Sayre and Ballard Honored at Alumni Banquet, Friday, May 18

For Immediate Release: 
May 01 2007

CONTACT: Kati Whittaker, Director of Alumni Affairs II

Sayre and Ballard Honored at Alumni Banquet, Friday, May 18

Athens, W.Va. - The Concord University Alumni Association’s annual celebration and banquet will be held on Friday, May 18, 2007. Two dedicated alumni will be honored this year by the Alumni Association.

Pete Ballard, class of ’53, will be honored as the Golden Alumnus for 2007. The Golden Alumnus honor recognizes those who dedicated at least 25 years of service to Concord. He has enjoyed parallel careers in both teaching and the arts. He has taught many years across the United States and in such diverse places as Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam, and China. Mr. Ballard is a nationally known costume designer, museum costume historian and conservator. He has served as a State Commissioner of both the West Virginia History and Archives Commission and the West Virginia State Arts Commission.

Margaret Sayre, class of ’84, will be recognized as Alumnus of the Year for 2007. Mrs. Sayre has served as chair on both the Board of Advisors and Board of Governors of Concord University. She has been involved in local and state community service projects, including the beautification of the city of Beckley. She was the president of the Beckley Community Concert Association from 1986 until 1994 and is a past member of the New River Gorge National River on the National Parks Mid-Atlantic Council. She is a recipient of the “Spirit of Beckley” Community Service Award and the “Distinguished West Virginian” Award in 1991.

Special music for the banquet will be provided by the ragtime and jazz group Pianafiddle, a duet grown from Lynn Wright’s ragtime and jazz piano playing and Adam DeGraff’s collaboration of classical violin and traditional fiddling. The duo’s diverse style leads them from Bach to bluegrass, classical to Celtic. “If we like, we play it,” they commented.

“The Alumni Association and Concord community are very excited to have this caliber of local arts providing entertainment for an evening of awards. I hope all can come and enjoy,” asserted Rosalie Peck, president of Concord University’s Alumni Association.

Cost for the banquet and reception is $20 a person. The banquet will be held in the Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m. A preceding reception including refreshments will take place in the Student Center Television Lounge on the second floor at 5 p.m.

Reservations for the banquet are required by May 16. Please contact the Alumni Office at: 1-304-384-6056, 1-304-384-5348 or


CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679, extension 6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

Corrie McKee a junior majoring in English and journalism wrote this news release. Her hometown is Nitro.