Red Hat, Many Hats Worn by Grandmother and CU Student

For Immediate Release: 
May 02 2007

CONTACT: Lisa Karnes, Administrative Assistant, McNair Scholars Program

Red Hat, Many Hats Worn by Grandmother and CU Student

Athens, W.Va. – Like most of us, Crystal Warner wears a number of hats over the course of a day. She’s a college student conducting McNair research, American Red Cross volunteer, grandmother of nine, and Queen of the Golden Girls. Ms. Warner is the founder (a.k.a. Queen) of the Oak Hill chapter of the Red Hat Society affectionately known as The Golden Girls. The chapter’s name honors Crystal’s treasured friendship with the late Linda Price of Oak Hill.

The Red Hat Society began with a simple gesture of friendship among 50-something year old ladies in 1998 in Arizona. A tea party among Sue Ellen Cooper and friends dressed in vintage red hats and purple clothing inspired what would become an international phenomenon. Today, more than 40,000 chapters nationwide echo Ms. Cooper’s sentiment in celebrating 50 with an unmistakable expression of sisterhood – the Red Hat Ladies.

Ms. Warner has more than fulfilled her desire “to become something other than a mom and grandma at 50.” She’s taken the college scene by storm. Recent Red Hatter adventures to England and Hawaii have fueled a passion for travel. This love for travel spills over into her academic life too. Ms. Warner is an active member of the Bonner Scholars Program, Student Support Services, Gamma Beta Phi, and the Geo Club. She also recently completed McNair research focusing on the social impacts of the new housing development at the New River Gorge National River. Ms. Warner is expected to graduate May 2008 with degrees in recreation and tourism management and geography. “The best is yet to come!” she says!

Please visit for more information on the Red Hat Society. Additional information on the Concord organizations mentioned is available at


PHOTO: Crystal Warner