Concord Alumni and Friends Honored, Old-Time Musicians Performs

For Immediate Release: 
May 19 2003

Concord Alumni and Friends Honored, Old-Time Musicians Performs

Athens, W.Va. - Concord College’s Alumni Association honored those who have contributed to the College and local community with a special performance by Janette Carter, member of the “First Family” of Country Music.

Rose Ann Ellis Burgess ‘59 introduced the speaker by noting that country music conveys an unvarnished sincerity. “Carter picking was the dominant style in the 1930s and 1940s. Performances are given every Saturday night at the Carter Fold (located in southwestern Virginia), everything is acoustic.”

Carter elicited the sympathy of the guests when she noted that her aunt, June Carter Cash passed away, and then shared stories about June and other Carter family members. (She planned to sing Anchored in Love at Carter’s funeral on Sunday.) She said that the Carters sang all kinds of songs, country, blue grass, old-time, folk, hymns, and that they made very little money from their music. She was joined by her son, Dale, for the performance. They sang Under the Willow, Jimmy Brown, Keep on the Sunny Side, Thinking about my Blue Eyes, Diamonds in the Rough and Will the Circle be Unbroken.

Carter’s son, Dale, sang several solos.

Music has always been in my family,” Carter stated. “My mom used to put me on a table to sing when I was six.”

The performers received a standing ovation.

Awards Given

Awards were given at the annual spring Alumni Banquet, Friday, May 16, in the following categories:

Linda Fink Service Award (Someone who has made outstanding contributions to his or her community.)

President Jerry Beasley presented the award to Dr. Kathleen “Kathy” Wides for her dedication to public health.

Dr. Wides was trained as an internist and became interested in public health during medical school. She founded the Mercer Health Right Clinic, a free clinic that serves indigent patients through a focus on preventative screenings, family planning and similar services.

Dr. Wides noted that Concord students helped her set up computers and software. She modestly said that “there are hundreds like me and I am honored that Concord chose me.”

Alumnus of the Year (Someone who has made outstanding contributions to the Alumni Association and College.)

Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Wells Egar ’56 presented the award to Fred Lucus ’64, for his contribution of an extensive collection of CDs that he gave to the College’s library.

Fred Lucus received his MA from West Virginia University and is employed by the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services. He has performed as a vocalist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati May Festival Chorus and other groups. He attended Princeton High School and is an amateur radio operator.

“I am just one part of a team that makes this association successful,” stated Lucus.

Golden Alumnus (An alumnus who has contributed greatly to the Association and/or College for 25 years or more.)

Dr. Bill Ofsa ’52 presented the awards to Betty and Joan Wilkes, from Beckley, W.Va. “The 2003 Golden Alumni are sisters, having graduated a year apart in 1941 and 1942,” stated Ofsa. “They are long-time residents of Beckley and active in many community organizations. For over 60 years, they have been involved with Concord College in a variety of capacities. They have most recently donated a large glass collection and have become members of the Alumni Association’s Lifetime Membership Club. They have remained interested and involved with Concord, ever mindful of how they can benefit their alma mater.”

The Wilkes sisters were unable to attend.

Outstanding Alumnus (An alumnus who has achieved notable accomplishments in their career and community).

Mercer County Superintendant Dr. Deborah Akers ’74 provided information about Outstanding Alumnus Dr. Norman Platnick who was unable to attend the banquet.

Dr. Platnick is the program director of the Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories with the National Science Foundation and is a member of numerous scientific societies and associations.

“Everything that he has done as an adult began at Concord,” stated Dr. Akers.

Margaret Ann Scott ’49 provided the invocation and Concord College Alumni Association President Beryle Santon opened the program and provided closing remarks.

For more information about involvement with the Concord College Alumni Association, call Kati Whittaker at 1-304-384-5348, or e-mail at


Concord College Notes: The Concord College Alumni Association was incorporated November 23, 1951. Currently, there are seven alumni chapters located throughout the eastern United States. The association fosters higher academic standards, sponsors scholarships, recruits new students and helps students who are currently enrolled.