A new scholarship for Concord University students honors the memory of a beloved Mountain Lion coach. The Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship is being established as a way to remember 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.
This will be the first endowed scholarship at Concord that assists cheerleaders in pursuing their education and academic goals.
“Brave, loyal, and dedicated are all words I use to describe my mom; she truly had the heart of a Mountain Lion,” Lisa’s daughter, Sara Blankenship says. “By creating this scholarship, we will be able to give a cheerleader the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
“The memory and legacy of my mom will always be remembered through this scholarship. My family and I are extremely grateful to Coach Lilly (Doty) and the Advancement team in their efforts to make the Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship a reality,” Sara, a former CU head cheerleading coach herself, said.
Jessica Doty, Concord’s current head cheerleading coach, explains what the scholarship means to the program and to her personally.
“This scholarship will help Concord Cheer to fulfill two very important priorities to me; honoring previous program leadership and investing in a cheerleader’s future,” she says.
“I had the privilege of cheering for Concord under the late Lisa Blankenship’s leadership twenty years ago,” Jessica continues. “As the new head coach, I am thankful for the work both Lisa and her daughter Sara put into this program and feel it’s my duty to honor this legacy. I am excited to help establish the first endowed scholarship for the Concord Cheerleading program. It seems fitting to honor Lisa’s memory in this way.”
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., she 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 is being 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.
The CU Cheerleading team has been raising money to establish this scholarship, and is now calling on the Concord community to join in efforts to fully endow The Lisa Blankenship Memorial Scholarship. Through community fundraisers, the cheerleading program has already reached the halfway point in the goal of raising the $10,000 needed for the endowment.
Contributions may be made below 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 email@example.com or call 304-384-5119.