Concord Fundraiser at the Greenbrier Features Speaker from Gates Foundation
Athens, W.Va. - The Southern West Virginia Fund for Concord College dinner took place in the Colonial Room of The Greenbrier, Saturday, December 1, 2001.
Concord President Jerry Beasley thanked the dinner committee for their dedication and hard work and then introduced Jamie Hypes, one of the two students who spoke. “Jamie is majoring in communication arts and has a 4.0 GPA. She is a talented singer, pianist, and actress and next June will direct her first play. She helps earn extra money by working in the College’s security office.”
“Ronnie Hypes, my father, began a great tradition in our family—you might call it a Mountain Lion tradition. For when it came time for me to select a college that best fit my academic, social and career needs, Concord became my first-choice,” stated Ms. Hypes.
“In my father’s footsteps, while attending Bluefield High School, I developed a love for knowledge, as well as music and theatre, a variety of sports, and a love for our four-season’s country.
“I have had the great opportunity to meet international students who have broadened my views on a world community. Such people as Jatin Atre, last year’s student speaker here at the Greenbrier, who have taught me more about blind-love and brotherhood than any Sunday sermon.”
Next, President Beasley introduced Concord student Robert Michael. “He was an intern in the state legislature and will graduate this May with high honors. He is a member of our pre-law group and president of the Student Government Association. He led the charge to add $15 to fees paid by students to improve library resources but the state turned it down. He, one day, will be a very good attorney!”
“In all truth,” stated Michael, “I stand before you tonight as one deeply proud to call myself a member of the Concord College family. Yet, I must confess, I didn’t always feel this way. When I was a graduating senior at Princeton High School, I, like many of my peers, had grandiose visions of places like Harvard or Princeton or Yale. Being from the area, I had always known of Concord but I’m ashamed to admit it, I did not think of Concord College with the same respect that those other esteemed institutions stirred in my young imagination. Today, I am very happy to report that I have, over the past four years, radically revised my appraisal of the “Friendly College on the Campus Beautiful.”
Not only has Concord given me a wonderful educational experience, but it has also afforded me opportunities that I doubt I would have enjoyed—pardon me Ms. Mathews, Dr. Beasley—even at a place like Harvard.”
Featured speaker and former Hinton resident, Sylvia M Mathews, provided the keynote address. Ms. Mathews, who graduated from Harvard University, is the executive vice president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinates the foundation’s charitable partnerships. The Foundation, endowed at $29 billion dollars, provides funds that help minority students, improve the health of children, and assist with technological advances in public libraries. Ms. Mathews’ impressive career also included an appointment as deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.
“A mother’s literacy may be the single most important fact in the survival of her children,” noted Ms. Mathews. “Raising the education level benefits family and community and has a powerful generational effect.
“The new economy places an incentive on a college degree. A college education is an investment with a ripple effect—a gift that keeps on giving. It allowed the child of Greek immigrants to work at the White House.
“And, my town of Hinton taught me to treat people with integrity and kindness.”
Associate Vice President for Development Loretta Young noted that the event raised $40,000, which will go toward scholarships for Concord College students.
Photos: Sylvia M. Mathews, executive vice president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spoke at the Concord College fundraiser held at The Greenbrier.