Fall Commencement Held at Concord College
Athens, W.Va. - The Main Theater of the Alexander Fine Arts Center was filled to capacity as a well-behaved audience of parents, spouses, friends, and supporters cheered for the accomplishments of the fall class of 2002 during Concord College’s Fourth Fall Commencement.
Seventy candidates for graduation, out of the 110 who applied, enjoyed light refreshments in the lobby of the Alexander Fine Arts Center after the ceremony. Overflow seating was provided in an adjacent classroom and the College broadcast the ceremony on its web site for those who were unable to attend.
“I believe that any employers … and communities who are fortunate enough to attract you will be blessed,” stated Concord President Jerry Beasley. “Don’t forget from whence you’ve come because you are always welcome on this campus.”
“As a Concord alumna, I can think of no greater honor than to share a brief moment in time with prospective leaders of West Virginia,” stated The Honorable Anita Skeens-Caldwell, Member of the West Virginia Senate, as she brought greetings from the State of West Virginia.
“To your ‘relieved’ and grateful family and friends,” chuckled Concord College Board of Governors President James M. Brown, “I bring you greetings from the Board of Governors of Concord College. It is said that education is the process by which people acquire knowledge, skills and values. Ideally, education should help people live more satisfying and productive lives, enabling people to be better members of society and workers in our economy. As you pursue your chosen careers in this world, we hope you prosper and succeed and give back to your society some small measure of what you have received.”
“I would like to offer the thanks of the faculty,” stated President of the Faculty Charles H. Brichford. “Concord’s faculty is diverse, but we have in common an enthusiasm for learning.
“Employers do not hire ‘degree’s’ nor do they hire skills … they hire people and for a number of reasons they like to hire educated people, by which I mean people who are informed about a variety of subjects and are able think critically about problems. There’s a price to be paid for this kind of employability. It requires personal transformation into an informed, critically-thinking human being and that is not an easy life to lead. It will drive you to continue to learn for the rest of your life. You will never ‘complete’ your education.”
“Wherever you go, whatever you do … please keep us informed,” asked President of the Concord College Alumni Association Beryle Santon. “We, as alumni, are indeed a lucky group of people. I want to leave you with a few words from Dr. Seuss, who was writing for ‘upstarts’ of any age, in a book called Oh, the Places You Will Go, where he addresses the great balancing act of life with encouragement. ‘And will you succeed?’ he asks. ‘Yes you will indeed. Ninety and three fourths percent guaranteed.’”
Sarah Richmond from Shady Spring, West Virginia, was the Valedictory to the College. She said, “I feel certain that no matter what your situation, Concord College has helped you become better prepared in one way or another. Be it through helping you obtain job skills, people skills, the knowledge needed to continue your education, or simply the ability to think critically about the world around you and make educated decisions about any issue.”
Professor of Music Jane W. Smith and Assistant Professor of Music William M. Folger entertained guests with special selections of piano music played with “four hands,” and Assistant Professor of English Paul J. Kane provided the invocation and benediction.
Carolyn Fluharty Cox presented diplomas to the graduates.
Photo: Valedictorian Sarah Richmond listens to President Jerry Beasley as he welcomes the fall class of 2002