men’s quartet. Jim was a devoted husband, proud father, and adoring grandfather. He





Oscar Jerrell “Jerry” Bailes, D.O. passed away on August 10, 2019. Born in Nettie, WV, on November 21, 1923, Dr. Bailes was the son of the late Worth and Anna (Rock) Bailes. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son Charles Jerrell “Jerry” Bailes, who died at 22 years of age; brothers and a sister and their spouses William Harold and Rosalie Bailes of Proctorville, OH; Floyd Ray and Bertie Bailes of Scott Depot, WV; Oretha Lea (Bailes) and Robert Taylor of Bradley, WV; and Worth Edward Bailes, who died in infancy, and one grandson Jeremy Gray Bailes and two greatgranddaughters Autumn Peace Landreth and Brazen Faith Landreth who died before birth. He was survived by his wife of 73 years Vinita Jean (Holliday) Bailes; daughters and their spouses Cheryl Ann and John Bredeaux and Debora Sue “Suzy” and Phil “Buddy” Fry; and daughter-in-law Debi (Wilson) and Kyle Swim, all of Princeton, WV. He leaves seven grandchildren and their spouses, Leann Landreth of Savannah, GA; Jared and Julie Landreth of Seattle, WA; Lelia Fry of Chicago, IL; Christa (Fry) and Timmy Fama of Princeton, WV; Angel (Bailes) and Patrick Smith of Richland, WA; Tommy and Ashley Swim of Dothan, AL; and Erin (Swim) and Josh Wurzelbacher of Nashville, TN. He leaves great-


grandchildren, Sarah, Micah and Adora Landreth; Andrew Fama; Joshua and Matthew Smith; Havailah Swim; and Eli, Gideon, Judah and Noah Wurzelbacher. He leaves four nephews and nieces and their spouses, Willa (Bailes) and John Perdiue of Cincinnati, OH; Robert and Karen Taylor of Cross Junction, VA; James Taylor of Newport News, VA; and Sarah (Bailes) and Kenny Blake of Scott Depot, WV, and sister-in-law Selma Bailes of Scott Depot, WV. Dr. Bailes graduated from Richwood High School, from which he received one of their first Order of the Rings lifetime achievement awards. He attended WV Tech, Marshall University and Concord College before going to the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery, Kansas City, MO, from which he graduated in 1952. While in Kansas City, he interned at Lakeside Hospital. He returned to Princeton in 1953 to practice in the office started by his in-laws Drs. Charles and Lillie Holliday. Interspersed in his college career were 34 months spent in the US Army in India, Iran and France. He married Jean on May 30, 1946, and they became parents of three fantastic children, Cheryl, Suzy, and Jerry. Jean saw him through WV Tech, Marshall University, Concord College and KCCOS while rearing three children, quite an accomplishment. In addition to his practice, he was president of the West Virginia Society of Osteopathic Medicine in 1958–59 and secretary of the society from 1965 to 1977. A major portion of his job was supervising two education conferences each year. He did the planning but Jean ran the conferences in a smooth manner that made him look good. In 1972, he helped found the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV and was on the staff


from 1974 to 1976. He resumed his practice in Princeton until July 1977, when he moved to Athens, OH, where he joined the faculty of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine as Associate Professor. In 1979, he accepted the position of founding Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pamona, CA, where he assembled staff and wrote the curriculum. After nine years he retired and came home. Retirement lasted three months before he opened an office on Stafford Drive in Princeton, WV, where he practiced medicine until 1992 when OSHA issued a two-inch thick notebook of regulations. He decided to retire again, tossed the notebook in the waste basket, locked the door and went home. This one lasted six months until a nurse from Red Bird Mission (a mission of the United Methodist Church in Eastern Kentucky) came by and said, “You aren’t doing anything useful and we need you.” He spent the next three years serving as a physician in Kentucky. He had no opportunity to retire this time for the day after he got home, Dr. Jana Peters invited him to work with her at New Hope Family Practice in Princeton, WV, where he spent over 20 years. He finally retired from practicing medicine at the age of 92. In the fall of 2015, Jean’s health began to fail and by February 2016 she needed full-time assistance. Along with dedicated caregivers Sheila Whitt, Kelly Pennington, Sherry Lester and Khadijah Wahid, he cared for her until his passing. In addition to his medical career, Dr. Bailes was a dedicated servant of God. In 1963, he became affiliated with the All India Prayer Fellowship (an indigenous ministry in India) as a board member. This ministry, through God’s help, has helped lead

over six million people to Christ. In 1997, he was asked by Dr. John Bullock, a medical school classmate, to come to Christian Memorial Hospital in Malumghat, Bangladesh, to show their physical therapists his osteopathic manipulation techniques. There he met Sk. Shahadat Hossain, who started the Bangladesh Isah (Jesus) Society. He served on the

board of this ministry as well, which has reached some one million people for Christ. His contributions to this ministry directly helped provide wells for villages to get water, sewing machines to provide employment for many people, and an orphanage to welcome street children. His affiliations include First United Methodist Church in Princeton,


Dr. Vivian Frances Crane passed away on July 19, 2019. A resident of Rupert, WV she was a graduate of Rupert High School, Concord College and The University of Virginia. Vivian was preceded in death by her parents, James Allen and Winona McClung Crane and her nephew James Hardy Crane. She is survived by her brother and sister-in-law James McClung and Hilda Crane; niece, Brenda and husband Hubie Brooks and their daughter Melissa Brooks, MD and son Scott Brooks and his children Hannah and Jared; and another great-niece, Stephanie and husband Wallace Kunin. She will also be remembered by numerous friends, co-workers and previous students. Vivian held a Doctorate of Education Administration degree and was a veteran educator with teaching experience in Virginia and

Bethel Baptist Church in Pomona, CA, Gideons International, Lions Club and VFW. He led a full and rewarding life and wanted everyone to know that “Jean was the key to any success I may have had.”


West Virginia schools as well as graduate extension classes for WVU. Vivian had experience as a high school math and physical education teacher, principal and later Administrator of the Greenbrier Community College Center in Lewisburg, forerunner of the now New River Community and Technical College. She had also been involved with continuing education training for the Appalachian Regional Hospital nursing department. After her retirement from the education realm, she became active with the American Red Cross in Disaster Relief work and Disaster Preparedness Training. Vivian was an active member of the Bascom United Methodist Church in Rupert, WV, where she served as a lay speaker and in previous years was involved in various committees and areas of the United Methodist Association. She was also active on the Board of Directors of such organizations as Shepherds Center of Greenbrier County and Committee on Aging. Vivian served on the Executive Council of Concord’s Alumni Association, and was president of the organization from 1992-1995. She also served for one year on the Concord College Board of Advisors. In 1994 she received the Alumni

Association’s Golden Alumnus Award. Recipient of numerous education and community service awards, Vivian will be remembered for her generous and encouraging nature as she loved nothing more than to give to others or to be involved in encouraging a student to reach for his/her goal. While a resident at the Seasons Place, she took great pleasure in being involved with osteopathic students as a “practice patient” helping them to develop their interview and questioning skills.






Joe B. Roles of Annandale, VA and formerly of Union, WV, passed away on Tuesday, August 20, 2019. Born December 14, 1932 near Union, he was the son of the late Brown S. Roles and Myrtle Talbott

greeted everyone with a smile and kind word. Jim was a charismatic guy that was always ready to regale a crowd, big or small, with a story or a joke. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his wife of 39 years, Patricia Newland Huffman, his parents, John C. and Ruth Deviese Huffman, and his brother, John C. Huffman II. He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Huffman Van Mullekom and her husband William of Blacksburg, VA; two grandchildren, Marlee and John Van Mullekom; a sister, Anne Huffman Moore and her husband Thomas of Elgin, SC; and a brother, David D. Huffman and his wife Linda of Summerville, SC as well as many nieces, a nephew and beloved cousins.

JOHN GERALD “JERRY” (THE COLONEL TO SOME) PECK: September 13, 2019. Born March 5, 1944 to John H. Peck and Marjorie


Roles. Joe graduated from Union High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree at Concord University and serve in the U.S. Army. His career included owning his own commercial construction company and real estate sales. He retired from his home inspection business in the early 2000s. He was an active Concord alumnus; a committed member of his Toastmasters group; a storyteller and the author of the book, “Mary Jane’s War”; an amateur genealogist and a professional sharp dresser. He was honored by Concord’s Alumni Association with the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1989

Bird Peck, Jerry was a graduate of Athens High School. He attended Concord College before moving to Washington, D.C. where he accepted a position with Bell Atlantic. Jerry returned to Athens and gained employment as a communication specialist/lineman with Norfolk Southern Railway. Jerry was instrumental in the formation of the Greater Princeton Little League Baseball where he served as a coach, member of the Board of Directors and was involved in the construction of the Anderson Little League fields at Gardner. He spent many hours climbing poles and installing lights at the complex. During this time, he was also supportive of his mother and wife who started the Trading Journal. In the early 1980s, Jerry purchased the Deli Mart in Athens. For more than 30 years, Jerry was a fixture at the Deli where he became a support person to many Concord students and residents


and the Golden Alumnus Award in 2013. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife, Sue Caldwell Roles; his brother Jim Roles and wife Dorothy (Dot) Roles; his brother-in-law Paul Stephens and his stepmother Evelyn Roles. Survivors include two daughters, Cary Talbott Roles and Samantha Roles Wood and husband Charles (C.T.) Wood; sister Wanda Stephens of TN; niece Christy Stephens Fuller, husband Mitch Fuller and great nephew Graham Fuller; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

of Athens and the surrounding area. Jerry earned many trophies in handgun shooting competition throughout the state of West Virginia with his close friend, James Brogan. Jerry loved the outdoors and spent many hours on the family farm and especially at the pond where he would fish for catfish and bass. He was also a member of Princeton Elks Lodge #1459. Other than his wife, Rosalie Stover Peck, Jerry is survived by his son Jeremy Peck, daughterin-law Angela Martin Peck and granddaughters Sydney and Addison, who were his most valued treasures. He is also survived by a brother Larry James Peck, wife Karen, and children Sean, Todd and Natalie of Knoxville, TN; brothersin-law Clarence Stover and son Daniel of Moulton, AL and Glen A. Stover, wife Lana of Beckley and their children Mark, Chris, and Karen; and numerous other family members and friends.



Become Become a FRIEND a FRIEND of of thethe J. Franklin J. Franklin Marsh Marsh Library Library at at Concord Concord University! University! The The Joseph Joseph F. Marsh F. Marsh Library Library formally formally opened opened onon November November 29,29, 1941. 1941. The The library library hashas grown grown to to over over 157,087 157,087 volumes volumes today, today, which which include include books, books, microfiche, microfiche, magazines magazines and and bound bound periodicals. periodicals. The The library library hashas been been and and continues continues to to bebe a vital a vital part part of of thethe educational educational program program of of Concord Concord University. University. “Friends” “Friends” areare comprised comprised of of members members who who recognize recognize thethe value value of of a quality a quality library library and and want want to to support support and and enrich enrich thethe services services provided. provided. Becoming Becoming a Friend a Friend is aisterrific a terrific way way to to bebe involved involved in your in your community community and and to to help help promote promote a love a love of of reading reading and and learning. learning. Your Your annual annual giftgift helps helps us us • Expand • Expand access access to to online online databases databases and and journals journals • Improve • Improve library library technology technology and and build build forfor thethe future future • Purchase • Purchase rare rare items items forfor special special collections collections • Sponsor • Sponsor readings readings and and lectures lectures forfor thethe benefit benefit of of thethe University University as as well well as as thethe area area communities communities You You cancan become become a ”Friend a ”Friend of of thethe Library” Library” byby sending sending your your annual annual contribution contribution to:to: Concord Concord University University Foundation, Foundation, Inc. Inc. Friends Friends of of thethe Library Library Fund Fund POPO Box Box 1405 1405 Athens, Athens, WVWV 24712 24712 OrOr byby calling calling 304-384-6266 304-384-6266



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TAKE ROAR WITH YOU! We want to see you with Roar wherever you go! Cut out Roar, to the left, and take him on your fun adventures. Then, take a photo with our friendly mascot and send it to us so we can share with the rest of the CU alumni family!





Profile for Concord University

Concord University Magazine Fall 2019