6th Annual Concord Dinner Raises Dollars for Scholarships
Athens, W. Va. – The Greenbrier, long recognized as a premier hotel in the nation, provided a beautiful setting for the sixth annual “Southern West Virginia Fund for Concord” dinner on Saturday, March 13.
More than 340 guests were in attendance to support Concord College and their continued quest for scholarship funds for students.
Associate Vice President for Development, Loretta A. Young, said that, “The Greenbrier dinner has become an event that we anticipate every year with great excitement. The last two years the dinners have met our full expectations; we have an event that is greatly anticipated by our guests, and we have been able to keep the focus on the continued need for scholarships for students.
“We were delighted to have Don Nehlen as speaker because he brings attention to our need for continued support for academic programs.
“This year, the highlight of the dinner day was the golf outing in which we had 46 golfers who participated.
“And, we continue to be extremely grateful for the ongoing partnership with The Greenbrier. Specifically, we are grateful for the support of Larry Mazey, who is a Concord alumnus and serves as chief financial officer for The Greenbrier.”
Mr. P. Bruce Sparks, who serves on the Concord College Foundation, welcomed guests to the event, and introduced Mr. Jack Damioli, general manager for The Greenbrier who issued his own warm welcome on behalf of the hotel.
Ms. Loretta Lynn Mayberry, a member of the Dinner Planning Committee provided the invocation.
Chefs prepared a delicious dinner that featured a pan seared beef medallion and shrimp with crab imperial as the main entrée.
After dinner, Concord President Jerry L. Beasley provided brief biographies of two students who have received scholarship support at Concord.
“Candice Riley, from Northfork, was a 2001 graduate from Mt. View,” stated Dr. Beasley. “Candice is a recipient of the John Henry Scholarship, a Student Support Services Scholarship, and is a ‘peer mentor.’ She is a resident assistant and is active in many on-campus events including the phonathon and the United Way. With a 3.5 grade point average and anticipated graduation in May, Candace is proving that success can and does come from McDowell County. Candice has a sister, Keisha, who was one of seven valedictorians at Concord recently, and we’re happy that Candice chose Concord.”
“I was not as ‘smart’ as my older sister, and I was worried about paying for college, but, you provided a scholarship for me to attend,” stated Ms. Riley. “I became involved with Student Support Services, and they provided financial aid as well as moral support. Because of Student Support Services and you . . . I now have the confidence to succeed. With your help, we can prove the negative statistics of McDowell County wrong.”
Beasley introduced the next student-speaker by saying, “Ashley Hildebrand graduated from Huntington High in 2002. She received one of our scholarships of distinction, and is active in soccer. She is in our pre-med program, and is working with Marshall University on research that studies the relationship between obesity and diabetes.”
“Our team of research students represented the only contact with a health care representative that many people had in Wyoming County,” stated Ms. Hildebrand. “I am determined to become a physician in West Virginia. I plan on entering the Marshall Rural Health Care Program and I thank God and Concord College for helping me find my dream. I know that I can make a difference.”
Local business owner, Marshall S. Miller, introduced Don Nehlen by providing a biography of his athletic achievements.
“I am impressed by Concord College, and Candice and Ashley,” stated Mr. Nehlen. “You are dynamite! I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for small schools like Concord, because they have a great faculty-to-student ratio. I didn’t see a watered-down curriculum when I looked at Concord’s catalog.
“I think we should make students scratch and reach for the stars, raise the bar for them to achieve great things.
“I don’t believe in tenure, I believe in opportunity. Keep your standards high, it’s important. These two students who spoke tonight represent the 85 percent who receive some sort of financial aid at Concord. These are special students.”
For information on contributing to the Concord College Foundation, please call 1-304-384-5317.
PHOTO: Don Nehlen spoke on behalf of Concord College at The Greenbrier.