Concord University Holding 142nd Spring Commencement May 6

For Immediate Release: 
Apr 28 2017

CONTACT: Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,


After 4 p.m.








ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University will hold its 142nd Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 6, 2017 in the main gym of the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center.


Two ceremonies will be held to accommodate the number of graduates and their families and guests. A morning ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and an afternoon ceremony is planned for 2 p.m.


Concord’s registrar’s office reports that 70 graduate candidates have applied for graduation along with 295 undergraduate candidates. Among the graduates are 83 individuals who will graduate with honors. The class includes eight veterans.


The Spring 2017 Class has four valedictorians: Joshua Loren Burks, Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems, Summa Cum Laude, St. Albans, W.Va.; Madison Nicole Crank, Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, Henderson, W.Va.;  Hibiki Itagaki, Bachelor of Science in Recreation and Tourism Management, Summa Cum Laude, Tokyo, Japan; and, Brian Gregory Lusk, Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, Corinne, W.Va.


Two honorary degrees will be presented during the 10 a.m. ceremony. Jean Lester Bennett and Charles L. Hall will both receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa.


Bennett graduated from Concord in 1956 and went on to pursue a medical degree at the University of Florida College of Medicine. She graduated in 1960 and, along with being the first female to graduate from the institution, she was also a member of the school’s charter class.


As a pioneer among female medical students and physicians, Bennett had a successful pediatrics practice in Florida. Her career in medicine spanned more than 40 years and she is highly respected and admired by her colleagues and patients alike.


After graduating from Concord in 1962, Hall attended University of Maryland Law and rose to top level management with Travelers Insurance Companies and The Royal Insurance Group. He currently serves as owner/CEO/Chairman of ACH of America, LLC and seven related financial service entities. Headquartered near Orlando, Fla., ACH of America provides personnel administrative outsourcing services.


Hall is a published author and motivational speaker, an animal rights advocate as co-founder of Friends of Lucky Chucky Valentine, and founder of scholarship funds to assist individuals pursing college degrees.


Candidates for graduation will participate in a ceremony based on their fields of study. The morning ceremony will include candidates for Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching and undergraduates from the divisions of Business, Education and Fine Arts.


Participating in the afternoon ceremony will be candidates for Master of Social Work and Master of Health Promotion and undergraduates from the divisions of Humanities, Science, Mathematics & Health, and Social Sciences along with undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Studies and the Regents Bachelor of Arts program.


In addition to candidates for graduation from West Virginia, candidates from out-of-state represent: Alaska, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. International graduates represent Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Nepal, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand and United Kingdom.


A reception will be held on the front lawn of the Carter Center, weather permitting, following both ceremonies. In the event of rain, the receptions will be moved inside to Gym II of the Carter Center.


Concord University’s Technology Services Department is recording both the morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies. DVDs may be purchased for $20 each and may be ordered the day of the event or by calling 304-384-5126. (Please specify morning or afternoon ceremony.) 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.




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