Concord University Announces $60,000 Donation to Establish the Louis Joseph Bingham Scholarship Fund

For Immediate Release: 
Jan 31 2008

CONTACT: Loretta Young, Executive Director, Concord University Foundation

Concord University Announces $60,000 Donation to Establish the Louis Joseph Bingham Scholarship Fund

Athens, W.Va. – Ms. Loretta A. Young, executive director of the Concord University Foundation, Inc., announces the creation of the Louis Bingham Athletic and Education Scholarships.

The family of Louis Bingham recently contributed $60,000 to establish three scholarships in memory of their husband and father. Ina Jean Bingham, widow of Louis Bingham, and her two children, Gary L. Bingham and Tracy Bingham Stoermer wanted to establish a lasting tribute to her husband and the children’s father.

Louis Joseph Bingham was the seventh of nine children born into a coal miner’s family in Gary, West Virginia. He was raised in a modest two-bedroom coal company house. He started working at age 13 by delivering papers and doing odd jobs for elderly members of the community.

Louis worked the midnight shift at a milk plant in Welch, W.Va., and attended school after every shift. During summer months, he painted houses for U.S. Steel in Gary, W.Va., and worked odd jobs to help his parents raise his two younger brothers.

He was an active member of the Gary Methodist Church Youth Group and sang in the choir every Sunday. Louis was the sixth Bingham from the family to excel in football and basketball at Gary High School. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina for one year and left to serve in the United States Army where he spent two years on the front line during the Korean Conflict. Upon his return, he attended Concord College, majored in education and participated in Concord’s sports program.

For several years, Louis was a well respected teacher in McDowell County where he earned the admiration and respect of many students and peers. He exhibited leadership not only on the football field and basketball court, but also in the classroom and the community. He left the teaching profession when he was offered a position with the U.S. Department of Defense in Dayton, Ohio.

He married the girl next door, Ina Jean Riggins, in 1957 and together they started a family…a daughter Tracy and a son, Gary. During his lifetime, he instilled in both his children the importance of pursuing a good education, compassion, benevolence, hard work, character, generosity, and most important of all, a true devotion to family and friends.

To reflect the interests and vocation of Mr. Louis Bingham, the Bingham family has established three annual scholarship awards: one to an athlete in the football program at Concord; one to an athlete in Concord’s basketball program and one scholarship to a student majoring in teacher education.

Ms. Young stated: “Concord is proud of its rich history which is intertwined with hard working families (such as the Binghams) from the coal fields of West Virginia whose strong will and character have made the dream of a college education a reality for so many deserving students. And, for their thoughtfulness and insight, we are extremely grateful.”

Should you wish to contribute to the Louis Bingham Scholarship Fund, or if you need additional information, please contact the Concord University Foundation, P. O. Box 1405, Athens, W.Va., 24712 or e-mail