Concord Alumni and Friends Honored at Spring Banquet

For Immediate Release: 
May 16 2001

Concord Alumni and Friends Honored at Spring Banquet

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College’s Alumni Association honored those who have contributed to the College in a wide variety of ways at its Spring Banquet, Saturday, May 12, 2001. Awards were given in the following categories:

Linda Fink Service Award (Someone who has made outstanding contributions to their community.) Vice President for Development J. Douglas Machesney presented the award to Barbara Hawkins from Princeton, W.Va. Hawkins is a senior writer with the Bluefield Daily Telegraph and has been the director of the Mercer County Emergency Services for 18 years.

“Barbara helped fix the ‘ugly spot’ in Princeton and established a fund to award scholarships to deserving students through the Pam Hawkins Foundation,” stated Dr. Machesney. “She also established Pam’s Place, a shelter for battered and abused women. Barbara was Mercer County Citizen of the Year in 1994. She is a tireless worker on behalf of the citizens of Mercer County. Our community is fortunate to have an activist that has accomplished so much.”

Alumnus of the Year (Someone who has made outstanding contributions to the Alumni Association and College.) The recipient was Jack Lee Thompson, ’55 from Roanoke, Va. Thompson is from Union, W.Va., and graduated from Concord with a BS in Business Administration. He received a Master’s in transportation from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife Dolores have five children. Mr. Thompson works as a Manager of Claims at Shenandoah Life Insurance and is active in many civic activities including the chamber of commerce and future business leaders of America.

Golden Alumnus (An alumnus who has contributed greatly to the Association and/or College for 25 years or more.) The recipient was Gilbert Eugene Bailey, 55. Bailey graduated from Princeton High School and received his education degree from Concord. He pursued graduate studies through Marshall University, West Virginia University and COGS. He was a public school teacher and administrator and owns and operates a Christmas tree farm and nursery near Spanishburg. Bailey has served the local community in a variety of ways including the Princeton City Council, Mercer County Board of Education and West Virginia House of Delegates. He also served as mayor of Princeton for two terms. He was recently named to the West Virginia Agricultural and Forestry Hall of Fame.

United States Congressman Nick J. Rahall II was the keynote speaker for the banquet. He represents the third congressional district of West Virginia. First elected in 1975, he is currently serving his 13th term and is the dean of the West Virginia delegation to the House of Representatives.

In his introduction of the speaker, Concord President Jerry Beasley noted that, “Congressman Rahall has helped us achieve our dreams. He helps coal miners with benefits and has helped bring technology to Concord with a $1 million grant. Moreover, the congressman helped us with fundraising many years ago on our ‘quest’ for scholars.”

Congressman Rahall said that he was humbled that the College would invite a politician to a day of celebration. “I know what parents feel like today because one of my children just graduated from college. I feel like we just cut up a credit card,” chuckled the Congressman.

The Congressman spoke about coal, the nation’s energy policy and education. “Coal is going to play a big part in our energy needs. West Virginia coal and southern West Virginia coal. Regarding education, he said, “the trick will be for Concord to provide a context for how the technologies are implemented. Your technology center will allow you to shape events rather than have the events shape you.”

For more information about involvement with the Concord College Alumni Association, call Kati Whittaker at 1-304-384-5348, or e-mail at


Concord College Notes: The Concord College Alumni Association was incorporated November 23, 1951. Currently, there are seven alumni chapters located throughout the eastern United States. The association fosters higher academic standards, sponsors scholarships, recruits new students and helps students who are currently enrolled.

Photo #1: Barbara Hawkins receives the Linda Fink Service Award.

Photo #2: Alumnus of the Year 2001 Jack Lee Thompson, ’55, Alumna of the Year 2000 Dr. Peggy Wells Egar, ‘56

Photo #3: Gilbert Eugene Bailey, ‘55 receives the Golden Alumnus Award from Joseph Friedl.

Photo #4: Congressman Nick J. Rahall II