Friends and Family Roast Harry Finkelman, Concord Students Benefit from Scholarship Dollars

For Immediate Release: 
Sep 22 2003

Friends and Family Roast Harry Finkelman, Concord Students Benefit from Scholarship Dollars

Athens, W. Va. - About 130 people gathered in the Concord College Ballroom, Saturday, September 20, for the first in a series of dinners the Concord College Foundation has planned to honor the outstanding contributions of Concord’s emeriti faculty.

Harry Finkelman first came to Concord College in 1948 from New York, and taught practically every course offered in the Division of Business at one time or another during his 33-year teaching career.

And what a career he has had. Finkelman has established himself as an outstanding teacher, businessman and humanitarian. He has influenced many young men and women since he came to Concord, both in and out of the classroom, and kept in touch with many of his students over the years.

P. Bruce Sparks served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening and introduced many of Harry’s family members, former students, colleagues, peers and co-workers as they “roasted” a man they clearly honored and respected.

Finkelman’s younger brother Jack spoke about what it was like growing up with the “roastee” and joked, “I really haven’t spoken to Harry in twenty-three years, I didn’t want to interrupt him!”

Finkelman’s daughters Rose Kent and Shari Fox took the podium together to “roast” their father. “Please say at least one good thing about me,” Harry told his daughters before the event. “Dad, you sure married well,” they told the audience.

Former students who spoke included: Earl Goodwin (’73), Jim Rutherford (’59), Garnett Winfrey (’52), Ed Seagrave (’59), Bill Gaylor (’59) and Vic Foti (’58).

Concord colleagues who spoke included: Dr. George F. Moore, Mr. Kenneth Gleason and Dr. Kendra Boggess.

Concord President Jerry Beasley talked about Finkelman’s infamous days as sports announcer for the Concord football games. “Sometimes Harry would remind the officials it was a first down, or he would call a penalty before the officials could even throw a flag.” Beasley later said people here tonight have often referred to Finkelman as a witty, quick, funny fellow … and reminded the crowd that … it’s a group of accountants who think Harry is funny!

Accounting professionals who spoke included Glenn Hall and William H. “Bill” McKee Jr., who represented the West Virginia Society of CPAs.

Mr. Hall said Harry has produced over 100 CPA’s in his teaching career.

Mr. McKee (’70) read a congratulatory letter from the West Virginia Society of CPA’s and presented Mr. Finkelman with a plaque for meritorious service from 1958–2003.

Tom Bone and Steve Cox gave accounts of Harry in the press box. Finkelman was the voice of the Concord Mountain Lions for almost 51 years.

Diane Spencer (class of ’94) was one of the first recipients of the Finkelman Scholarship. The scholarship was established by students in 1981 and was the first of its kind at the College. Spencer praised the Finkelmans for their countless hours of volunteer work at Princeton Community Hospital.

In the end, Mr. Finkelman, after receiving a standing ovation, said, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to do a long rebuttal. At my age, I can’t remember what everyone said! I am overwhelmed by the number of people here tonight and I am honored.”

“The dinner raised $12,000 for the Finkelman Scholarship Fund,” stated Loretta Young, executive director of the Concord College Foundation and associate vice president for development. Young also coordinated the roast.

For more information on the Finkelman Scholarship Fund or other named scholarships, or to make a donation, please contact Loretta Young at 1-304-384-5257 or