University News
For Immediate Release: 
Feb 01 2010

CONTACT: Greg Quick
Concord University FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Interim Vice President for Advancement February 2, 2010
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
Office: (304) 384-5318 - advancement@concord.edu

Concord Charlie Makes Annual Weather Forecast

ATHENS – It’s official. Area residents can expect an early spring.

That’s the word from Concord Charlie, Concord University’s groundhog prognosticator. The announcement was made during Concord University’s 32nd Annual Groundhog Day Breakfast held Feb. 2 in the Jerry L. Beasley Student Center Ballroom.

The famed groundhog’s annual weather forecast was delivered by Concord University
Interim Vice President for Advancement Greg Quick.

“He did not see his shadow. Spring is impending and it will be coming fast,” Quick announced to the breakfast guests who responded with a round of applause.

During a morning known for fun and folklore, Quick passed on Charlie’s message after the Concord burrow-dweller had “spoken” to his Pennsylvania counterpart Punxsutawney Phil
via Quick’s BlackBerry.

According to Groundhog Day tradition, if the groundhog sees his shadow the morning of Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter can be expected. An early spring will be on the way if he doesn’t see his shadow.
Concord Charlie shared the spotlight with Grand Groundhog Watcher Beverly Wellman. Wellman recently retired as executive director of the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“The Grand Groundhog Watcher honor is bestowed upon an individual who has positively impacted life and culture in West Virginia,” Quick said introducing the guest speaker. “Wellman has been a leader in promoting tourism statewide. She served as executive director of the Mercer County CVB from 1994 to 2009 and is currently executive director of the West Virginia Association of CVB’s.

“She was named West Virginia Tourism Professional of the Year in 2005 and Princeton-Mercer County Citizen of the Year in 2005. She served as president of the West Virginia Association of CVB’s from 2004 to 2007,” he said.

Getting into the spirit of the day, Wellman shared details of her attempts to “visit” with Concord Charlie.

“He’s downright reclusive,” she said holding up a sign from Charlie with “Go Away” printed on it.

When she used her “trusty binoculars” to try to see the furry fellow, she ended up focusing on the campus.

“Concord is a beautiful, beautiful, campus. I guess that’s why they call it ‘Campus Beautiful,’ ” Wellman said.

“The students are very serious, very dedicated,” she said. “This is a wonderful school and these are the things that need to be recorded today.”

The Concord Charlie tradition was originated in 1978 by the late Professor R.T. “Tom” Hill. As chairman of both the geography department and the Appalachian Studies program at Concord, he started the Groundhog Day Breakfast as a means to celebrate a bit of Appalachian heritage and highlight the program.


Honored guest…

Beverly Wellman, recently retired executive director of the Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau, is the Grand Groundhog Watcher for Concord University’s 32nd Annual Groundhog Day Breakfast.


Concord tradition…

Greg Quick, Concord University interim vice president for advancement, welcomes guests to Concord University’s 32nd Annual Groundhog Day Breakfast.

PO BOX 1000, VERMILLION ST., ATHENS, WV 24712.