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CU Honors Mock Trial Team Winners with Reception

CONTACT: Marshall S. Campbell, Adjunct Instructor

CU Honors Mock Trial Team Winners with Reception

Athens, W.Va. - Concord University hosted a reception on Wednesday, December 13 to honor the students who won the Phi Alpha Delta Prelaw Fraternity’s National Mock Trial Competition in Washington, D.C., on November 10 through the 12, defeating the University of Arizona in the finals. In addition, it won “Outstanding Defense Team” for the third year in a row, and Bryan Henderson and Matthew Stonestreet, who played the part of defense attorneys, were recognized as “Outstanding Defense Team.”

Membership in the University of Arizona’s PAD fraternity is estimated at 200, and membership in Concord’s PAD is around 20.

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Dr. John David Smith, welcomed more 50 guests including mock trial team members, family of the students, faculty and business professionals who supported the team in their efforts. “We are here today to recognize those who make us proud to be a part of Concord University,” he stated.

Dr. Smith read comments from a prepared statement from Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid, Mr. Michael Curry, who was unable to attend, “This is a celebration for everyone who loves Concord University.”

Dr. Smith then listed the national and state lawmakers and officials who sent certificates or letters of recognition, including the following: West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, U.S. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito, and West Virginia Attorney General Darrell V. McGraw Jr.

Marshall Campbell, adjunct instructor who taught the mock trial class, said, “We take two teams, one that is more experienced (similar to a varsity team), and a second, younger team (similar to a junior varsity team), because we want this program to continue. In 2003 we were ninth in the competition, in 2004 we were seventh, last year we were second and this year we won first place. I don’t know if we will continue to be first, but I do want to see the program continue and I want us to place in the top four. Students learn public speaking skills, how to try cases, which will help them when they go to law school, and they learn the importance of preparation, what to say, how to say it … and, they do a good job!”

“I want to thank ‘Coach’ Marshall!” stated Concord University President, Dr. Jerry Beasley. “There is a group of people who aren’t here who have cheered for you, and that is our custodian staff. They asked me if I knew about your success because they saw how hard you worked (as they are here at all hours). This reception is a tribute to your preparation and hard work. I’ve come to expect that when our student-leaders make presentations to our administration, they are exceedingly well prepared.”

Judge Derek Swope, who assisted with the preparation of the team, said, “This is a great day for Concord and it is a great day for these students and their families.”

Several family members attested to the fact that the students had worked very hard preparing for this competition.

Nine Concord students participated in the mock trial. They were divided into two teams. Ashley Gillespie from Bluefield, Bryan Henderson from Piney View, Nathaniel Nagy from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, and Matthew Stonestreet from Bluefield won the competition. Concord’s other team included Brad Garner from Chesapeake, Va., Ryan Hunt from Cross Lanes, Patricia Sparks from Culloden, and Diandra Wetzel from Clarksburg. Evan Olds from Lewisburg was the alternate for the teams.

Nineteen teams of prelaw undergraduate students from universities across the United States competed in the trial competition. Besides Concord, the schools competing included much larger schools such as Temple University, the University of Arizona, the University of Delaware, and Texas Tech.

Concord maintains a strong legal studies and prelaw program, which includes a mock trial class. Students learn the art of trying cases, using the case for the Phi Alpha Delta competition. The students chosen to represent Concord at the competition must be members of Concord’s Phi Alpha Delta prelaw fraternity and participate in the class. Besides the mock trial class, Concord offers a variety of legal studies classes that assist the students in preparing for law school.


PHOTO: “First team” members, Matthew Stonestreet from Bluefield, Ashley Gillespie from Bluefield, Nathaniel Nagy from Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, and Bryan Henderson from Piney View. Instructor and “coach,” Marshall Campbell is in front.

PHOTO: “Second team,” members, Patricia Sparks from Culloden, Diandra Wetzel from Clarksburg, Ryan Hunt from Cross Lanes, and Brad Garner from Chesapeake, Va. Instructor and “coach,” Marshall Campbell is in front.

PHOTO: Concord University President, Dr. Jerry Beasley, congratulates the students for their win.

PHOTO: Adjunct Instructor, Mr. Marshall Campbell, talked about the student’s preparation.

PHOTO: Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Dr. John David Smith, praised the students and read congratulatory comments from officials.

PHOTO: Judge Derek Swope noted that the students are very talented.