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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

Concord University Magazine Spring 2021


Archived Publications


Campus E-News

Donor Recognition

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

2021 Alumni Spotlight

July 2021: Jina Belcher '09

Congratulations to Jina Belcher on being recognized by the state business journal as one of its 2021 Generation Next “40 Under 40” recipients! Each year the WV News and The State Journal honor 40 West Virginians under the age of 40 who are “making a difference in their business and communities.” This year’s awards ceremony was held June 17 at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center in downtown Clarksburg. Belcher currently serves as the executive director of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority.

June 2021: Kevin Garay '97

Congratulations to Concord alum Kevin Garay on his recent promotion to Superintendent of Kannapolis City Schools in North Carolina! Kevin has a more than 20-year career in education and has been serving as the Assistant Superintendent in that district since 2019. He has been named Principal of the Year for KCS and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in the past. He also led the creation of a strategic plan for the district and coordinated their pandemic instruction methods.

We wish Kevin the best of luck as he transitions to this new role this summer!

May 2021: Michelle Keeney Martin '04


Congratulations to Concord alum Michelle Martin on being selected as the 2022 Teacher of the Year for Mercer County Schools! Michelle teaches a 4th and 5th grade split at Athens Elementary School and was selected for the county award after being named Teacher of the Year at her school.
To read more about Michelle's recognition please visit:
Mercer County Schools announces 2022 Teacher of the Year (
As we celebrate teachers everywhere during Teacher Appreciation Week in May, we are proud of all the outstanding teachers out there, like Michelle, who call themselves Concord alums!

April 2021: Candace Justice '05


Congratulations to Candace Daniel Justice ’05 on recently being named the Community College Faculty Member of the Year by the Tennessee Board of Regents! Justice is the director of instructional design and associate professor of English at Walters State Community College, located in Morristown, TN. She is the first Walters State faculty member to receive this honor which was presented during a virtual ceremony on March 25.
To read the full release about her recognition please visit:

March 2021: Lindsey Reed Byars '03


This month we wanted to feature Concord alum and employee Lindsey Byars for recently having not one but two books published in which she is a contributing writer! “Unmasked: Reflections on Virus-time” is available on Amazon in Kindle format and “Humans in the Wild: Reactions to a Gun Loving Country” is also available in Kindle and paperback format on Amazon. Both books were released this past fall and have pieces written by Lindsey in them. Lindsey has worked on campus in the President’s office since December 2018 and is currently working on a Master’s degree through Harvard University.
Congratulations to Lindsey on having her first pieces published!

February 2021: Scott Noble '13


Congratulations to Concord alum Scott Noble for starring in a film that was featured during the 2021 Sundance Film Festival! Noble plays the role of Dennis in the film “First Date”, a comedy directed by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp.
We are proud of Scott for such an outstanding accomplishment!

January 2021: Becky Payton ‘96

Congratulations to Concord alum and Athens native Becky Payton ’96 on recently being selected as the winner of the 2020 Joan E. D. Kushnir Teacher of the Year Award for Adult Education by the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE)! Becky is a teacher and career coach at the Thomas Jefferson Adult Career Education Center of Piedmont Virginia Community College, located in Charlottesville.
To find out more about Becky’s work in the adult education field and her journey from Athens to Charlottesville please visit:
We are proud of alums like Becky who are truly making a difference in the lives of others!
2020 Alumni Spotlight

December 2020: Brittany Puckett '07

Congratulations to Concord alum Brittany Puckett '07 on recently being elected Prosecuting Attorney for McDowell County, WV! This is a position that has been a goal for the McDowell County native ever since she decided to pursue a career in law and that goal became a reality during the November 3 election.

To read about Brittany's journey to the position and what she hopes to accomplish in this role, please visit:
We wish Brittany the best of luck as she takes on this new role!

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:



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CU After Hours in St Albans, WV

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August12Thursday5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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October08Friday5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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October09Saturday10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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