Alumni Honored at Spring Banquet

For Immediate Release: 
May 15 2009

CONTACT: Kati Whittaker, Director of Alumni Affairs


Alumni Honored at Spring Banquet

Athens, W.Va. – Concord hosted its annual Alumni Banquet Friday, May 15 in the Jerry L. Beasley Student Center.

Mr. Greg Quick, interim vice president for institutional advancement, welcomed guests and pointed out the importance of working with alumni as family, “This is your home, and we’re glad you came back!” Next, he recognized the class of 1959 and the class of 1984 who had returned in recognition of either their 50th or 25th anniversary.

The Concord University Alma Mater was performed by the Concord Vocal Ensemble under the direction of Joshua T. Miller, director of choral activities and vocal studies and assistant professor of music.

Mr. Jim White ’60 invited guests to pause for a moment of reflection prior to the dinner that was prepared by Aramark.

Concord University President, Dr. Gregory F. Aloia, said that: “I’ve had a wonderful 10 months here…it has been nonstop, and people have been very supportive of what we are trying to do here at Concord.”

Concord University Alumni Association President, Dr. John David Smith, presented the following awards: Gregory M. Allen ’70 was selected as “Outstanding Alumnus” (an alumnus who has achieved notable accomplishments in his or her career and community), Nell Kessinger Jeffries ’53 was selected as “Alumnus of the Year” (someone who has made outstanding contributions to the Alumni Association and University), and William “Bill” Baker ’62 was selected as “Golden Alumnus” (an alumnus who has contributed greatly to the Association and/or University for 25 years or more).

Gregory Allen was recently elected as chair of the Concord University Foundation. Allen graduated from Concord in 1970 with a B.S. in business administration and a concentration in economics. “I would like to thank the Alumni Association, and I am very proud of this recognition! In addition, I would like to thank the Concord University Foundation and Loretta Young for encouraging me to get involved with the Foundation. When you come to Concord you are an individual and not a number. Whatever success I have…I owe to Concord,” he concluded.

William “Bill” Baker graduated from Concord in 1962 and had an illustrious career in the education field in this region. “My connection to Concord is deep. I grew up in McDowell County and then came to Concord where I learned communication skills,” noted Mr. Baker. “I really credit Concord College not only for providing the basics but for providing a well-rounded education. Concord has an excellent academic reputation. Concord also provided the opportunity to me of meeting my wife, Elizabeth.”

Nell Jeffries graduated from Concord in 1953, having taught secondary school for 36 years. “First, I want to thank you all for attending tonight, and I would like to see our Alumni Association triple in size! It is also a pleasure to have my family with me tonight. Nearly all are graduates of Concord.” She also shared insights from Andrew Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, talking about joy, excitement and recognition.

Sean Noland, SGA president for 2006-2007, then presented the Linda Fink Service Award to Dr. John David Smith. Recipients of the award are selected because of a commitment to service.

Noland noted that Dr. Smith is an adviser to many organizations on campus and has successfully written many grants that benefit Concord. In addition, Smith is involved with numerous community organizations as well as serving as president of the Concord University Alumni Association.

“This is really a surprise!” stated Dr. Smith, in accepting the award, “And, I thank you for the recognition.”

The Concord Vocal Ensemble presented selections, including “Campus Beautiful,” and “Country Roads,” that entertained guests.

Next, Miss Carolyn Elizabeth Kallmerten ‘35 was recognized by Delta Zeta representatives as a special guest at the banquet. Kallmerten received an A.B. degree from Concord State Teachers College and was a member of Delta Sigma Epsilon (later Delta Zeta), Phi Gamma Mu, the library staff and glee club. She taught music and first grade in Kanawha County, with a career in the education field that lasted more than 40 years. She has been a member of Christ Church United Methodist Church in Charleston for more than 80 years, and she has been a member of Eastern Star for more than 50 years.

“There were only three buildings when I attended,” stated Miss Kallmerten. “I appreciate the people who brought me here and Ms. Martha Endres (president of the Concord Parents Club) who made arrangements.”

Concord University Head Football Coach, Mike Keller, was the guest speaker. Kellar began as head football coaches at Concord in December 2008, following a successful five-season stint as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at California University of Pennsylvania. A native of Shinnston, West Virginia, Kellar is familiar with the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He was the starting quarterback for both Glenville State College and Fairmont State College in the early 1990s. He began his coaching career at FSC in 1994.

He said that he is eager to serve as Concord’s coach, noting that he is working with high school coaches to recruit players and build a team that wins games. His motto is…”why not us!”

Alumni President, Dr. John David Smith thanked guests for attending.


PHOTO: Gregory M. Allen ‘70 receives the “Outstand Alumnus” award from Alumni Association President, Dr. John David Smith

PHOTO: William “Bill” Baker ’62, recipient of the “Golden Alumnus” award

PHOTO: Concord University Alumni Association President, Dr. John David Smith, presents the “Alumnus of the Year” award to Nell Jeffries ‘53
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PHOTO: Alumni Association President, Dr. John David Smith, receives the Linda Fink award from Sean Noland, SGA president 2006-2007
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