Concord Scholarship Endowed to Benefit Monroe County Students

For Immediate Release: 
Jun 28 2004

Concord Scholarship Endowed to Benefit Monroe County Students

Athens, W.Va. - The heirs of Clara Josephine Ballard Bivens and Frank Commodore Bivens are proud to announce the endowment of the Josie Ballard Bivens Scholarship at Concord College.

This scholarship is named in honor of their grandmother, whom most of them never knew due to her premature death after the birth of their tenth living child.

Both Josie and Frank attended Concord State Teachers College before beginning their married life in Ballard, W.Va. Both were members of pioneer Monroe County families, Josie's father having been the first postmaster of the Ballard Post Office and for whom it is named, a position that Frank later assumed as well as being a merchant and farmer in the same location. He, unfortunately died two years after Josie due to a typhoid epidemic, leaving the ten surviving children in the care of their grandmother, Lucy Spangler Ballard, and after her death, they raised one another through much caring and resourcefulness, ensuring that each had an opportunity to receive an education.

Many of these children attended or graduated from Concord: Anna Ferrell, who taught in one room schools in Monroe County before her marriage to John S. (Doc) Ferrell; later they operated “The Sweet Shop” in Athens for over twenty-five years. Many of Anna's brothers and sisters attended Concord during their years there including William Oren "Dink" Bivens, who was the principal of the Ballard Elementary School; Ruth Bivens Webb, who taught in McDowell County schools as well as in Roanoke County, Va., after her marriage; Howard Hunter Bivens and his wife, Jeanette Ward '42; and, Frank C. Bivens, Jr., and his first wife Elizabeth French Bivens. Several grandchildren graduated or attended Concord including Alice Ferrell Moore '52, Suellen Ferrell Hodges '59, Victoria Josephine Bivens '64, Dorothy Spangler Puskar and Thomas C. Spangler.

“We represent a number of professions,” stated Suellen Ferrell Hodges, daughter of Anna Bivens Ferrell, “including teachers, counselors, a corporate trainer, a dentist, a nurse, PhDs in English and Psychology, engineers, a doctor, a golf pro, IT specialists, business owners, a sales manager, a medical technologist, an electrical specialist and a funeral home director.

“We wish to endow this scholarship to a graduate of James Monroe High School who is interested in entering the field of education. The love, caring, resourcefulness and determination instilled in us by our grandparents and parents will be carried into the future through the use of this scholarship. We know they would be pleased.”

For more information on establishing scholarships at Concord, call 1-304-384-5317 or e-mail