Alumni/Athletic Banquet to be Held Friday, October 17, Harry Finkelman to be Honored
Athens, W.Va. – When it comes to Concord academics, athletics, and all-around renown, Harry Finkelman is a legend. And, he has the stats to prove it.
A respected educator, Mr. Finkelman, now professor of business emeritus, taught accounting at Concord for 33 years. Outside of the classroom, he holds a 51-year record as announcer for Mountain Lion football. And, this humanitarian has a long list of community service to his credit.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Mr. Finkelman’s career as football announcer, he will be the featured speaker at Concord’s Homecoming banquet scheduled for October 17, 2008. Athletics and alumni team up for this event with both groups planning special recognitions that evening.
Guests can expect an entertaining and heart-warming account from Mr. Finkelman whose list of accomplishments also includes a talent for speaking to groups and one-on-one.
Offering a sneak peek of his speech, he said he will recount “how I ever got to West Virginia in the first place, how I ended up being a teacher because I was strictly an accountant in my schooling, and how I got involved in announcing Concord football games.”
Mr. Finkelman began teaching at Concord in 1948 after moving from New York. He started announcing Mountain Lion football that same year.
Among his most memorable moments behind the Concord microphone, he said, was the time he nearly earned a penalty for the Mountain Lions.
“There were four consecutive runs that were called back for penalties,” he said.
The fifth run escaped the penalty flag, but the officials didn’t escape Mr. Finkelman’s opinion.
“I made a rather loud announcement about there not being a penalty on the play,” he said.
Word was sent up to him in the press box, he said, that he was well on the way to handing Concord a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Mr. Finkelman said he holds the distinction of being the only announcer having been so warned.
This and other highlights from his announcing career were featured in a 1997 article in The Sporting News, a national publication.
In the world of Concord academics, Mr. Finkelman became well-liked and respected by his students and his colleagues.
He helped out on the administrative side of higher education for a bit, but learned his heart was really with teaching. “I was chairman for one year of the Division of Business and Economics,” he said.
But, the popular professor said his administrative duties meant he had to cut back on the number of hours in the classroom and he resigned from the chairmanship. “I loved my teaching,” he said. “I don’t really like administrative work.”
To honor his dedication as an educator, the Harry Finkelman Scholarship Fund was established. The scholarship had its beginnings, Mr. Finkelman said, from a fund raiser dinner arranged by his former students.
“I was the first living person to have a scholarship fund at Concord and the first to have a scholarship established by former students,” he said.
Two scholarships are awarded to accounting students each year from the fund, he said.
Mr. Finkelman and his wife of nearly 60 years, Estelle, are both known for their outstanding community service with numerous organizations.
A “charter member” of the Princeton Community Hospital board of directors, Mr. Finkelman worked with other local leaders to help establish the medical facility.
“My wife and I both volunteered there for 21 years,” he said.
Mr. Finkelman is also a founding father for professional baseball in Princeton. “I went to Texas 22 years ago to help get a team for Princeton,” he said.
The Finkelmans’ community involvement was recognized at a Princeton Rays baseball game this summer. Presentations were made to the couple by Concord University, Princeton Community Hospital and the P-Rays. Each group gave them a large photograph of their respective facilities.
Mr. Finkelman said the gifts are now hanging in their new residence in Ohio. The Finkelmans recently moved from Princeton to Ohio to be near their two daughters and their sons-in-law, Rose and Ron Solomon and Shari and Randy Fox.
The reception, set to begin at 5 p.m., will be in the Jerry L. Beasley Student Center Alumni Lounge. The banquet, scheduled for 6 p.m., will be held in the Jerry L. Beasley Student Center Ballroom.
Cost for the banquet is $20 (1958 class members are complimentary). Those interested in attending are encouraged to make reservations by calling 1-304-384-6056 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: Harry Finkelman
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.
Sarah Dalton, development assistant, wrote this news release.