Concord University held its 142nd Spring Commencement today, (Saturday, May 6, 2017) in the main gym of the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center.
Two ceremonies were held to accommodate the number of graduates and their families and guests. A morning ceremony began at 10 a.m. and an afternoon ceremony took place at 2 p.m.
Concord’s registrar’s office reports that 70 graduate candidates have applied for graduation along with 295 undergraduate candidates. Among the candidates are 83 individuals who will graduate with honors. The class includes eight veterans.
The Spring 2017 Class has four valedictorians: Joshua Loren Burks, Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, summa cum laude, St. Albans, W.Va.; Madison Nicole Crank, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, Henderson, W.Va.; Hibiki Itagaki, Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Tourism Management, summa cum laude, Tokyo, Japan; and, Brian Gregory Lusk, Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, Corinne, W.Va.
Two honorary degrees were presented during the 10 a.m. ceremony. Jean Lester Bennett and Charles L. Hall both received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa.
Bennett graduated from Concord in 1956 and went on to pursue a medical degree at the University of Florida College of Medicine. She graduated in 1960 as the first female to graduate from the medical school.
A pioneer among female medical students and physicians, Bennett had a successful pediatrics practice in Florida. Her career in medicine spanned more than 40 years and she is highly respected and admired by her colleagues and patients alike. Concord’s Alumni Association named her the Outstanding Alumna in 1988 and she is a member of the University’s White Coat Society.
After graduating from Concord in 1962, Hall attended the University of Maryland School of Law and rose to top level management with Travelers Insurance Companies and The Royal Insurance Group. He currently serves as owner/CEO/Chairman of ACH of America, LLC and seven related financial service entities. Headquartered near Orlando, Fla., ACH of America provides personnel administrative outsourcing services.
Hall is a published author and motivational speaker, an animal rights advocate as co-founder of Friends of Lucky Chucky Valentine, and founder of scholarship funds to assist individuals pursing college degrees.
A posthumous degree was awarded to Lt. Dana C. White. Ms. Donna Musick accepted the degree on behalf of the family.
Concord University President Kendra Boggess issued the welcome. Greetings from the Board of Governors were delivered by Elliot Hicks, chair of the Board of Governors. Dr. Joseph Allen, faculty president, offered greetings on behalf of the faculty. Greetings from the Alumni Association were brought by Adam Wolfe, president of the Alumni Association. Ronni Wood, president of the Student Government Association, delivered greetings from the Student Government Association.
Candidates for graduation participated in a ceremony based on their fields of study. The morning ceremony included candidates for Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching and undergraduates from the divisions of Business, Education and Fine Arts.
Participating in the afternoon ceremony were candidates for Master of Social Work and Master of Health Promotion and undergraduates from the divisions of Humanities, Science, Mathematics & Health, and Social Sciences along with undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Studies and the Regents Bachelor of Arts program.
In addition to candidates for graduation from West Virginia, candidates from out-of-state represent: Alabama, Alaska, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. International graduates represent Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand and United Kingdom.
The Concord University Band and the ConChords provided musical selections prior to and during both ceremonies. A reception was held in the Carter Center small gym following the morning and afternoon programs.
Concord University’s Technology Services Department recorded both the morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies. DVDs may be purchased for $20 each and may be ordered by calling 304-384-5126. (Please specify morning or afternoon ceremony.) DVDs will be shipped within four to six weeks of commencement.