Concord to “Roast” Harry Finkelman, Saturday, September 20

For Immediate Release: 
Sep 04 2003

Concord to “Roast” Harry Finkelman, Saturday, September 20

Athens, W. Va. – Concord College is planning to “roast” one of its finest—former accounting Professor Harry Finkelman, on Saturday, September 20 at 6 p.m. in the College Center Ballroom.

Finkelman’s reputation among accounting and business students who attended Concord in the 60s, 70s and 80s is legendary. He had a knack for knowing how to hold the attention of his students and using stories to make his points in class. Apparently, his students learned; at one time in West Virginia, five bank presidents were Harry Finkelman students.

Finkelman taught “practically every course offered by the division of business at one time or another” according to former colleagues, during his 33-year teaching career. He retired in 1981.

He was a leader in the drive for raising funds to establish the Athens Medical Center, and participated in numerous civic and professional organizations. In 1976, Finkelman was named West Virginia’s Small Business Advocate of the Year. Finkelman was among 21 named to a West Virginia Holocaust Education Commission by former Governor Cecil Underwood. For 50 years, Finkelman was the announcer at Concord College football games, and he served as president of the state CPA association and the State Board of Accounting. He owned his own accounting firm and when he received his CPA certification in 1950, was the only full-time teaching CPA in the state.

According to a profile of Finkelman by “Princeton Times” Reporter Jeff Harvey: “I was teaching at a high school in East Islip, N.Y., which is on Long Island, when I decided that I wanted to teach college. Unfortunately, I decided that so late in the academic year that the only job I could find was at Concord College.

“I never expected to stay. Unfortunately, New Yorkers didn’t have a high opinion of West Virginians. When I asked my wife, Estelle, who was then my fiancée, how she would like to go to West Virginia, she said four very short words, which were, and I quote, ‘Oh, my God, no.’ To convince her to come, I had to promise that we would stay no more than two years so that, I would be able to get experience before I could get another teaching job. We loved it from the very beginning. We liked the people and the scenery. Both were very beautiful,” he said.

The dinner and roast is sponsored by the Concord College Foundation, Inc.

Loretta Young, associate vice president for development and foundation executive director, noted that: “This is the Foundation’s first emeriti faculty roast and we think it will provide an excellent forum to toast and to roast the outstanding contributions of Concord College retired faculty. The greatest reward of teaching is impacting the lives of students and Harry Finkelman has made a positive impact on the lives of his students.”

Cost for the dinner and roast is $50, reservations are recommended. For more information call 1-304-384-5257 or e-mail


CONCORD COLLEGE NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Rick Dillon, 1-304-384-5231 if special accommodations are required.