Athens-Concord Town Social Announces 2018 Award Recipients

For Immediate Release: 
Aug 07 2018


Sarah Pritchett Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement                                                                                                                                                                                    

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,


After 4 p.m.

Office: 304-384-5211

Cell: 304-320-6405




ATHENS, W.Va. – Award recipients that will be honored at the upcoming Athens-Concord Town Social are being announced by the event’s planning committee. In its 32nd year, the annual social will be held Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the front lawn of Concord University in Athens.


Individuals that have enhanced the community and campus life of Athens and Concord University are honored each year at the gathering. The Town Social committee will be presenting the following awards: Total Community Involvement, John David Smith, Posthumous Award; Elder Citizen, Theodore L. “Ted” Kessinger; Good Neighbor, Charles Abraham “Abe” Lilly, Jr.; and Business Longevity, Michael “Goose” Sizemore, owner and sculptor, Mountain Artworks Studio.




The Athens Lions Club will announce the Citizen of the Year and the Beautification Award recipients at the Town Social. Several scholarships will also be presented to Concord University students.

The Town Social features craft and food vendors, business and organization displays, live musical entertainment and children’s games. For more information about the Town Social contact Dr. Sarah Beasley at or 304-384-6298. The Town Social is also on Facebook at:





John David Smith


John David Smith’s deep commitment to Concord University and the Town of Athens benefitted countless individuals during his lifetime and continues today as a wonderful legacy. His involvement at Concord encompassed many levels ranging from academics to administration to alumni activities. He was a beloved mentor to students, a respected faculty member, a dedicated alumnus and a leader in higher education beyond Concord. As a member of the Athens community, he served his neighbors on the Athens Town Council.


A native of Hinton, John David received his Bachelor of Social Work degree from Concord in 1976.  He went on to earn a Master of Social Work from WVU, a Master of Arts in Psychology from the WV College of Graduate Studies, a Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo, College of Law, and an LL.M. in Health and Administrative Law from DePaul University, School of Law.


John David’s leadership at Concord included serving as Professor and Director of the Social Work, Legal Studies and Pre-Law programs, Counseling Center, and the Public Service Initiative and Chair of the Division of Social Sciences. He also served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students and Vice President and Academic Dean. Additionally, he was Chair of the Social Work Department, MSW Program Director, Primary Investigator Public Service Initiatives, and Director of Appalachian Leadership and Education Fellows.


He was Chair of the West Virginia Social Work Education Consortium and served on a number of county, state and university boards. He was named       Social Worker of the Year in 1995, NASW Region I. He also received the Hawey Wells Citizenship Award; Fraternity Alumni of the Year, Pi Kappa Alpha; Concord University Outstanding Alumnus award in 2010; and Alumnus of the Year in 2012.


John David passed away on October 21, 2017.




Theodore L. “Ted” Kessinger


Born November 29, 1931 in Welch, West Virginia, Ted moved with his parents, Macie and John Kessinger, to Speedway in 1933. He graduated from high school in Athens and attended Concord College until 1951, when he joined the United States Air Force. He served during the Korean War then returned to Concord and graduated in 1956.


In 1955 Ted moved to West Broadway in Athens and has remained on that street for 63 years. During these years, he raised four children, worked in banking, ran his own business, taught school, and enjoyed an active retirement.


Ted has served on the Athens Town Council, and is a former member of the Athens Lions Club, serving one term as president. He is a 50 year member of the Concord Masonic Lodge.


As a member of Concord United Methodist Church, Ted has served many years with the Outreach Ministry group. While serving this ministry, he was instrumental in getting seed money to begin work on the Athens Town Park.


Ted is also a member of the local Civil Air Patrol and was active in obtaining funds to build the new facility at the Mercer County Airport.



Charles Abraham “Abe” Lilly, Jr.


Charles Abraham “Abe” Lilly Jr. was born and raised in Summers County, West Virginia. While growing up in Hinton, he served as a lifeguard and a swim instructor. Abe graduated from Hinton High School and attended Concord College where he served as an RA and was a Bonner Scholar. While at Concord, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Community Service in 1995.


Following graduation, Abe continued to serve Concord as a Resident Director and an Assistant Director of the Marsh Library. Abe’s service to Concord spans 20+ years. His friendliness, kindness and immeasurable dedication to serving others are simply a part of who he is. He genuinely loves to help others and the community.


Abe is the recorder for the Town of Athens as well as an EMT with the Athens Volunteer Fire Department. He currently serves as a minister for two small churches each Sunday and is also employed as the Librarian/Technology Integration Specialist for Bluefield High School.



Michael “Goose” Sizemore

Owner and Sculptor, Mountain Artworks Studio


Michael Sizemore, owner and sculptor, of Mountain Artworks Studio in Athens, West Virginia is a multi-medium artist with a focus on metals: copper, steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze. He grew up in Fayette County, West Virginia, where he demonstrated an early talent in painting and drawing. He pursued his passion throughout high school and then for two years at Concord as a studio art major.


Sizemore left West Virginia in the summer of 1989 for the Southwest to explore his artistic career. He landed in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he continued to expand his creative education.

While in New Mexico, he worked as the chief bronze patina artist at Weston Studio Foundry, collaborating with world renowned artists such as Glenna Goodacre, Star York, Doug Hyde, and Lincoln Fox.


Sizemore returned to West Virginia in the winter of 1996 and has since become an

established metal artist. In addition to commissioned sculptures for business and private patrons worldwide, Sizemore continues to create works for galleries and sculpture gardens throughout the eastern United States. His sculpture is inspired by the landscapes he loves so much: the sparse, spare, linear high deserts of northern New Mexico and the lush, dark, river landscapes of southern West Virginia.




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.