History of the Honors Banquet
The late Professor Emeritus Mary Edna Beckett and President Emeritus Joseph Marsh, Jr. organized the first Honors Banquet in 1961. Now in its fifty-ninth year, the tradition has continued as a way to celebrate the outstanding academic achievements of Concord University students. Since its inception, Cardinal Key and Blue Key Honor Societies have cosponsored the annual event. Though many things have changed over the years, the one thing that has not changed is the pride that the faculty and staff at Concord University have in the accomplishments of our students. Tonight we honor them.
The name of the Society, Alpha Chi, represents truth and character, personal traits exemplified by initiates to the Society and recognized by the faculty of Concord, who have nominated students for membership in Alpha Chi. The motto of the Society is derived from John 8:32: “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” In the ceremony, initiates pledge to continue pursuing the ideal goals of truth and character.
Alpha Psi Omega—Advisor: Karen Vuranch
Alpha Psi Omega is a National Theatre Honor Society for participants in collegiate theatre. Concord University is the Beta Xi Cast (Alpha Psi’s word for chapter). It began in the early 20th century as result of the growing interest in dramatic arts among colleges and universities throughout America, with the aim of encouraging dramatic production at every step in a person’s academic career. Alpha Psi Omega is the largest national honor society in America. Colleges and universities of recognized standing, having an established theatre program or theatre club for the purpose of producing plays, will be eligible for membership. At Concord, once a student has earned enough points for national membership, they are inducted and referred to as “stars.” However, those still earning points towards national membership are encouraged to participate and called “understudies.” The motto of the national organization is “to see a life useful.”
Blue Key—Advisor: Prof. Shawn Allen
Blue Key Honor Society is a premier national honor society that recognizes well-rounded student leaders at senior institutions of higher education for meritorious achievement in scholarship, outstanding leadership, exemplary service to others, and the highest standards of moral character and integrity. Blue Key is the oldest student organization on Concord’s campus, established in 1926. Limited to 30 members, the men of Blue Key are southern gentlemen who practice their motto and oath, “Serving I Live.”
Cardinal Key—Advisor: Prof. Lisa Darlington
Cardinal Key National Honor Society is a national organization for women students of at least junior status in American colleges and universities who are leaders in the college and community and are deemed potential leaders in the future. The motto of Cardinal Key is “Faith, Trust, Fortitude, and Wisdom: I shall observe them faithfully, that my service may be genuine, my life complete.” It is the sister organization to Blue Key National Honor Society. The Concord University chapter was established on April 20, 1938.
Delta Mu Delta Honor Society—Advisors: Prof. Charlotte Davis and Prof. Susan Robinnett
Delta Mu Delta is an international business honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence of students at qualifying colleges and universities to create a DMD community that fosters the wellbeing of its individual members and the business community through life-time membership. The purpose of Delta Mu Delta is to encourage higher scholarship and to recognize and reward scholastic achievement in business programs. Members must be full-time business students of at least junior status in the top 20% of their class with a minimum GPA of 3.25, who are leaders in the university community and who are deemed potential leaders in the future.
Gamma Beta Phi—Advisor: Prof. Karen Griffee
The Gamma Beta Phi Society is an honor and service organization for students in colleges and universities in the United States. The name of the organization is derived from the initial letters of the three Greek words for education, life, and friendship. It signifies that education and friendship constitute the basis for a happy life. The moto of Gamma Beta Phi is Progressus per Eruditioneum (progress through education), and its watchwords are Scholarship, Service, and Character.
Phi Alpha—Advisors Prof. Ida Mills & Prof. Patricia Nishimoto
The purposes of Phi Alpha Honor Society are to provide a closer bond among students of social work and to promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha, a nationally recognized organization, fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work. Concord’s Kappa Omicron chapter was the first Phi Alpha chapter in West Virginia.
Phi Alpha Theta—Advisor: Prof. Jonathan Berkey
Phi Alpha Theta is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. Established on March 17, 1921 at the University of Arkansas by Professor Nels Cleven, who had become convinced that a fraternity of scholars (accepting men and women) was important for the study of history. Originally called the “University Historical Society” on March 14, and the society was officially recognized on the 17th. In April, the decision was made for the society to be known by the Greek letters Phi Alpha Theta.
Pi Sigma Alpha—Advisor: Prof. James White
The National Political Science Honor Society is the only collegiate honor society of political science in the United States. Its purpose is to recognize and promote high academic achievement in the field of political science. It is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) and adheres to all the standards set by ACHS for an upper-division, specialized honor society.
Psi Chi—Advisor: Prof. Rodney Klein
Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology.
SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society—Advisor: Prof. George Williams
The SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society was formed in 2009 by the Colorado State University Veterans Office thanks to a grant by the American Council of Education and Wal-Mart Foundation. Concord University created our chapter in fall 2019. We are one of over 300 chapters of the society with over 17,000 student veterans inducted. Each chapter symbolizes not only the achievement of veterans bettering themselves through the pursuit of knowledge but also our commitment as a group to honor those among us that are the tip of the spear.
Sigma Gamma Epsilon—Advisor Prof. Stephen Kuehn
Established in 1915 to recognize scholarship and professionalism in the Earth Sciences. The objectives for the organization include the academic, scientific, and professional advancement in the Earth Sciences. The Concord University chapter was chartered in 2015.
Sigma Tau Delta—Advisor: Prof. Amberyl Malkovich
Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society whose central purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Sigma Tau Delta also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have contributed to the fields of language and literature.
Sigma Zeta—Advisors: Prof. Darla J. Wise
Sigma Zeta is a national undergraduate honor society whose purpose is to encourage and foster scholarly activity and recognize academic scholarship in the natural and computer sciences and mathematics. The Gamma Beta chapter at Concord University, chartered in November 2011, is the first chapter established in West Virginia.
The Concord University Honors Program—Director: Prof. Tracy Luff
The Concord University Honors Program provides students who have records of high academic achievement the opportunity to enrich their educational experience through research, artistic development, and/or community service in order to prepare for graduate school programs, professional school programs, and professional careers in an increasingly competitive global economy. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the Honors Program receive distinction as Honors Graduates on their transcripts and diploma and receive special recognition at commencement.
The Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation (ALEF) - Advisor: Prof. Shea Boothe
Founded by General Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong (USAF, Ret), ALEF provides academic and financial support to talented young men and women who display academic and leadership abilities. ALEF fellows are selected from West Virginia high schools as promising achievers in the classroom and the community. The mission of ALEF is inclusive and fundamental: 1) to recruit and educate young men and women who are academically qualified, exhibit a strong work ethic and demonstrate leadership qualities but would otherwise find college unattainable, 2) develop the Fellows into skilled citizens and future leaders for Appalachia and beyond, and 3) to develop leadership fellowships and leadership honors programs that provide the opportunity for higher education institutions to focus on character and leadership.
A.H. Montgomery Chemistry Prize
chThe A.H. Montgomery Award honors Dr. Montgomery, who was Professor of Chemistry at Concord College. The Chemistry program has historically given this award to a student who has been accepted to a graduate program in chemistry and demonstrates high potential for a research career. The recipient receives a plaque and has their name engraved on the A.H. Montgomery Award display housed within the Department of Physical Sciences.
Athletic Training Program Director’s Award
Presented by the Athletic Training Program Director to the student who demonstrated true character through their professionalism, volunteerism, dedication, and selflessness and exemplifies what it is to be an athletic trainer and a role model to other students.
Alumni Association Valedictorian Award
The graduates earning the highest GPA receive this award as recognition of their academic excellence. These individuals must have earned at least 60 hours from Concord University and met the grade point average qualifications as outlined in the Graduation with Honors section of the University catalog. The Concord University Alumni Association sponsors the award.
Bruce Covey Mathematics Prize
The Bruce Covey Mathematics Prize is presented annually to an outstanding junior or senior who is majoring in mathematics, computer science, or mathematics education, and who has completed at least five mathematics courses at Concord University. The faculty of the Mathematics & Computer Science Department selects the recipient. The award consists of a grant of $100, 1000 yen, a plaque for the recipient, and the inscription of the honoree’s name on a permanent plaque located in the Mathematics & Computer Science Department. The prize is in memory of a mathematics alumnus.
Business Scholars by Area of Emphasis
Area of Emphasis Since 2008, the Division of Business has recognized outstanding graduating seniors earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, in their specific area of emphasis: Accounting, Administrative Systems, Finance, Management, and Marketing based solely on academics. Each scholar is voted for by the Division of Business Faculty within their area of expertise as a way of recognizing the potential of outstanding students.
Business Student of the Year
The Business Student of the Year prestigious award is granted to the most improved well-rounded individual across all disciplines in Business as voted upon by the Division of Business Faculty.
David S. Roth Memorial Outstanding English Major
The David S. Roth Memorial Outstanding English Major Award was established to honor the memory of David Roth, who taught English and journalism courses at Concord from 1969 to 1986. Dr. Roth’s enthusiastic participation in campus and community activities inspired his colleagues in the Division of Languages and Literature to establish this award in his honor. The recipient of this award is selected by the Division faculty on a two-fold basis: a strong GPA in English and participation in extracurricular and/or community activities. This award consists of a plaque, a savings bond, and a name plate on a plaque in the Division Office.
Environmental Geosciences Award
This award is given annually to a graduating senior with outstanding academic achievement, involvement in geosciences research, and leadership.
Field Geology Award
This award is given biannually, typically in even years. It recognizes the top-performing student in the summer geology field course that takes place in Utah and Colorado.
Hawey A. Wells, Sr. Biology Award
Dr. Wells was a beloved professor of biology who worked at Concord College for 30 years, beginning in the 1930s. This award commemorates his ideals in an outstanding biology major. Selected by departmental vote, the criterion includes: grade point average, service to the community, service to the college, and a desire to be a lifelong learner. The award is comprised of a check for $100, a plaque for the student, and the student’s name on a permanent plaque in the Biology department lounge.
James B. Shrewsbury, Jr. Award for Academic Excellence
The James B. Shrewsbury Award for Academic Excellence was created by the English Department in 1985 to honor Dr. Shrewsbury, who retired in 1984 after serving thirty-six years. The award is given to the senior English major with the highest GPA in classes in English. Dr. Shrewsbury, a Princeton native, received his A.B. from Concord in 1940, M.A. in English from WVU in 1942, and Ph.D. in English from The Ohio State University in 1954. He taught at Concord from 1948 to 1984. In addition to teaching courses in composition, English grammar, Victorian literature, etc. he was a sponsor for Blue Key and the Concord Debate Team. Dr. Shrewsbury was the epitome of excellence in everything he did.
James Lewis Howe Award
The James Lewis Howe award honors Dr. Howe, who was for many years Professor of Chemistry and Head of the Department at Washington and Lee University. The award is given to the outstanding chemistry graduate at each school affiliated with the Virginia Blue Ridge Section of the American Chemical Society. Historically, the Chemistry Program at Concord University has nominated the outstanding chemistry graduate who is planning professional school or employment following graduation.
Lucy Sneed DeNuzzo Award
The Lucy Sneed DeNuzzo Award for Academic Excellence is awarded annually to a graduating senior, with $250 awarded at the Annual Spring Honors Banquet. The Vice President and Academic Dean selects the recipient based upon the following criterion: (1) graduate of a Mercer County high school and resident of Mercer County, (2) outstanding academic achievement based on the cumulative grade point average, (3) outstanding character and leadership ability, and (4) the recommendation of at least two Concord faculty members.
McNair Above and Beyond Award
The McNair Program’s Above and Beyond Award is given annually to a graduating senior. It recognizes academic excellence and the Scholar’s TRIO heart.
Outstanding Athletic Training Major
Presented to the graduating senior for exemplary performance if academics. This award is based upon the following criterion: overall GPA, GPA in the major, scores on clinical evaluations completed by the student’s assigned clinical instructors, and the number of clinical hours the student has obtained while matriculating through the Athletic Training Education Program.
Outstanding Clinical Athletic Training Student
Presented to the Athletic Training Student for the outstanding performance in the classroom and during clinical experiences as voted on and determined by program preceptors and faculty.
Outstanding Computing Major
The Outstanding Computing Major Award is presented annually to an outstanding junior or senior who is majoring in computer science or computer information systems. The recipient will be selected by the faculty of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science. The award consists of a plaque for the recipient and the inscription of the honoree’s name on a permanent plaque located in the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science.
Outstanding Graduate in Geography and Geospatial Science Award
The Outstanding Graduate in Geography award / recognition was inaugurated in 1992. The student who receives this award is recognized nationally through a program sponsored by the National Council for Geographic Education, and the Association of American Geographers. The award initially consisted of the certificate of recognition issued by the NCGE and AAG. Additionally, a glass globe and a piece of agatized rock from Greenbrier County - from within the corporate limits of Lewisburg, are part of the award. The recipient(s) selected to receive this award must have a high academic standing; should have participated in discipline-related activities outside of the classroom, and plan on going to graduate school in Geography or have good job prospects for employment in a field.
Outstanding Human Performance Major
This award is based on academic performance in the classroom during the practical aspect of the major. The student is one who exemplifies the expectations of a Concord University Human Performance Major.
Outstanding Graduate in RTM
The recipient of the Outstanding Graduate in RTM award is chosen by faculty in the RTM Program based on a combination of student GPA and service to the program.
Outstanding Student in History
The recipient of the Outstanding Student in History award is chosen by faculty in the History Program based on a combination of student GPA and service to the program.
Outstanding Teacher Education Majors By Area of Emphasis
The recipients of these awards are selected each year by the faculty in the Education Department. Faculty consider grade point average, participation in educational and student activities/service, field placement evaluations, and professional attitude/dispositions when selecting the recipient. This year’s recipients will have their names added to the permanent plaque in the Division office.
Outstanding Sociology Graduate of the Year
The recipient of the Outstanding Sociology Graduate Award is chosen by faculty in the Sociology Program based on a combination of student GPA and service to the program.
Outstanding Student in Legal Studies and Pre-Law
The purpose of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) is to form a strong bond uniting students and teachers of the law with members of the Bench and Bar in a fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of liberty and equal justice under law; to stimulate excellence in scholarship; to inspire the virtues of compassion and courage; to foster integrity and professional competence; to promote the welfare of its members; and to encourage their moral, intellectual, and cultural advancement; so that each member may enjoy a lifetime of honorable professional and public service. PAD was chartered on Concord University’s campus on March 1, 2001. PAD fields mock trial teams and a moot court team. Further, PAD members work closely with the Legal Studies and Pre-Law Program to explore ways to enrich the educational experiences of Concord students who are interested in the study of law. The award recipient embodies the ideals of liberty and equal justice.
The Concord University Program in Philosophy instituted the Philosophy Prize in 2007. The Program awards the Philosophy Prize to that student who demonstrates the highest degree of academic achievement and the greatest degree of promise for significant contribution to philosophy or a closely related discipline.
Ronald L. Burgher Outstanding Student in Communication Arts
Ron Burgher was a long-standing member of the Communication Arts faculty who left a lasting impression on the department. His passion for Concord led to the creation of this annual award for Outstanding Student in Communication Arts. The student given this award each year displays excellence in academics and provides outstanding service to the department through involvement in workshops and extra-curricular projects.
* Please note that all awards are not handed out each year.