Concord President Thanks Rwe for Record Contribution at Charleston Fund for Concord Dinner

For Immediate Release: 
Sep 30 2002

Concord President Thanks Rwe for Record Contribution at Charleston Fund for Concord Dinner

Athens, W.Va. - In his introduction of keynote speaker Jim McGivern, Thursday, September 19, at the fourth annual Charleston Fund for Concord Dinner, Concord College President Jerry Beasley thanked RWE for their contribution of $25,000 to support scholarships at Concord College. The contribution is the largest, single corporate contribution the Charleston Fund has received. Total proceeds for the event was $78,000. RWE owns Thames Water, which is in the process of buying American Waterworks—including local subsidiary West Virginia American Water Company.

“Sixty-five percent of our students are from modest circumstances in southern Appalachia,” stated Beasley, “and, Jim was from similar circumstances. His parents took education seriously, and Jim was able to go to college. Jim is a citizen of the world—and appreciates the importance of a good education.”

In the press conference held before the dinner, questions focused on the acquisition of American Water Works by London-based Thames. McGivern stated that the $7.5 billion transaction would result in a company with 12 million customers in 27 states. Globally, Thames and their subsidiaries are in 44 countries. “In the U.S.,” stated McGivern, “eighty five percent of all water companies are municipal and the market is very fragmented. The E.P.A. (Environmental Protection Agency) says that $300 billion is needed to replace aging infrastructure in the United States. Culturally, American Water Works and Thames are a great fit. We have worldwide experience linking water, wastewater, and economic development. We understand the local nature of the water business.”

David A. Barnette, Concord alumnus and Chair for the Charleston Fund for Concord planning committee welcomed guests and Concord College supporters. Sue H. Sergi, Concord alumna and CEO and president of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences provided the invocation.

Student Government Association President Abhishek Singh, from New Delhi, India, represented the College’s student body and said in his presentation: “How do we create a society built upon justice and freedom? How do we lift families from the cycles of poverty and want, while retaining respect for every soul’s dignity? These are difficult questions.

“But, I believe there are answers to even the most difficult and challenging circumstances. I personally do not presume to know all the answers, but I do believe that together we can begin to make a difference!

“And the first step, indeed, I believe the most important step, in turning this world around for the better, is achieved through education. Whether one is raised in India or in West Virginia, the key to the better future we seek is found in the quality of the education we provide. The young people we educate today will be those who lead us tomorrow.”

The Charleston Fund for Concord College Dinner is an annual event held in Charleston to raise funds for scholarships for students at Concord College.

David A. Barnette, member of the Jackson & Kelly law firm is the committee chair. Planning committee members include: Ann Burgess Booth, Victor Grigoraci, Faye Guilfoile, Joe Hatfield, Lou Ann Johnson, Olivia P. Jefferds, John M. Jones, David P. Kirby, Melinda Ashworth Kiss, William R Laird IV, Garnette L. Lilly, John M. Long, Doug Maddy, Otis Mann, Sally Mann, William “Bill” McKee Jr., Daniel S. Palausky, Andrew J. Paterno, Forrest Roles, Sue H. Sergi, Richard Stevens, Sandra D. Thomas, and Loretta A. Young.


Photo: Charleston Fund for Concord Dinner Chairman David A. Barnette, and James McGivern, managing director for Americas for Thames Water, Plc, London

Photo: Loretta A. Young, Associate Vice President for Development for Concord College, accepts a corporate donation from
James McGivern, managing director for Americas for Thames Water, Plc, London.