Concord University Honors Veterans, Holds 5 Star Challenge Commitment Ceremony

For Immediate Release: 
Nov 09 2015

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University 

Office of Advancement

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,         





ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University saluted the contributions and sacrifices of U.S. military veterans and service personnel and pledged increased support for student veterans during the annual Veterans Appreciation Ceremony today (Monday, Nov. 9). The program began at noon in the Wilkes Family Chapel located in University Point on the Athens campus.

Highlighting the program was a commitment ceremony in recognition of Concord’s acceptance of the “5 Star Challenge” and awarding of two veterans awards.

The “5 Star Challenge” is an initiative of the Office of Veterans Education and Training Programs within the Division of Student Affairs at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (Commission) and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System (WVCTCS).

West Virginia public colleges and universities accepting the challenge have been called to action to adopt a set of exemplary standards that support student veterans and their families. The challenge is a tribute to the military tradition of issuing “challenge coins” to service members who exemplify the values and standards of their military units.

Special guests for the ceremony included Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor of the Commission, and L.G. Corder, Director of Veterans Education and Training with the Commission and the WVCTCS.

Hill congratulated Concord University President Kendra Boggess for accepting the challenge to “do even more” and to have an “even deeper commitment” to student veterans pursing a college degree.

Lisa Spencer, Veterans Certifying Official, introduced the “5 Star Challenge.”

During the commitment ceremony, Corder presented Boggess with the “5 Star Challenge” coin signifying Concord University’s role in the initiative.

Misty Lopez, President of the Concord Veterans Club and a veteran of the U.S. Army, introduced the special award recipients.

Concord alumnus and U.S. Navy veteran David Moore received the Veterans Advocate of the Year Award. Moore began his military service in 1969 when he entered the Navy. He was assigned to a unit and deployed to Vietnam in August of that year. After completing this tour he returned to the United States and retrained for another deployment. Retiring from a successful naval career with the rank of Command Chief, Moore embarked upon another career in management. He reached a top level of performance in retail sales nationally.

Upon retirement from this career, he lasted one day in retirement and realized he was not yet meant for retirement. He decided to continue his education at Concord and graduated in 2014 with a Master of Social Work.

Moore’s desire was to give back to the veteran community and assist veterans that are sufferers of P.T.S.D. and traumatic brain injuries. He is currently a Readjustment Counselor with the Veterans Administration at the Beckley Vet Center. He resides in Princeton.

Richard W. Woods received the Student Veteran Award. A native of Athens, Woods enlisted in the U.S. Army right out of high school at the age of 17.

During his military career, Woods served as Combat Engineer, Dental Hygienist, Patriot Systems Repairer and Military Intelligence. He was deployed multiple times. His first deployment was Operation Desert Storm, where he served as a team leader in 1990-1991 with the 588th Engineer Battalion. In 2000-2001 he was assigned as the section Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of a section for the 507th Maintenance Company for Desert Tracker.  In addition he did two rotations as a Platoon Sergeant for Operation Iraqi freedom.

He served 21 years on Active Duty retiring in 2008 as a Sergeant First Class. Woods then worked as a Corrections Sergeant for the Virginia Department of Corrections for five years. He is currently enrolled at Concord pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education.   As the University’s Veterans Advocate, he calls on his previous experience as a determined and compassionate leader to help fellow student veterans navigate the transition from military to civilian life.

Dr. Charles Becker, Concord University Vice President for Business and Finance and a U.S. Army veteran, served as Master of Ceremonies. Presentation of the Colors was conducted by the PikeView High School JROTC. Concord music education major Allison Whitener sang the National Anthem.

A detailed outline of the “5 Star Challenge” can be found at, the state’s free college and career-planning website. For more information on Concord University’s Veterans Office visit:


Four Photos Attached Below


David Moore, center, receives the Veterans Advocate of the Year Award from Concord University President

Kendra Boggess, left, and Misty Lopez, President of the Concord Veterans Club.



Richard Woods, center, receives the Student Veteran Award from Concord University President

Kendra Boggess, left, and Misty Lopez, President of the Concord Veterans Club.


Dr. Paul L. Hill, Chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission


L.G. Corder, Director of Veterans Education and Training

with the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission



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.