Fund For Concord Dinner Slated For Tuesday, October 11

For Immediate Release: 
Sep 08 2005

Fund For Concord Dinner Slated For Tuesday, October 11

Athens, W.Va. – The 2005 Fund for Concord Dinner is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, October 11 and will be held at Embassy Suites, in Charleston. The purpose is to raise money for scholarships for Concord University students.

Keynote speaker for the event will be Steven F. Leer, president and CEO of Arch Coal, Inc.

Leer has served as the president and chief executive officer of Arch Coal, Inc. since the company was formed in July 1997. Arch Coal is the nation’s second largest coal company, with approximately 140 million tons of annual coal production. Prior to the formation of Arch Coal, Leer served as president and chief executive officer of Arch Mineral Corporation, one of Arch Coal’s predecessor companies. Leer has also held executive management positions with The Valvoline Company (a subsidiary of Ashland, Inc.), Ashland, Inc. and Ashland Coal, Inc.

A native of Vermillion, S.D., Leer graduated from the University of the Pacific with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1975. He received his MBA from Washington University’s Olin School of Business in 1977. The University of the Pacific awarded him an honorary doctorate in May 1993.

In addition to his executive and board responsibilities with Arch Coal, Leer serves on the boards of Norfolk Southern Corporation, the Western Business Roundtable and the Mineral Information Institute. He is a member of The Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers. Leer is past chairman and continues to serve on the Boards of the Center for Energy and Economic Development, the National Coal Council, and the National Mining Association. He is an American delegate to the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency in Paris. He is also the District Chairman of the New Horizons District, Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Leer is married to the former Beverly Uhl. They reside with their son, Scott, in suburban St. Louis County, Missouri.

“'Coal keeps the lights on!’ And this year it will also keep the lamp of learning burning for the beneficiaries of Concord's scholarship program,” said Dr. Jerry Beasley, president of the University.

“The dinner will provide all who attend the opportunity to hear about coal's contribution to our nation's quest for energy independence. It will give our students the rare opportunity to measure themselves beside a remarkable business leader and to learn something about what is required to succeed in international competition. I believe that we will all come away from the gathering with a deeper understanding of the need for global vision. I believe that Mr. Leer has much to say that merits our careful attention,” Beasley stated.

David Lewis, a student from Chapmanville, will also speak about the role that scholarships played in allowing him to pursue higher education. He is a graduate of Beth Haven Christian Academy where he was the valedictorian and class president. He is a pre-professional biology major at Concord, and a graduate of the Students of Excellence Summer Academy. He also recently returned from South Africa where he was a part of a medical team focusing on the AIDS pandemic. He is the son of Dennis and Dorothy Lewis.

“I am honored to be invited to address such an important gathering of Concord’s family and supporters, but the real honor goes to those who contribute their time and their resources to Concord’s work of providing a higher education to the all-to-often disadvantaged people of West Virginia,” Lewis said.

This is the seventh annual dinner to be held in Charleston. “The Fund for Concord Dinner is important because it is one of the Foundation's biggest fundraisers during the year. It is also important to raise Concord's awareness in the Kanawha Valley, not only for raising funds from the Kanawha Valley, but to increase Concord's enrollment from this area,” said David Kirby, chair of the planning committee.

Proceeds from the dinner will fund student scholarships at Concord University, where 90 percent of freshmen receive some level of financial support. Fifty-five percent of Concord’s students are in the first generation of their families to go to a college or university.

The evening begins with a general reception at 6 p.m. in the area outside of the Grand Ballroom with dinner to follow at 7 p.m. Tickets are $125 for individuals. Tables for up to 10 persons are available for $10,000, $5,000, $2,500 and $1,250.

“We continue to be grateful to members of the Charleston dinner committee for their astounding record of bringing business leaders whose insights are timely and relevant to the affairs of our state,” Beasley concluded.

For more information, contact David Kirby at 1-304-340-2949 or Sarah Dalton at 1-800-344-6679, extension 6056, or 1-304-384-6056 or


PHOTO: Arch Coal President and CEO Stephen F. Leer

Jesse Call, a junior majoring in political science and history, wrote this press release. His hometown is Pocahontas, Va.