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Candidates for Graduation Celebrate at CU

CONTACT: Anita Moody, Director, Public Relations/Marketing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20, 2008
(EDITOR: Please note that all hometowns are in W.Va., unless otherwise noted. All candidates for graduation—both graduate and undergraduate—are included at the end of this file. The list is sorted by state [West Virginia, other states alphabetical, international] hometown, alphabetical, and then candidate’s name, alphabetical.)

Candidates for Graduation Celebrate at CU

Athens, W.Va. – The 10th annual fall commencement was held in the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center at Concord University on Saturday, December 20 at 11 a.m.

There were 135 undergraduate candidates, with five receiving multiple degrees, and eight graduate candidates. “Headcount” for the fall semester was 2,812 students.

The Concord University Trombone Quartet provided the prelude, processional and the recessional.

Daniel W. Krider, professor of mathematics, served as grand marshal for the ceremony and Lethea Smith ’97, assistant professor of education, served as marshal.

Dr. Gregory F. Aloia, president of Concord University, welcomed guests and said that, “I am truly honored to be your president and I can say with confidence that Concord is a very special place. The students at Concord are absolutely wonderful!”

Mr. J. Franklin “Joe” Long, chair of the Concord University Board of Governors, stated: “Graduation is not the end; but a beginning. Success is determined by one’s habits. Bad habits are predictable and avoidable and expensive and can create multiple problems. Good habits … like the ability to save money … and, delayed gratification … are important to establish. It’s you who will make the choice, ‘What habits will you accept?’”

Dr. Kendra Boggess, president of the Concord University Faculty Senate, commented, “Although we would like to take credit for all your impressive accomplishments and successes, we have to admit that the people who help you the most are members of your family. You are graduating in an uncertain world, just like those before you. Remember that challenges are opportunities; look for the opportunities. Use your critical thinking skills, and don’t give up.”

Dr. John David Smith, president of the Concord University Alumni Association, listed memories from previous generations as well as from today’s generation of students. “Become an involved alumnus,” he said. “I am proud of your accomplishments. On behalf of Concord’s 14,000 alumni, I welcome you into the Concord family.”

Mr. David A. Barnette, chair of the Concord University Foundation, contrasted music, the economy, and other characteristics of “his” generation to today’s, noting there are many similarities and quoting an old French proverb, “’The more things change; the more they stay the same.’ This past year, the Foundation has funded $600,000 in scholarships; that’s the good news. But with the market turmoil and decreases in state funding our job to raise scholarship dollars remains very difficult.”

Mr. Jonathan Wes Prince, president of the Concord University Student Government Association, reminded the audience that, “It’s important that when you walk out of those doors behind you, whether you’re walking to graduate school, joining the work force, or serving your country by joining the military, it’s important that all of you never stop dreaming.”

Ms. Kelly Marie Ratliff provided the valedictory address. She said, “We have a degree, but what we do now is up to us. We do not need to let our degrees be our biggest accomplishments.”

President Aloia introduced the Honorable Nick Rahall by saying, “Congressman Nick Rahall, who was first elected in 1976, represents West Virginia’s Third Congressional District—a district that consists of 17 counties in southern West Virginia. This semester, Concord has students from 16 of the 17 counties in the Third Congressional District, a total of 2,043 students. In other words, 73 percent of Concord’s 2,812 students are represented by the Congressman.” In addition, he noted many of the Congressman’s achievements and awards.

Delivering the commencement address, Congressman Rahall, said “Eternity … means something different to almost everyone. To some of you, the first day of class may seem like an eternity. To others, the length of my remarks may very soon seem like an eternity. But graduates take it from me, before you were even a twinkle in your parent’s eyes they dreamed of this moment. To them, it has happened in a flash. Eternity means something bigger than ourselves, and it is with this in mind that I ask you to consider eternity… Will you be proud of the life you choose to lead? We are all teachers to each other, and we can all learn … one from another, to better shape the world.”

Interim Vice President and Academic Dean, Dr. Stephen Rowe, assisted by Associate Professor of Education and interim Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Cheryl Trull, assisted Dr. Kathryn Liptak, chair for the Division of Education and Human Performance and Director of Teacher Education in hooding all graduates and candidates for master’s degrees.

Chairs from each of the six divisions at Concord presented diplomas to the candidates for graduation in his or her respective areas, including: Dr. Kendra Boggess, chair, Division of Business; Dr. Kathryn Liptak, chair, Division of Education and Human Performance; Dr. Timothy Mainland, chair, Division of Fine Arts; Dr. Charles Brichford, chair, Division of Languages and Literature; and Dr. Joe Allen, chair, Division of Social Sciences. Dr. Jane Smith, associate dean, presented diplomas to candidates for graduation for the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree and the Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Ms. Carolyn Fluharty Cox, registrar, assisted in the presentation of the diplomas.

A reception for the candidates for graduation and their guests was held at the conclusion of the ceremony in the small gymnasium.

Candidates for Graduation
Masters of Education
West Virginia
Beckley: Joseph Neil Keller
Danese: Lanna June Duncan
Dawson: Elizabeth Vaughan
Fayetteville: Kelly Anne Hough
Shady Spring: Deborah Y Gallaher

Bristol: Raejean Ann Harman
Covington: Joshua Seth Craft
Roanoke: Kristan Leigh Brown

West Virginia
Athens: Sabrina Anna-Marie Allen, Robert Lee Crawford, Jamie A Curry, April Leigh Forte, Melanie Rose Hatfield, Catherine Joy Johnson, Jayma Lynn Purser
Beaver: Joshua Dale Birchfield, Lori Beth Lake, Kimberly Ann Noel, April Dawn Smith
Beckley: Nikki LeNae Lester, Kaitlin B Moore, Predrag Lazic, Lauren Kathryn Rizzi, James Lee Salango, Casey Aaron Williams, Nicholas Adam Williams
Bluefield: Temperance Jeannae Bennett
Bolt: Stephanie Jill Wright
Brenton: Tammy Renae Jenkins
Camp Creek: Posie Eric Ervon Combs, Pamela R Lester
Charleston: Christopher Dana Snell
Clear Fork: Brianna Dawn Smith
Coal City: April Dawn Wright Mills
Colcord: Julie Ann Butler
Cool Ridge: Sharon Gale Harmon
Cornstalk: Jennifer Elaine Spencer
Crab Orchard: Stephanie Jean Houck
Cross Lanes: Ryan Wesley Hunt
Daniels: Jennifer Corbin Smith, Amy Beth Tyree, Robert Michael Williams
Eleanor: Steven Michael Browning
Elkview: Amanda B Pettry
Fairdale: Debbie Lee Fisher, Desonja Derona Grimes
Fairlea: Julie Allison McQuade
Fayetteville: Kirby Alecia Bryant, Zachary William Maddy, Diana Nicole Neal, Michelle Lee Pettrey
Forest Hill: Stephen L Allen
Fort Gay: Candace Lee Pollinger
Ghent: Kimberly Dawn Baldwin, Anna Jean Blankenship
Glen White: Chancley Lateisha Lowery-Crookshanks
Hinton: Caryne Lynette Johnson
Hurricane: Drew H McClanahan
Iaeger: Summer Leighann Short
Itmann: Athena Dawn Hale
Keystone: Erin Leigh Bishop
Kimball: Jason W Lawson
Lerona: Kelly Jo Keaton
Letart: Erin Elisa Marr
Lewisburg: Brandi Nicole Seldomridge
Mac Arthur: Melissa Ann Williams
Meadow Bridge: Megan Dawn Neely
Mount Hope: Misty Dawn Endicott
Mullens: Anna Michelle Edwards, Jennifer Lynn Gillespie
New Martinsville: Robert William Smith
Nimitz: Rachel A Creighton
Oak Hill: Valerie Beth Ayersman, Christie Mae Campbell, Elizabeth Ann Martin, Brandy Lynn Perdue
Oceana: Sherry A Morgan
Peterstown: Lesli Page Baker
Pineville: William Michael Kodak
Princeton: Jason Wyatt Cox, Stephanie Paige Crowe, Lena Marie Deel, Autumn Michelle Dillon, Mark Dean Fain Jr., Kandi Jo Friend, Debora Christine Fry, Jason LeRoy Goodman, Amie Sue Goss, Christina Faith Kinder, Amanda Marie Knighton, Andrea B Guynn, D’Angelo Jerard Hannah, Erika Noel Harris, Julia Ashton Harvey, Michael Brian Herd, William Lee Lewis Lambert, Margaret Elizabeth Lester, Dranda Michelle Lewis, Staci Leigh Meadows, Patricia Ann Meador, Andrea Leigh Nester, Shawn Thomas Nevi, Adena Renee Okes, Paul Blaine Orten, Jill Kirstin Pawlowski, Mary Jo Pendleton, Ashley Marie Pugh, Kelly Marie Ratliff, Sydney Adell Saunders, Kourtney Melissa Short, Lindsay Marie Traylor, Jessica Elise Treolo, David George Whittaker, Rebecca Lynn Wright
Reynoldsville: Joshua David McAtee
Rock: Dustin Heath Bailey
Roderfield: Matthew Ryan Peake
Sandstone: Deya Christine Terrafranca
Scarbro: Jason Thomas Blankenship
Shady Spring: Gregory David Berry, Tina Jade Huang, Audrey Roxanne Long
Sinks Grove: Audrey Suzanne Hedrick
Sophia: Jodie Ellen Cox, Kimberly Michelle Bonds Dalton
Spring Dale: Ashley Nicole Bennett
St. Marys: Samantha Marie Smith
Tornado: Jacob Austin Stephens
Van: Katie J Atha
War: Angela Jo Blankenship
Wharncliffe: Krystal Annette Cook
White Sulphur Springs: Heather Chantell Bowen
Winfield: Allison Nicole Walls

District of Columbia: Jared Douglas Fontaine, Sterling S Williams,

Fort Washington: Ola Adams

Beachwood: Seerat K Bahniwal

Elkwood: Luis Enrrique Corrales
Grundy: Audrey Lorraine Justus
Narrows: Andrea Renee Jessee
Palmyra: Dustin Paul Greenwood
Reston: Anthony Jordan Lansdowne
Rural Retreat: Joseph Henry Atchison III
Trouteville: Ronald Wayne Davis Jr.

Varna, Bulgaria: Niya Ivanova Apostolova
Campbellville, Ontario, Canada: Christopher B Cramer
Marathon, Ontario, Canada: Darcy John Donaldson
Hitorizawa Igogo Yokohama, Japan: Mai Aoki


(High resolution photos available at the bottom of this article)

PHOTO: Dr. Gregory F. Aloia

PHOTO: Mr. J. Franklin “Joe” Long

PHOTO: Dr. Kendra Boggess

PHOTO: Dr. John David Smith

PHOTO: Mr. David A. Barnette

PHOTO: Mr. Jonathan Wes Prince

PHOTO: Kelly Marie Ratliff

PHOTO: The Honorable Nick Rahall

PHOTO: President Gregory F. Aloia, Congressman Nick Rahall, President Emeritus Joseph F. Marsh, President Emeritus Jerry L. Beasley