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Advancement & Alumni

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Welcome to the Office of Advancement at Concord University

The Concord University Office of Advancement works to seek out and develop ways to engage individuals, groups, organizations, the business community and others by encouraging partnerships and worthwhile channels between those who wish to contribute to Concord through gifts of time, talent and/or finances.  Either through the receipt of a gift or through involvement, supporting the University provides a return on investment for our donors, creating deep and lasting ties to the University - as well as to the students we serve.

Our goal is to communicate efficiently with the more than 25,000 alums across our country and around the globe.  The Office of Advancement is responsible for the Concord University quarterly magazine, all interaction with media, including press releases, online publications, social media and the general management of the University's image.

We strive to highlight the accomplishments of our students, faculty and staff as well as the successes of our alumni.  We truly believe the Mountain Lion family is the foundation to Concord's nearly 150 year history and the lifeline to everything our University has in store for its future.

Concord University Magazine


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Concord University Magazine

Summer 2020


Archived Publications


Campus E-News

Donor Recognition

Below are the PDF files for the Donor Appreciation Banquet (DAP) and the Donor Honor Roll (DHR):

2020 Alumni Spotlight

November 2020: Allen Smith ‘05

Congratulations to Concord alum and employee Allen Smith on recently being named the 2020-2021 President-Elect of the West Virginia Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (WVACRAO)! Allen currently serves as an Associate Director of Admissions at Concord and has worked in the Concord Admissions office for the past 14 years. The mission of WVACRAO is to serve and advance higher education by providing leadership in academic and enrollment services.
We wish Allen the best of luck in this professional leadership role!

October 2020: Robert “Ben” Crawford ‘58

Congratulations to Concord alum and longtime member of the CU Alumni Association Alumni Council Ben Crawford ’58 for recently publishing a book about leadership and volunteerism. “Volunteer Development and Leadership: The Fun, Joy and How of Volunteering” is an instructive and entertaining book of value for anyone interested in improving their leadership and organization effectiveness. Ben spent much of his career in volunteer service and leadership with the Boy Scouts, Ruritan and AARP, among others. To order a copy of the book you can contact Ben at  

September 2020: All Concord Alumni Working in Education


We know the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on everyone and has created a lot of uncertainty for many of us. One profession we know that has been through a lot of ups and downs this year is all the teachers out there. The month of September means back to school for most students so this month we wanted to spotlight all our alumni teachers. Whether you are teaching in-person, online, at home or virtually we commend you for what you are doing to continue to educate our students under these unusual circumstances. We wish you and all your students a great year and thank you for being the ultimate example of what a Concord-trained teacher is!

August 2020: Andrea Bertrand Richter ‘14

This month we wanted to spotlight an alum who is a great example of resilience and perseverance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. After being laid off from her job at the end of March, Andrea Richter decided to focus her efforts on growing and promoting her small business. Through many hours of hard work and dedicating more time to her business she’s increased her sales by as much as 300%, recently signed a lease on a warehouse due to the need for more space for her business and was featured in the “How to support Black-owned businesses in Charlotte” article in June on the website.
We are so proud of alums like Andrea that put their education to work and keep pushing forward to pursue their dreams!

July 2020: Wes McKinney ‘13


Congratulations to Concord alum and employee Wes McKinney on recently receiving the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Excellence in Communication Award for Division II! Wes has been the Sports Information Director at Concord for 6 years and was a four-year athlete on the CU men’s track and field and cross country teams while he was a student at Concord. He is the first Sports Information Director in the Mountain East Conference to win this award.
To read the full story about Wes’ recognition visit:
Concord is lucky to have alums like Wes who give of their time and talents to their alma mater!

June 2020: Laura Lucas Messer ‘12


Congratulations to Concord grad Laura Messer for recently being named the recipient of the National Service Award from the WVU Center for Service and Learning! This award is one of the Excellence in Community Engagement Awards that the Center gives out each year across the entire WVU system. Messer is the Coordinator for Service and Outreach at the WVU-Tech campus in Beckley, where she has been employed since 2017. She has been working on community service projects and community partner building since starting at Tech.
To read the full story about Laura’s award visit:
We are proud to have alums like Laura who are able to live out Concord’s motto, “Come to Learn. Go to Serve.”, in their everyday lives!

May 2020: Melissa Powell '90, '92


Melissa Powell '90, '92 and her husband, Tim, along with the Jonathan Powell Hope Foundation recently established the Jonathan Powell Scholarship at Concord University.  This scholarship is named in memory of the Powell's son, Jonathan Powell who lost a courageous battle with Neuroblastoma in October 2002 when he was four years old.
Knowing firsthand the challenges faced by families with a child battling cancer, Tim and Melissa set up a foundation in Jonathan’s name to aid families struggling financially as they care for their loved ones.  In the spirit of the foundation’s work, the new scholarship at Concord is dedicated to assisting childhood cancer survivors, or parents or siblings of a childhood cancer survivor or cancer victim financially as they pursue a college degree.

April 2020: All Concord Alumni Working in Health Care


This month we are doing something a little different and highlighting all of our Concord alums who work in the health care field. As our nation battles the COVID-19 pandemic, these alums are on the front lines putting their own lives at risk in order to take care of the sick. They are working countless hours, under high-stress conditions with limited supplies because they care about their patients and the health of their communities.

To every doctor, nurse, EMT, paramedic, respiratory therapist, pharmacist, PA, NP, CNA, dentist, optometrist, physical therapist or other health care worker who is a Concord grad we applaud you, we salute you and we thank you for what you are doing during this uncertain time for us all!

March 2020: Katrina Kappen '10


Congratulations to Concord alum Katrina Stewart Kappen on being named Mrs. West Virginia America! Kappen was crowned in Charleston at the Civic Center on February 29, 2020 and advances on to the Mrs. America competition in Las Vegas this August. She is formerly Mrs. Putnam County and spent her year in that role raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and its impact on affected individuals and their loved ones. She will continue this work during her time as Mrs. West Virginia. Kappen has a BS in Education from CU and a MS in Communication Disorders from Marshall University.

We wish Katrina the best of luck at the Mrs. America competition this summer!


February 2020: Andrew Wright '04

Congratulations to Concord alum and former CU head Baseball coach Andrew Wright on taking his baseball talents to the next level! In 2019 Wright left WV and his head baseball coach position at the University of Charleston to work for the New York Yankees. He currently serves in their Development Department as the Director of Dominican Republic Baseball Operations and is based in Tampa, FL.
Coach Wright had a very positive impact on the baseball programs at Concord and at UC and we are sure he will continue to do great things in the major leagues!


January 2020: Virginia Martin ‘89

Virginia Martin
We wanted to kick off a new year and a new decade by recognizing one of our alums who embodies Concord’s motto, “Come to Learn, Go to Serve.” Virginia “Jenny Ann” Martin ’89 has been serving the WV county she grew up in since she graduated from Concord over 30 years ago. She has served in a variety of roles in the school system and currently serves as the child nutrition, anti-drug, wellness director for Wyoming County Schools. And in 2018 Virginia took on another role of service when she became the mayor of her hometown of Mullens.
You can read the full article about Virginia’s journey by visiting
We want to say thank you to Virginia for her service to her community, her county and her state—we are proud to call her a Concord alum!
2019 Alumni Spotlight

December 2019: Christy Martin '90

Congratulations to Concord alum Christy Martin on being named to the International Boxing Hall of Fame class for 2020. Christy is earning this recognition in the first year that women have been on the ballot. The full story can be found at:
Congratulations to Christy on a very well deserved honor!

November 2019: Gretchen Reese ‘16


This month we wanted to recognize CU alum Gretchen Reese ’16 for recently completing two years of Peace Corps service in Uganda. Gretchen served in the Agribusiness program in a small community in Uganda. Gretchen is pictured here on the right with Roar and her Concord roommate, Carli Dotson ’16, when Carli visited Gretchen during her time in the Peace Corps. Gretchen is a great example of the amazing things that our alums are doing all over the globe and we are proud to have her as part of the Mountain Lion family!

October 2019: Sherry Hicks-Buckles '97

Congratulations to Concord alum Sherry Hicks-Buckles ’97 on her recent appointment to the General Manager position at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich, CT. Sherry has over two decades of experience with Hyatt Hotels and was included in the 2017 Hotel F&B Magazine “Top 50 Women to Watch” list.
To read the full story about Sherry’s appointment please visit:

We wish Sherry the best of luck in her new position!

September 2019: Alyssa Morris '16


Congratulations to Concord alum and former softball standout Alyssa Morris on being named the head softball coach at Union College! Morris takes over the head coaching position for the Kentucky college after serving as an assistant coach last season. To read more about Alyssa’s appointment click HERE.

Best of luck to Alyssa and her team in the 2020 season!

August 2019: Monica Oglesby Holliday '10

Congratulations to Concord alum Monica Holliday on recently being named the Young Lawyer of the Year for West Virginia! The award is sponsored by the West Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Section and was presented to Ms. Holliday in Charleston in April.

Holliday currently serves as the legal director of ChildLaw Services, a Princeton based agency, where she works on protecting the legal rights of children who are involved in any legal process.

To read more about the work Holliday does and her journey to get there, please click HERE.
Congratulations to Monica on this well-deserved recognition!

July 2019: Nicolas Diehl ‘91

Congratulations to Concord alum Nicolas Diehl ’91 on recently being named the Executive Director of the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport Authority. In this newly created position Nic will be responsible for oversight and marketing of the airport and its many resources.
To read the full story on Nic’s appointment please visit the following link:
Best of luck Nic in this new and exciting position!

June 2019: Jonathan Bolt ‘04


Congratulations to Concord alum Jonathan Bolt ’04 on being selected as one of two 2019 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award winners! Each year Poets & Writers selects a state to feature in this competition and West Virginia was the state chosen for 2019 so writers from the Mountain State were invited to submit works of poetry or fiction for consideration. Jon’s work was chosen as the winning entry for poetry. This fall Jon will go to New York City for the opportunity to visit with industry professionals to gain insight and advice, as well as to establish professional contacts.
The full release on Jon’s award can be found here:
Congratulations again to Jon on such an outstanding accomplishment!

May 2019: Donnie Holcomb '79

The Concord University Foundation was proud to announce the Holcomb Family Presidential Scholarship at its Beckley-Raleigh County Dinner held at The Resort at Glade Springs on April 25, 2019.  Concord alum Donnie Holcomb ’79 along with his wife, Linda and their daughter, Dr. Megan Holcomb Walker ’11 were in attendance.  The Holcomb’s established this endowed fund to benefit students from southern West Virginia students.  Donnie is the Dealer Principal at Mountaineer Automotive.  His dealership served as the Reception sponsor of the dinner. 
Also pictured are Linda’s sister, Leisa Bowman and Bobby Jones, a manager at Mountaineer Automotive.

April 2019: Ryan Meadows '17

Concord alum Ryan Meadows ’17 has taken his desire to share his faith and turned it into a hot new business. Back in the fall Ryan launched his apparel business, Trust Christ Bro, and the response to his products and his message has been very encouraging.

Click the link below to read a recent article about Ryan, his business and his journey so far: is external)

We are proud to have alums like Ryan who pursue their dreams and wish him the best of luck in this endeavor!

March 2019: Nikki Bales Rohrig ‘02

This month we wanted to highlight Concord alum Nikki Rohrig ’02 for the work she is doing to help support military working dogs overseas. Nikki currently serves as President of the Military Working Dog Team Support Association, Inc., a non-profit that supports active duty military working dog teams in combat zones.

Thank you Nikki for all that you are doing to support these amazing animals!

February 2019: Brian T. Arnold ‘09

This month we wanted to feature alum Brian T. Arnold ’09, who is making a name for himself in the field of TV and film writing. Recently, Brian was mentioned on two prestigious Hollywood writing lists: The Hit List, which is a list of the best spec screenplays of the year, and the Young & Hungry List, a list of Hollywood's Top 100 New Writers. He was also interviewed by Creative Screenwriting, an industry magazine and blog. You can check out the lists and Brian’s interview at the following links: is external) is external) is external)

Congratulations Brian on this recognition and best of luck to you as you continue pursuing your passion!

January 2019: Jada Reeves ‘02

Congratulations to Jada Reeves ’02 on being named the 2019 West Virginia Teacher of the Year! Ms. Reeves is a 5th grade teacher at Bradley Elementary in Mt. Hope, WV. In addition to her degree from Concord, she has a Reading Specialist Master’s Degree from Marshall University. Ms. Reeves is now in the running for the National Teacher of the Year award, which will be announced in April.

To read the full story about her award please click below:

2018 Alumni Spotlight

January 2018: Ben Baker '06

We’d like to congratulate Concord alum Ben Baker (’06) and his company, The Lake Norman Screenprinting Factory, on closing one million dollars in business during 2017! This is the factory that prints our Alumni shirts we give to new graduates. We certainly aren’t the only ones who recognize the quality. Congratulations! Read more here.


February 2018: Dr. Brad Lane (’02)

Join us in congratulating Concord alumnus Dr. Brad Lane (’02). Dr. Lane was recently recognized by the West Virginia Association of Optometric Physicians as their Optometrist of the Year! They had no trouble “seeing” just how great this Mountain Lion was at the profession! Read more about Dr. Lane and his award Here.


March 2018: Aaron Nicholas Brakefield '04

Recognize anyone while you and over 103 million people were watching the Super Bowl this year? Viewers were treated with Concord University alum Aaron Nicholas Brakefield grabbing snacks and playing his best air guitar in the Sheetz advertisement at halftime! Check the spot out Here.


April 2018: Tim Carrico ’17, Valerie Sullivan ’99, Larry Marrs ’03

A hearty congrats to not one, not two, but THREE Concord alumni from WVNS-TV who took home awards from the West Virginia Broadcasters Association! Valerie Sullivan (’99) won for ‘Best Locally Produced Television Show’, Larry Marrs (’03) for ‘Best Coverage of Breaking News’, and Tim Carrico (’17) for ‘Best TV Creative’. You can watch this crew’s work every day on 59 News all across southern West Virginia and online at

June 2018: Brian Allen '90, '13

Brian Allen '90, '13, Continuity Director at WJLS in Beckley, was awarded "Best Creative" in the radio category at the 2018 West Virginia Broadcasters Association annual awards ceremony in Morgantown, WV. Allen joined West Virginia Broadcasting - Raleigh County, in 2016. He writes copy, produces commercials and schedules their air time. He's also done some creative voice work and announcing for "99.5 The Big Dawg." Allen submitted the commercial he created for a local client last fall. "I was really excited about it," said Allen. "In this case, it was just the right opportunity and of course the voice people really helped the spot. It's always a team effort but it always feels good that you get to put it together." Award entries were judged out-of-state by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. This was the 15th year for the award show, which alternates between Morgantown and Charleston every spring.

May 2018: Kevin Powell '89
Concord University alum Kevin Powell has been nationally recognized as the BEST seller of Suzuki motorcycles in the United States among other accolades!  Here are the stats:
Kevin Powell of Kevin Powell Motorsports in Charlotte, NC was just recognized as the #1 selling volume dealer in the country for Suzuki motorcycles.
Kevin Powell’s Foothill Ford in Pilot Mountain, NC was also recently recognized as the #1 selling volume dealer in its zone for Ford Motor Company.
Kevin Powell’s Automotive and Powersports Group operates six locations throughout Central North Carolina, representing 11 different manufacture franchises.  They specialize in finding solutions to help customers get approved for a nicer, newer car or motorcycle of their dreams, retailing over 4,000 units per year!
You can check out the website here!  


July 2018: Christy Laxton ’04 and Justin Marlowe ‘01

Congratulations to Concord alumni Christy Laxton and Justin Marlowe on both being named to the Generation Next: 40 Under 40 Class of 2018! The
class was announced earlier this year at an event in Charleston and includes West Virginians from all over the state with backgrounds in fields including law, education and fundraising. To check out the entire class list please click here.

Concord University is proud to have these two outstanding alumni recognized for their contributions to our great state!

August 2018: Richard Jarrell ‘84

Congratulations to alum Richard Jarrell ’84 on being awarded his third Chick-fil-A restaurant, set to open off of Harper Road in Beckley later this year. Jarrell is one of only 19 operators in the national chain to be awarded three restaurants.

To read more about Jarrell’s accomplishment please click here!

We wish Richard much success as he expands his business!


September 2018: Herbert Wheeler ‘65

Last month Concord alum Herbert Wheeler ‘65 was inducted into the West Virginia Wall of Valor. The Wall of Valor award was created to recognize extraordinary pilots with military experience. Wheeler is only the second individual to be inducted into the aviation Wall of Valor.

To read more about Wheeler and his experiences click here!

Congratulations to Mr. Wheeler on such a distinguished honor!

October 2018: Sherry East ‘91

Congratulations to Concord alum Sherry East ’91 on being named the President of the South Carolina Education Association! Sherry is a high school science teacher at the Phoenix Academy in Rock Hill, SC and has served in other leadership roles within the SCEA and the York County Education Association. Sherry has a M.S. in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University and has completed an additional 30+ graduate credits from Clemson University. She will serve a 4 year term as the SCEA President.

November 2018: Paige Hunter ‘84

Congratulations to Brigadier General Paige Hunter ’84 on being chosen by the Charleston YWCA as one of its five honorees for their Women of Achievement awards!

Brigadier General Paige Hunter is the Assistant Adjutant General and Commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard and has been honored with many awards for her service. Some of them include the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the Air Force Achievement Medal.

Hunter will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Charleston in March.

December 2018: Nick Bias ‘06

Congratulations to Nick Bias ’06 on being named the NCAA DII Men’s Cross Country Atlantic Region Coach of the Year! The USTFCCCA made the announcement in late November after Bias led his team at the University of Charleston through a historic season. His team won the Mountain East Conference and NCAA DII Atlantic Region championships this fall and is competing in the NCAA DII National Cross Country Championships in early December. Bias was also named the 2018 MEC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year by his coaching peers in the Mountain East.

Many congrats to Nick on an outstanding season and best of luck at the national championships!



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