Concord University held its 17th Annual Fall Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 12, in the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center.
Graduate and undergraduate candidates meeting requirements for graduation in December 2015 participated. Area graduates were: Greta Kuster Davis, Lewisburg, Regents Bachelor of Arts; Karen Renee Mullins, Lewisburg, Bachelor of Arts; and Breanna Nicole Rider, Rainelle, Bachelor of Science in Education.
Along with candidates for graduation from West Virginia, candidates from out-of-state represent: Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and Michigan. International students representing Japan, Nepal, Mauritania and Brazil are also among the candidates for graduation. The Fall 2015 class includes five veterans. Valedictorian for the Fall 2015 class is Amber Nicole Lynn Jessee of Princeton, WV. Jessee received a Bachelor of Science in Education, summa cum laude. Her majors are Elementary Education (K-6) and Early Childhood Special Education (PreK-K).
Two honorary degrees were presented during the ceremony. Arthur J. “Pete” Ballard of Peterstown received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa. Ballard graduated from Concord in 1953 and has achieved acclaim as an artist and an educator. He has received numerous honors during his career including recognition from the state of West Virginia.
An Honorary Doctorate of Humanities, honoris causa was presented posthumously to James D. “Jim” Connolly. A resident of Princeton, WV, Connolly founded Conn-Weld Industries, growing the business into a successful international venture. He established a scholarship at Concord which has helped area students attain a college education and was a dedicated leader in the community.
R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, served as keynote speaker.
Greetings from the United States Senate were delivered by Mike Browning, regional coordinator, on behalf of the Honorable Joe Manchin, III. Jordan Maynor, field representative, brought greetings from the United States House of Representatives on behalf of U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins. Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, offered greetings from the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts. West Virginia Senate President William “Bill” Cole delivered greetings from the West Virginia Senate.
The Concord University Band and the ConChords provided musical selections prior to and during the program. A reception was held in the Carter Center small gym following the ceremony.
Concord University’s Technology Services Department recorded the commencement ceremony. DVDs may be purchased for $20 each and may be ordered by calling 304-384-5126. DVDs will be shipped within four to six weeks of commencement.