Concord College Celebrates Commencement of 262 Students, Special Honorary Degree to Be Conferred to James H. “Buck” Harless

For Immediate Release: 
May 05 2003

Concord College Celebrates Commencement of 262 Students, Special Honorary Degree to Be Conferred to James H. “Buck” Harless

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College will be hosting the 128th spring commencement, 10 a.m., Saturday, May 17, 2003, at the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center in Athens.

Ceremonies this spring will include 262 students who have applied for graduation.

This year, in addition to honoring graduates, the College will be awarding a Doctorate of Business Administration, honoris causa, to Mr. James H. “Buck” Harless, from Gilbert, West Virginia, who is one of West Virginia’s most distinguished and respected businessmen, and a Concord College benefactor.

No honorary degrees were bestowed prior to 1960 and this is the first honorary degree conferred by the College in 30 years.

Mr. Harless will be available for comments to the media at a press conference in the Dance Studio of the Carter Center directly after the commencement ceremony.

For more information call 1-304-384-5211 / 5288.


A Brief Historical Background

Concord College was chartered by the State Legislature on February 28, 1872, as a branch of the “State Normal School,” to offer the “normal” teaching certificate to those preparing to instruct in area schools. The College opened its doors to its first 70 students at the site of Athens School on State Street. The present campus grew from a 26-acre farm plot purchased from the Vermillion family after fire devastated the midtown location in November 1910. Reflecting continued expansion, the name of our institution changed from Concord State Normal School to Concord State Teacher’s College in 1931, and, finally, to Concord College in 1943.

The following description of the College’s environment was printed over one hundred years ago, in the 1899 Catalog: “The air, the water, and the scenic beauties of the place conspire in producing the health and strength which should distinguish the West Virginian. And these good influences are aided by the absence of all temptations to vice. No school can be more free from all those influences which tend to degrade either the moral or physical well-being of the young.”

Concord’s continuing mission is to provide quality, liberal arts based education, to foster scholarly activities, and to serve the regional community.