Concord University Dining Hall Dedicated to Libby Alvis
Athens, W.Va. – The Concord University Dining Hall was dedicated to Elisabeth “Libby” Alvis on May 5, 2008. Libby has worked in the Concord cafeteria for more than 50 years and has been known and loved by countless students, faculty and staff over the years. A plaque with a photo of Libby and her brief biography was presented to her; it will soon be mounted on the wall by the entrance at the dining hall.
At the dedication ceremony, Marshall Campbell, Director of the Student Center, remarked, “We gather here to honor a very special person, someone who is great - great because not only has she worked here for nearly 50 years, but each and every day, her greatness has come through in the way she has handled all of us and all the students. Greatness is the way you treat people day in and out, minute by minute.”
Jessica Cook, president of the Student Government Association, said that Libby Alvis has been “a cornerstone in the Concord community for so long.” She said to Libby, “Your personality has enriched our campus for many years. You deserve the recognition from the Board of Governors, but please remember that you always have the eternal gratitude of the students as well.”
Randy Keaton, director of Dining Services at Concord, said, “Over the years, I’ve never met anybody who has made such an impact on so many people here as Libby has. People who graduated twenty years ago will still ask, ‘How’s Libby?’ and I think that speaks volumes to the kind of loving and caring person Libby really is.” Libby, as an employee, demonstrates a work ethic that is very seldom seen this day in time, and as a person, Libby has become the grandmother I’ve never had.”
Libby gave an emotional response to the crowd who gathered to honor her. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of working here; it seems like it’s my second home,” she said with gratitude.
Ms. Libby Alvis began working in the food services division of Concord University on October 16, 1957, and, as of the date of the dedication of this Dining Hall in her name, has worked at Concord for nearly half a century. In that time, she has been one of the most recognizable, memorable, and loveable people on campus.
Originally from Hungary, her family escaped to Germany on a cattle train at the end of World War II in 1946 because her grandparents did not want her to grow up under Russian communism. She was twelve at the time. She spent her teenage years in Germany. There, she met her husband, Bob, who was an American soldier from Athens, W.Va. They married in 1953, when she was 19 years old, moved to West Virginia, and raised a family.
Often referred to as Concord’s unofficial ambassador, she counts many students, faculty, staff and alumni as her friends. Day after day, she has shown her love and dedication to the students. She befriended and counseled them; often practicing “tough love” when an occasional student misbehaved or made poor choices.
At the end of the dedication ceremony, Dr. Jerry Beasley, President of Concord University, said, “Over the 20 plus years that I’ve been here, I hardly encounter an alum who comes back whose first question is not, ‘Is Libby still here?’ I think that you made that dining hall like a living room, like a kitchen, like a home for countless students, and that you see your sons and daughters here. Today, in dedicating the dining hall, in a way we’re saying ‘thank you’ to you, but it’s a reminder to us of what is really important, and that all of us, like Libby, are called to put our hands on someone’s shoulder, and use every opportunity we have and tell them that they matter, and Libby has done that for a long, long, long time.”
PHOTOS: Ms. Libby Alvis
Corrie McKee, a senior majoring in English and journalism, wrote this news release. Her hometown is Nitro.