Concord University Holding Seventeenth Fall Commencement

For Immediate Release: 
Dec 03 2015

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement 

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,         




ATHENS, W.Va. Concord University will hold its Seventeenth Annual Fall Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015 in the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the main gym.

Graduate and undergraduate candidates meeting requirements for graduation in December 2015 will participate.

Concord University’s registrar’s office reports that 18 graduate candidates and 124 undergraduate candidates have applied for graduation. Along with candidates for graduation from West Virginia, candidates from out-of-state represent: Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and Michigan. International students representing Japan, Nepal, Mauritania and Brazil are also among the candidates for graduation.

The Fall 2015 class includes five veterans and 34 individuals will graduate with honors.

Valedictorian for the Fall 2015 class is Amber Nicole Lynn Jessee of Princeton, W.Va. Jessee will receive a Bachelor of Science in Education, summa cum laude. Her majors are Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Childhood Special Education (PreK-K).

“I feel so honored to be named valedictorian of the Fall 2015 class,” Jessee said. “I am so grateful for the exceptional professors and mentors who have guided me along the way, as well as the unconditional support from my family and friends. I will value the knowledge and skills I have learned at Concord for the rest of my life.”

She said that her plans following graduation from Concord include teaching in a prekindergarten or kindergarten classroom and attending graduate school.

Two honorary degrees will be presented during the ceremony. Arthur J. “Pete” Ballard of Peterstown, W.Va. will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa. Ballard graduated from Concord in 1953 and has achieved acclaim as an artist and an educator. He has received numerous honors during his career including recognition from the state of West Virginia.

An Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa will be presented posthumously to James D. “Jim” Connolly. A resident of Princeton, W.Va., Connolly founded Conn-Weld Industries, growing the business into a successful international venture. He established a scholarship at Concord which has helped area students attain a college education and was a dedicated leader in the community.

R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, will serve as keynote speaker.

U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins will bring greetings on behalf of the United States House of Representatives. Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, will offer greetings from the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. West Virginia Senate President William “Bill” Cole will deliver greetings from the West Virginia Senate.

A reception will be held in the Carter Center small gym following the ceremony.

Concord University’s Technology Services Department is recording the commencement ceremony. DVDs may be purchased for $20 each and may be ordered the day of the event or by calling 304-384-5126. DVDs will be shipped within four to six weeks of commencement.

The Concord University Alumni Association will be selling “The Campus Beautiful” by well-known artist P. Buckley Moss. The print, produced especially for Concord University, measures 11”x13” and sells for $100.

The Concord University cheerleaders will be in the lobby of the Carter Center selling bottled water and roses. All proceeds will benefit the CU Cheerleading Team.

For those who cannot attend the ceremony, Concord will provide a live-stream online. Log on to Concord’s website,, the day of the event, then click on the graphic on the main page.

For additional information, visit Concord’s “Countdown to Commencement” at



Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086

if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.