Historic Moment for Concord as Master’s Degrees are Conferred

For Immediate Release: 
Dec 14 2004

Historic Moment for Concord as Master’s Degrees are Conferred

(EDITOR: Please note that all hometowns are in W.Va., unless otherwise noted. All candidates for graduation—both graduate and undergraduate—are included at the end of this file. The list is sorted by hometown, alphabetical, and then candidate’s name, alphabetical.)

Athens, W.Va. – The sixth annual fall Commencement was held at Concord University on Wednesday, December 15, with 187 candidates for graduation, which included 10 who received master’s degrees. August 6 graduates receiving master’s degrees were: Brenda Cannon, Athens; Robin Eve Gross, Princeton; and Tom W. Rife, Bluefield. Graduate candidates for December 15 included: Mark Godfrey, Rock; Donald Alphonso Jones, Bluefield; Julia E. Kade, Princeton; Lynda Lilly Lindsey, Peterstown; James E. McGee, Cedar Bluff, Va.; Jennifer Lynn McGee, Cedar Bluff, Va.; and Deborah Lynn Williams, Pickaway.

This was the first Commencement for the institution under the name “Concord University.” In addition, this was the first Commencement to include graduates and candidates who received a Master in Education.

Dr. Christopher O. Ryer, assistant professor of music, provided the processional and recessional music on the University’s pipe organ, and Dr. Paul J. Kane provided the opening and closing meditations.

Concord University President Jerry L. Beasley thanked the Commencement committee, and the University’s faculty, staff and emeriti faculty and staff.

“You’ve not only completed the course of study, but you have done it with distinction,” commented Dr. Beasley to the first recipients of the University’s master’s degrees. “I’ve seen your grades and I’ve seen the scores on tests that you’ve taken while you have been here, indicating educational leadership. We are proud of you and I know that the State of West Virginia is proud of you. During your master’s studies, most of you have balanced the responsibilities of teaching, parenting and studying. And for all of that, I salute you. I also thank the people of West Virginia, particularly our legislature and our governor who gave this institution the opportunity to serve in new ways--opportunities that we have been seeking over 50 years.

“And, now to our seniors … you have studied with the most demanding faculty at the undergraduate level in West Virginia. Many of you have worked outside your studies in a variety of jobs in order to have what it takes to pay the tuition and bills here at Concord and I admire you for that. Many of you are from towns in southern West Virginia where resources have historically been slim but the spirit of the people has been large. I believe that the communities that will be welcoming you, wherever they are, will be fortunate to have you has co-workers and as friends and as citizens.

“You will go away from this place with old but good friends, and we hope that you don’t forget why you came. You entered here to grow in wisdom and in truth, and frankly, if the truth is known, you came here to earn the opportunity for a better job. I ask you to serve your community wherever it will be. Congratulations to each one of you!” concluded Dr. Beasley.

“This is now far from a ‘normal’ school,” noted the Honorable Richard W. Staton, member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, while comparing the University to its historical beginnings. “I know that you are especially proud to be the very first graduates of Concord University. Congratulations! I applaud your ambition and your tenacity. From my own experience, I can tell you this, there is no harm in pushing the limits of your own boundaries and experimenting with your skills to allow your dreams to evolve and change. History has shown us that those who have achieved much have risked even more: Socrates, Da Vinci, Columbus, Lincoln and King. The last 15 years in the legislature have taught me that no matter how much you learn there is so much more to be learned.”

Board of Governors Chair, Margaret J. Sayre, said that, “We hope that the education you received here will make you a more informed person and a better citizen. Isn’t that what education is all about? To enable you to become the person you were meant to be and to find your place in the world. We realize that it has been a great financial struggle for many of you to reach this point and we would be remiss if we didn’t say that we wish it had been easier. But there will be more struggles ahead, financial and otherwise, and hopefully the education you receive here will help you meet those challenges.”

John T. Jessee brought greetings to the candidates for graduation from the University’s Foundation. He said, “Many of you have received scholarships from the Foundation and many faculty have also been assisted by the Foundation in their educational endeavors as well. Please know that everyone in this room is proud of you and proud of your accomplishments. You now have an opportunity to make a difference. I stood on this stage 30 years ago as a would-be actor when I was an undergraduate here, never dreaming there would be a Concord University or a master’s degree program. But this College and University has grown and prospered so dramatically under the leadership of Dr. Beasley.”

Hugh A. Campbell, president of the faculty, told the candidates that, “Your hard work and sacrifices have paid off … take pride in that. Greatness is never in falling, it is in the ability to rise again.”

Beryle Santon, president of the Alumni Association, asked, “Doesn’t that word, alumni, have a nice sound to it? You will be part of a unique community. Be proud of what you have accomplished, and be optimistic about the goals you are preparing to pursue.”

Valedictory addresses were provided by Melody J. Dye from Bancroft and Tonya Leiann Hazelwood from Princeton.

Ms. Dye told her fellow graduates that, “When I graduated from high school, I chose to attend Concord to receive a good education. While here, I really have learned many things that will help me get a good job, and hopefully make a lot of money. I know more about math now than I ever knew existed before, and I feel that Concord has prepared me well to enter the ‘real world.’ But while the time I’ve spent here at Concord has quite often been spent hard at work, finishing homework or studying for some test, it has also been a time of learning life’s other lessons, the ones they never told me I was going to learn.”

Ms. Hazelwood admonished graduates to be proud. In part, she said, “Be Proud. Proud of the hard work and dedication that is required to achieve a goal. Proud of friends and family, of the sacrifices made by parents who work hard to provide good homes with standards and values. Proud of a country in which you are free, even encouraged, to pursue and put to use an education for the fulfillment of your dreams. Proud of the men and women who sacrifice their lives to protect that freedom. And, most of all, be proud of whom God created you to be, and the talents He has given you to fulfill His will.”



August 6, 2004

ATHENS-Brenda Cannon; BLUEFIELD-Tom W Rife; PRINCETON-Robin Eve Gross


December 15, 2004

BLUEFIELD-Donald Alphonso Jones

CEDAR BLUFF, Va.-James E McGee, Jennifer Lynn McGee

PETERSTOWN-Lynda Lilly Lindsey

PICKAWAY-Deborah Lynn Williams


ROCK-Mark Godfrey


UNDERGRADUATE Honor Candidates

December 15, 2004

SUMMA CUM LAUDE: Alyesha Parveez Asghar, Melody Jo Dye, Scott William George, Tonya Leiann Hazelwood, Diana Marie Massey, Susan Reneé Stewart, Derrick Dion Stover

MAGNA CUM LAUDE: Jonathan Derk Alvis, Erin Nicole Blackman, Lorrie Page Broyles, Tammy Louise Buchanan, Patricia Lee Defibaugh, Rebecca Joan Duncan, Susan Lynn Guthrie, Stacy Ann Hobbs, Kristopher Keith Huff, Brett Warren Lilly, April Shavonne Meadows,Laura Shannon Niday, Abigail Lynne Osorio

CUM LAUDE: Thomas Andrew Adkins, Lauren Acord Cox, Jason Allyn Cummings, Matthew Todd Dixon, Robin Nicole Goodman, Stephen David Green, Lindsay Rebekah Haun, Michelle Ruth Keeney, Brandy Lee Kirk, Rebecca Susan Lusk, Matthew Scott McGraw, Stefanie Ann McNeal, Cathy Sue Parsons, Jennifer Ann Pollinger, Amanda Nicole Sammons, Randy Todd Sparks, Miranda JoAnn Tilley, Erin Dale Wimer, Shigeki Yaginuma

HONORS IN MAJOR SUBJECT: David Levi Bragg, Tiffany Eileen Formato, Jonathan D Spencer, Todd Warren Sink, Jessica Lynn Walls


ALEXANDRIA, Va.-John Jason Lam, B.S. Education

ALLEN JUNCTION-Stephanie Michelle Wilcox, B.S. Education

ATHENS-Thomas Andrew Adkins, B.S. Education; Alyesha Parveez Asghar, B.A. Communication Arts; Erin Nicole Blackman, B.S. Business Administration; Susan Lynn Brandon-Guthrie, Bachelor of Arts; Lauren Acord Cox, B.S. Education; Jay Holden Deal, Bachelor of Arts; Teresa Dawn Hampton, Bachelor of Social Work; Lindsey A. Jones, B.S. Education; Angela Renae Lafferty, Bachelor of Social Work; Jonathan Hylton Leavelle, Bachelor of Arts; Stefanie Ann McNeal, B.S. Education; Jessie Nelson, B.S. Education; Cathy Sue Parsons, B.S. Education; Paras Singh Rathor, B.S. Business Administration; Kevin D. Riley, B.S. Computer Information Systems, Sachin P. Sharma, B.S. Business Administration; Delano Charles Sweeney, B.S. Computer Information Systems; Shigeki Yaginuma, B.S. Business Administration and B.S. Computer Information Systems; Miho Yasuda, B.S. Business Administration

BALLARD-Jennifer Ingrid Perrine, Bachelor of Arts; Jonathan David Spencer, B.S. Education; Elizabeth True Upton, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

BANCROFT-Melody J. Dye, Bachelor of Science

BEAVER-Rachel Annette Almond, Bachelor of Arts; Harry Lee Bostic, Bachelor of Social Work; Matthew David Daniel, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management; Nancy Koiner Ellett, B.S. Education; John Robert Greenwald, B.S. Business Administration; April Shavonne Meadows, B.S. Education; Lindsey Marie Noel, B.S. Business Administration

BECKLEY-Lesia Suzanne Bishop, B.S. Business Administration; Tammy Louise Buchanan, B.S. Education; Shaun Duane Clifford, B.S. Business Administration; Kristi Leigh Crouch, B.S. Business Administration; Ashley Lynn Field, Regents Bachelor of Arts; Andrea Franco-Cook, Bachelor of Social Work; Diana Lynn Hambrick, B.S. Education; Stacy Ann Hobbs, B.S. Education; Brandy Lee Kirk, B.S. Business Administration; Angela Nicole Lilly, Bachelor of Arts; Brett Warren Lilly, Bachelor of Science; Barbara Ann Mizell, Bachelor of Social Work; Cassandra Ann Morton, Bachelor of Social Work; Abigail Lynne Osorio, B.S. Business Administration; Amanda Nicole Sammons, B.S. Education; Jonathan David Wall, B.S. Education

BICKMORE-Justin Matthew Holcomb, B.S. Education

BLUE RIDGE, Va.-Zachariah Patrick Graybill, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management

BLUEFIELD, Va.-Dipika Ben, B.S. Business Administration

BLUEFIELD-Laura Shannon Niday, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies

BRADLEY-Timothy Wayne Ransom, Bachelor of Science

BRUCETON MILLS-Jessica Lynn Walls, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management

BHOPAL, India-Ashmita Das, B.S. Business Administration

CALCUTTA, India-Ritesh Seth, B.S. Business Administration

CHARLESTON, Sara Elizabeth Bond, B.S. Business Administration

CHESTERFIELD, Va.-Nicholas James DeRatto, Bachelor of Arts

CINCINNATI, Ohio-Daniel Gerard Fry, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management; Brian Jerome Riesenberg, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies

CLEAR CREEK-Derrick Dion Stover, Bachelor of Science

CLEARFORK-Susan R. Stewart, B.S. Education

COAL CITY-Aaron Nicholas Brakefield, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

CRAB ORCHARD-Melanie Denise Daniels, B.S. Education; Carol Sue Garten, Bachelor of Social Work; Julia Marie Wood, Bachelor of Arts

CRAIGSVILLE-Levi David Bragg, Bachelor of Social Work

CULLODEN-Stephanie Diane Johnson, B.S. Education

CYCLONE-Michael Ryan Lusk, B.S. Business Administration

DANIELS-Michael Lee Prince, B.S. Education

ELKINS-David Jeremy Howell, B.S. Business Administration

FAYETTEVILLE-Jason W. Castle, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies; Mary Elizabeth Dilley, B.S. Business Administration; Scott William George, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management

FORT GAY-Jennifer Ann Pollinger, B.S. Education

GHENT-Anthony Douglas Shrewsberry, Bachelor of Arts

GLEN ROGERS-Justin Lloyd Lafferty, B.S. Education

GRANSTSVILLE-Sarah Rebecca Hall, Bachelor of Social Work

GREENVILLE-Eric Edward Widdoes, B.S. Education

HAGERSTOWN, Md.-Eryn Danielle Roles, Bachelor of Arts

HERNDON-Candace Marie Nelson, Bachelor of Arts

HILLSBORO-Erin Dale Wimer, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management

HINTON-Jessica Ann Cales, B.S. Education; Matthew Scott McGraw, B.S. Business Administration; Jacquelyn Lee Persinger, B.S. Education; Allison Denise Sears, Bachelor of Social Work

JESSE-Kristy Beth Justice, Regents Bachelor of Arts; Gwendolen M. Lyons, B.S. Education

LASHMEET-Todd Warren Sink, Bachelor of Arts

LERONA-Christine Louise Fizer, B.S. Education; Joshua Brand Hitt, B.S. Education and Bachelor of Science

LEWISBURG-Patricia Lee Defibaugh, B.S. Education

LINDSIDE-Krisha Ann Kees, B.S. Education

MABSCOTT-Emily Caroline Bachelor, Bachelor of Arts

MADISON, Va.-Christopher Shelly Tolliver, B.S. Education

MANASSAS, Va.-Rory A. Howell, Regents Bachelor of Arts

MECHANICSVILLE, Va.-Lloyd Beale Bradley, B.S. Business Administration

OAK HILL- Gregory A. Jordan, B.S. Education; Michelle Ruth Keeney, B.S. Education; John William Puckett III, Bachelor of Arts; Barbara Lynn Smith, B.S. Education

OCEANA-Joshua Matthew Hopkins, B.S. Education; Rebecca Susan Lusk, B.S. Education; Diana Marie Massey, B.S. Education

ODD-Wanda Kay Wood, Bachelor of Arts

PARKERSBURG-Keith Allen Dickerson, B.S. Computer Information Systems; Tifiny Rae Sprouse, B.S. Education

PETERSTOWN-Lorrie Page Broyles, B.S. Education and Bachelor of Arts

PHILIPPI-Eric Grayden Wolfe, B.S. Computer Information Systems

PINEVILLE-Rhonnie Christopher Clay, B.S. Business Administration; Lindsay Brooke Hudgins, B.S. Education; Miranda JoAnn Tilley, B.S. Education

PIPESTEM-Melanie Dawn Shrader, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management

PORTSMOUTH, Va.-Jason Allyn Cummings, Bachelor of Arts

PRINCETON-Scarlet Lynn Abdelwahed, Regents Bachelor of Arts; Randa Bahmed Al-Andari, B.S. Business Administration; Jonathan Derk Alvis, B.S. Education; Lori Beth Bennett, Bachelor of Arts; Mary Elizabeth Burks, B.S. Business Administration; Jennifer Leslie Cole, Bachelor of Arts; Rebecca Joan Duncan, Bachelor of Arts; Tiffany Eileen Formato, Bachelor of Arts; Robin Nicole Goodman, B.S. Business Administration; Lindsay Rebekah Haun, B.S. Education; Tonya Leiann Hazelwood, B.S. Business Administration; Christina Michelle Hollins, Regents Bachelor of Arts; Lisa Kay Hopkins, B.S. Education; William Ernest Horton, B.S. Education; Teresa Gail Massaro, B.S. Business Administration; Jaclyn Nicole Miller, B.S. Education; Randy Todd Sparks, B.S. Education; Melissa Edda Wimmer, B.S. Business Administration; Amber Lea Wyrick, B.A. Communication Arts; Staci Lyn Yontz, Bachelor of Social Work

RINGGOLD, Va.-Phillip Edward Pratt, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies

ROANOKE, Va.-Matthew Albert Zawacki, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

RODERFIELD-Stephen David Green, B.S. Computer Information Systems

RONCEVERTE-Holly Alison Cash, B.S. Education

SAITAMA, Japan-Fumika Nakamura, B.S. Business Administration

SHADY SPRING-Kristopher Keith Huff, B.S. Computer Information Systems; Antoinette Marie Lyons, Regents Bachelor of Arts

SINKS GROVE-Melissa Diane Bostic, B.S. Education

SOPHIA-Antoinette Marie Lewis, B.A. Communication Arts

SOUTH CHARLESTON-Kimberly Jill White, Bachelor of Arts

SPANISHBURG-Beverly James Maxwell, Regents Bachelor of Arts; Michael Charles Ray, Bachelor of Arts

STEPHENS CITY, Va.-Charlene Jean Frias, B.S. Education

STERLING, Va.-Sarah Elizabeth Barnes, Bachelor of Arts; Stephen Ashley Barnes, Bachelor of Arts

SUNSET, S.C.-Sandra Bethany Smith, B.S. Education

TALCOTT-Nathan Lee Smith, B.S. Education

UNION-Matthew Todd Dixon, B.S. Education; Judith Ann Mustain, B.S. Education; Julia Ann Shiflet, B.S. Education

WALLBACK-Shannon Dawn McLaughlin, B.S. Education

WARRIORMINE-Christina Marie Ray, Bachelor of Arts

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS-Kish Michael Justice, Bachelor of Science

WINCHESTER, Va.-Brian Davis Atkins, B.S. Recreation and Tourism Management

WOLF CREEK-Darilyn Rene' Croy, Regents Bachelor of Arts

WYCO-Earnest Eugene Horn, B.A. Communication Arts; Kristy Lynn Perdue, B.S. Business Administration

WYTHEVILLE, Va.- Lisa Marie Wilkins, B.S. Education


PHOTO: Six of the 10 Master’s recipients gather in the H.C. Paul Theater prior to Commencement. Ms. Robin Eve Gross (next to last) from Princeton was the first across the stage to receive her Master of Education degree.