Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

February 10, 2022


ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University is announcing the endowment of a scholarship that honors the memory of a beloved Mountain Lion coach. The Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship is the first endowed scholarship at Concord that assists cheerleaders in pursuing their educational and academic goals.

The scholarship remembers the late Lisa Blankenship for her boundless commitment to the CU cheerleading team as head coach and to support the program that she helped build.

“The memory and legacy of my mom will always be remembered through this scholarship. My family and I are extremely grateful to Jessica Lilly (Coach Jess) and the Advancement team in their efforts to make the Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship a reality,” Sara Blankenship, a former CU head cheerleading coach herself, said.

The Mountain Lion community rallied enthusiastically to help raise enough money to establish and endow the scholarship. From a single webpage collecting donations, the Concord community – from former cheerleaders to sorority sisters and family – donated enough funds to endow the scholarship in less than one year.

To help sustain the endowment, Concord cheerleading will host fundraisers each year, designated specifically to the memorial fund. The first one will honor Lisa with a sweatshirt design inspired by shirts worn while she coached.

“Traditions are an important part of colleges across the country and Concord is no different. I hope the apparel helps to evoke fond memories and nostalgia as it does when I see it,” Coach Lilly said. “The only way to move forward is to grow from the foundations of the past. Both Lisa and Sara created a strong foundation at Concord Cheerleading and I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead the efforts to honor Lisa’s memory.”

A celebration to mark the endowment of the scholarship will be held on Saturday, Feb. 12 during halftime of the CU men’s basketball game. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Carter Center on Concord’s Athens campus. Light refreshments will be served in the dance studio immediately after the game.

Lisa Blankenship touched the lives of countless students as a coach, educator and sorority advisor. She was a respected and admired member of the Athens and Concord communities and a friend to many. Lisa passed away unexpectedly in February 2012.

A native of Quantico, Va., Lisa graduated from Garfield High School in Woodbridge, Va. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Concord in 1977 and a master’s degree in library science from East Tennessee State University. She was a resident of Athens.

Lisa started working at Concord in 1977 as an assistant cheerleading coach and later became the head coach, a position she held at the time of her death. She guided the cheerleading squad for 20 years, building it into an award winning, nationally recognized program. CU made 16 consecutive appearances at the National Collegiate Cheerleading Championships under her leadership. For her contributions, she was posthumously inducted into the 2013 Concord University Athletic Department Hall of Fame Class.

Lisa was also employed by Mercer County Schools as a media specialist at PikeView High School. In April 2012, the media center at PikeView was dedicated to her memory and named The Lisa Blankenship Memorial Library.

Lisa was devoted to her family, the many cheerleaders that she coached and the students that she shared her life with during their education. She was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Princeton and Chapter Director for Delta Zeta Sorority at Concord. She enjoyed photography, traveling, crafts, reading and doing needlepoint.

The Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship has been established through the Concord University Foundation, Inc. In order to qualify for the scholarship, recipients must have fully completed two seasons on the Concord University Cheerleading team and be going into their junior or third year at Concord. Additionally, recipients must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 and meet additional criteria.

Contributions may be made online at or by mail to Concord University Foundation, PO Box 1405, Athens, WV 24712. Please make checks payable to the Concord University Foundation and designate for The Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship.

For additional information about contributing to the scholarship, please email or call 304-384-6311.

Please note that the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and Concord’s adherence to CDC guidelines
 could impact how and if events are held. For the most up-to-date information, always check

Currently, face masks are required for all individuals while in University facilities, regardless of vaccination status. 
In keeping with the CDC guidelines, Concord recommends double-masking. 
Single-ply masks, gators, or vented masks are unacceptable. 

We appreciate your compliance as we do our best to keep students, employees and visitors to campus safe.

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086, if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

Lisa Blankenship