Days of Learning, Days of Meaning, Days of Growing
Athens, W.Va. - Almost 240 candidates for graduation walked across the platform at Concord College on Saturday, May 13, 2000, at the College’s 125th spring commencement, held in Centennial Hall.
Friends and family members of the candidates for graduation started arriving more than an hour before the ceremony began. The ceremony began at 10:00 a.m., and President Jerry Beasley welcomed guests to the campus on the warm, summer-like morning, as a few sprinkles fell outside. The President recognized both retiring and emeriti faculty members at the ceremony, before handing out diplomas to the candidates for graduation.
James L. Brown, Concord College alumnus and chair of the College’s Board of Advisors, told the young adults that their days of learning, days of meaning and days of growing at Concord are over, but they will continue to learn and grow in their endeavors outside of Athens.
Co-valedictorian Daniela Vesselinova Balkanska, Bulgaria, said, "My decision to come here from my home country of Bulgaria was prompted by my thirst for knowledge and desire to capitalize on the strengths of the American traditions in business. I am deeply moved by the hospitality and warm welcome that I have received during my four years here. I no longer feel confined by national, geographic, or even cultural boundaries. We are living in a globalized society, in which science, technology, and the arts have all brought us closer together. And no matter what part of the world our future endeavors take us to, we should always remember Concord College as the place that has made us feel as citizens of the world."
Co-valedictorian Robert Adrian Vasile, Romania, commented, "I keep reminding myself—just—stay—alive! After high school, I dreamed of becoming a 20th century Christopher Columbus. My faith in God has kept my vanity in check, and gave me a reward—hope. I now ask my fellow classmates to have faith in the people around you. My mother taught me to how to be a hard-working dreamer. My friends showed me how to be a generous dreamer. And Concord taught me how to be a knowledgeable dreamer. As many of you may know, I am getting married tomorrow. My fiancée, Sandi taught me how to be an affectionate dreamer."
Other speakers at the event included: Mark E. Wills, member of the West Virginia House of Delegates; Margaret J. Sayre, member of the State College System Board of Directors; Charles H. Brichford, president of the faculty; and Robert Bennett Crawford, president of the Concord College Alumni Association. Vice President and Academic Dean, Dean Turner, presented the candidates for graduation to President Beasley. Carolyn Cox, interim registrar presented the diplomas to the candidates.
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Concord College Notes: More than 75% of the student population receives some sort of financial aid (scholarships and need-based federal financial aid); $9.7 million was awarded in the 98/99 school year and $12.2 million in 99/00, an increase of 26%.