Concord College Holds 127th Commencement, 282 Candidates Graduate

For Immediate Release: 
May 22 2002

Concord College Holds 127th Commencement, 282 Candidates Graduate

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College hosted the 127th spring commencement, 10:00 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2002, in the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center in Athens.

Concord College President Jerry L. Beasley: "This is my 17th year at Concord and this is the best graduating class ever; we have extraordinary expectations from you."

Beasley thanked retiring faculty members Gerald Arrington, John Elkins and Roger Lester and staff member J. Douglas Machesney.

Others who extended greetings and words of encouragement to the class of 2002 included: Ms. Anne Grace-Lile, assistant professor in communication arts; James L. Brown, chairperson for the Concord College Board of Governors; Charles H. Britchford, president of the College’s faculty, and Suellen F. Hodges, president of the Concord College Alumni Association.

Mr. Brown noted that, "Education helps us to live more satisfying lives. Education is a never-ending process, when you quit growing, you die." He also encouraged the candidates to give back to their communities some of what their communities had given to them.

Charles Britchford: "A degree from this or any other college has little value–it is the education it represents that has the value."

Suellen Hodges encouraged the candidates to add "R’s" to the three R’s they already know: rejoice, return and remember. "Rejoice in your achievements," she said, "return as a member of the alumni association, and remember the memorable drive from Princeton to Athens!"

Five valedictorians presented comments to the class of 2002, Jatin Atre, Pune, India; Sarah Bennett, Shady Spring, W.Va.; Jessica Floyd, Oak Hill, W.Va.; Varun Gupta, Mumbai, India and April Weikle, Alderson, W.Va.

Jatin Atre received a standing ovation for his memorable remarks to his classmates, including: "We all have more questions now than when we began our education at Concord.

"After September 11, we are like kids on the shore of a lake. We are afraid because there may be a monster lurking beneath the surface."

Sarah Bennett noted that, "The hardest questions are the ones we must answer ourselves."

"Stand up for what is right," advised Jessica Floyd. "Live in the moment. Measure success in terms of simplicity. True success is often found in the smallest of places."

Varun Gupta said, "Our friends and family believed in us, and Concord has given us a supporting hand."

April Weikle told her classmates, "Whatever you want to do, be your best. Life is about the journey."

Dr. Dean Turner, vice president and academic dean for Concord presented the candidates for graduation to the president, and Registrar Carolyn Cox presented the diplomas to the students.

Andrew Necessary directed the College’s wind ensemble for the prelude, processional and recessional, and the College hosted a reception in the lobby of the Alexander Fine Arts Center.

For information on attending Concord call 1-888-384-5249 or 1-304-384-5248 or e-mail