Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | December 2021
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
A Brief But Meaningful Stay
How do you measure the impact of a person?

Is it in their deeds? Their actions? What they aspire to?

If those are the criteria for judging the impact that Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert has had on Marshall University, we think it is safe to say that he has made quite a lasting impression.

President Gilbert announced on April 28 that he would be stepping down as President of Marshall University. Dr. Gilbert has served faithfully as the 37th president of this great institution for six years. During his tenure, the university has greatly increased its national profile and research funding through its R2 Research Designation status, and has seen the addition of new areas of study such as biomedical engineering, aviation, physician assistant and specialty agriculture. He has also been at the forefront of leading the charge for inclusion and diversity on campus.

We believe an enduring element of his legacy has been and will be his invaluable oversight of Marshall's largest and most ambitious comprehensive campaign, Marshall Rises. The success of this campaign assures Dr. Gilbert's legacy will live on in perpetuity as innovative facilities and academic programs come to our campus, propelling Marshall University into the future.

On behalf of the MU Office of Alumni Relations, Alumni Association and our national Board of Directors, we thank President Gilbert for his inspirational leadership and invaluable contributions to our alma mater and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

From all of us in the Office of Alumni Relations and the Marshall University Alumni Association, we thank President Gilbert for his guidance and leadership over these past few years.

MU Office of Alumni Relations
Groundbreaking ceremony held for Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation
Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Nov. 10 for the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation in the 1400 block of 4th Avenue in Huntington. The facility is expected to open for students in the spring semester of 2024.

Featured speakers included Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert; Interim Provost and Former Marshall Business Dean Avinandan “Avi” Mukherjee; and Marshall President-elect Brad D. Smith, former CEO of Intuit and a Marshall graduate and benefactor. Smith and his wife, Alys, donated $25 million in 2018 to the Lewis College of Business, helping to make the vision of the new facility a reality. It marked one of the top three gifts to Marshall University in its history.

Other guests at the event included representatives from Marshall’s Board of Governors and the College of Business Advisory Board, as well as Fairmount Properties, the development company leading the project, and architecture firm Perkins Eastman of Pittsburgh.

51st Memorial Fountain Ceremony
Member of Young Thundering Herd speaks at ceremony
On a rainy night on Nov. 14, 1970, the Huntington community was forever changed. Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed into a hillside as it approached Tri-State Airport with 75 Thundering Herd teammates, coaches, staff, supporters and flight crew members on board. To this day, the accident remains the worst sports tragedy in American history.

Mark Miller’s life has never been the same. At the time, he was a freshman on the team, who did not travel with the varsity players. On Sunday, Nov. 14, he shared how the crash affected his life then and now.

“As an 18-year-old, I struggled with the reality of what occurred and why did this have to happen,” Miller said. “Initially, I experienced survivor’s guilt, overwhelming sadness and feelings of inadequacy.”

Herd Holiday

It was an evening to remember on Dec. 2 as members of the Marshall community gathered for a night of fun during the annual Herd Holiday on the Marshall campus.

Herd Holiday featured dozens of activities for Herd fans of all ages including a photo booth with Santa Marco, snack stations, ornament decorations, performances by local dance groups and musicians and the lighting of the campus Christmas tree!
Marshall to face Louisiana in New Orleans Bowl

Marshall Football will face Louisiana in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 9:15 p.m. ET/8:15 CT. The game will be played in the Caesars Superdome and will be televised on ESPN.

Tickets can be purchased through the Marshall Ticket Office by clicking here. Purchasing tickets through Marshall Athletics directly benefits the department financially. All Herd fans wishing to sit in the Marshall sections should purchase through the Marshall Ticket Office online via HerdZone or by calling 800-THE-HERD during normal office hours (M-F, 9-4).

Marshall (7-5) enters the 2021 bowl season featuring a .750 winning percentage (12-4) in all NCAA-sanctioned bowl games, the highest mark nationally among programs that have made at least seven appearances.

University honors Ted Wilson with memorial bench outside Memorial Student Center Plaza

The Marshall University alumni family lost a dear friend earlier this year with the passing of Theodore “Ted” Wilson.

Wilson, a longtime member of the Marshall University Alumni Association Board of Directors and a Big Green member, died peacefully on Aug. 10, 2021 in Huntington, West Virginia, at the age of 75.

In addition to being an avid supporter of Marshall, Wilson is perhaps best known for his involvement and leadership of the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Golf Tournament, which raised more than $100,000 for Marshall University student athletes. Wilson made it a goal to ensure that those lost in the November 14, 1970, plane crash were not forgotten.

Prior to this year’s Memorial Fountain Ceremony, Wilson was honored by the university with a memorial bench on the Huntington campus located just outside the Memorial Student Center Plaza.
Marshall's Day at the Capitol returns
in February with trip to Charleston
After a year away due to the pandemic, Marshall University will again be returning to Charleston, West Virginia, for its annual Marshall University Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022.

The event presents a unique opportunity for the campus community to showcase its achievements, while highlighting programs, organizations and leaders who are making a difference at Marshall University.

The day-long event includes display tables from each of Marshall's colleges, plus new and expanding programs at the university, and tables for key organizations at Marshall including the Student Government Association and the Marshall University Alumni Association.

In addition to information tables, Marshall Day at the Capitol also features resolutions read in the House and Senate chambers, plus special appearances by the John Marshall Fife and Drum Corps, university mascot Marco, campus leadership, athletics and much more.
Marshall baseball legend Jack Cook passes
Legendary Marshall baseball coach Jack Cook passed away on Nov. 24 at his home in Huntington.

Cook, a 1994 Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, was the department's winningest coach, tallying 422 career triumphs.

Cook guided the Thundering Herd to two NCAA tournaments (1973, 1978), with Marshall coming within one win of the College World Series in the latter. That season, the Thundering Herd won the Southern Conference and defeated Florida State and Clemson in the NCAA Tournament. Following the campaign. Marshall rose as high as 14th in the national polls, before finishing at 17th. For his efforts, Cook earned conference and region Coach of the Year honors and was a finalist for national Coach of the Year.

The Herd's skipper also led the program to a share of the 1981 conference title and, again, earned the league's Coach of the Year honor in 1989.

Alumni Spotlight:
T.C. Clemons

Teachers: The Window Always Left Open
Work through a pandemic? Check. Navigate online classrooms? Check. Stay focused and dedicated to a job you love? Also check. It’s no surprise that teachers have shouldered a lot of weight through the pandemic and it’s impressive still to see them shine and stay inspirational for their students day after day. Yet one local teacher continues to do so, and her demeanor, reach and story are all truly inspiring.

If you’ve been around the Cabell County Schools system for any amount of time, you probably know Mrs. T.C. Her joy is contagious and her passion for caring for young people is unmatched. 

Mrs. T.C., or T.C. Clemons, has spent the last 43 years teaching and the last 27 years growing and shaping young minds in Cabell County Schools.

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
What We Are Thankful For
During the month of November, we celebrated what we were most thankful for at the Marshall University Alumni Association during our Five Days of #MarshallUThanks. Below are the highlights of our list!

Our Alumni

We can because We Are...Marshall. Thanks to your generosity, devotion and passion for Marshall, the university has seen tremendous growth, placing us on the fast track for success in 2022 and beyond. For that, all of us at the Marshall University Alumni Association and Marshall University Foundation say thank you for all that you do for Marshall. Go Herd!

The Thundering Herd

We will all remember where we were when Marshall University earned its first Division 1 national championship when the Thundering Herd men's soccer team claimed the College Cup crown in March. Since then, the Thundering Herd has excelled on and off the field of play in a number of sports and will be searching for glory in an all-new conference in the next couple of years as Marshall joins the Sun Belt Conference.

President Jerry Gilbert

President Jerome A. Gilbert has faithfully served as the 37th president of this great institution for five years. During his tenure, the university has greatly increased its national profile and research funding, and has overseen the additions of new and cutting-edge programs. He has also been at the forefront of leading the charge for inclusion and diversity on campus. Above all, he has championed the students and alumni of Marshall. We wish him nothing but the best!

A Growing University

Marshall is a university on the move! From a new president, to a new athletic conference, cutting-edge new programs, to state-of-the-art facilities, Marshall is on an upward trajectory. Just this past year we have seen the groundbreaking for the new Brad D. Smith Schools of Business, welcomed the first class to the Bill Noe Flight School, and saw growth all across campus.


Each year, thousands of students are directly impacted by scholarship support thanks to generous alumni and supporters of Marshall University. In fact, more than 2,400 awards were presented to more than 1,800 students totaling in excess of $5.2 million in the past academic year.
Alumni Chapters Making a Difference!
We love seeing the generosity of our alumni chapters year round!

In honor of Giving Tuesday this year, the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky chapter collected hats and gloves for their local homeless shelter. Let's continue celebrate the season by taking care of each other in big and small ways. Want to connect to a chapter in your area? Visit to find one!

Pictured in the photo is Donna Brumfield, president of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter, presenting the hats and gloves to Natalie Enders, Development and Marketing Coordinator at the Welcome House in Covington, Kentucky.
Southern Coalfields Alumni and Big Green Chapter
Auction & Holiday Market Underway For Scholarships
The Marshall University Southern Coalfields Alumni & Big Green Chapter is currently holding an online auction and holiday market to benefit scholarship funds! Anyone can bid on items or give a cash donation at the link below.

What began as a tradition at Marshall University in May 1986 has been carried forward for the past three decades.

The Grand Mace is carried by the Chief Marshal of the faculty at all formal university occasions and is displayed on the platform during these functions. It was carved out of a fallen limb from the famous Old Beech Tree that stood in front of Old Main.
Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Bill Noe Flight School receives drones and equipment from Metatron Unmanned Solutions
Marshall University has announced the receipt of five commercial-grade drones provided courtesy of West Virginia-based Metatron Unmanned Solutions for use as part of the growing curriculum in Marshall’s Bill Noe Flight School, part of the Division of Aviation.

The drones and accompanying equipment, valued at more than $93,000, are part of a long-term strategy by Marshall’s Division of Aviation to continue to grow the program into the future.

It's not too late to make a QCD this year

Did you know that if you’re 70 ½ or older you pay no income tax on a gift directly from your traditional IRA to the Marshall University Foundation, Inc.? This is called the IRA charitable rollover or qualified charitable distribution (QCD). You can transfer a total of up to $100,000 directly from your traditional IRA to the Marshall University Foundation, Inc., plus, if you are 72 or older this gift will count towards your required minimum contribution.

Most importantly, your gift will make a difference for current and future sons and daughters of Marshall in helping them reach their educational goals.

Your gift must be received by Dec. 31 to qualify for this year.

Marshall Rises is the university’s largest fundraising effort to date. The comprehensive campaign includes five pillars where support is most needed:

1. Enhancing the Student Experience
2. Expanding Academics and Growing our Reputation
3. Creating an Environment of Innovative Learning
4. Forming a Foundation of Research and Creative Discovery
5. Deepening Community Partnerships

In November 2021, 519 donors made 797 gifts towards the five pillars as we continue to exceed our goal of $150 million!

Donor Spotlight:
Sandra Frame
Being a first-generation college student, Sandra Frame was fine going in without any blueprint to follow. She loved school and learning, and dove headfirst into college life at Marshall University.

But what she wasn't prepared for was the new communication barrier between her and her parents.

Students receive Take Back Our Health West Virginia fellowships

Two Marshall University students have been selected to receive fellowships from Take Back Our Health West Virginia. (TBOHWV).

Mandy Harper, a current student in the Master in Public Health program, and Osasenaga Benjy-Osarenkhoe, a Marshall University Medical School student, are the recipients of the fellowship and will receive $1,000 to help further their research. Harper’s research will focus on bringing healthy food options to citizens of West Virginia and helping to change policies around food options. Benjy-Osarenkhoe’s project will examine combatting obesity among African Americans in rural areas of Kanawha County, West Virginia, through accessible, sustainable and compliable health policies.

Student, faculty member present research to NASA space research conference

Autumn Pennington, an undergraduate exercise science student at Marshall University, and her faculty advisor, Dr. Kumika Toma, presented their research to the NASA American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) conference in Baltimore earlier this month.

Pennington’s study, titled “Sex, Age, and Exercise Effects on Bone Density and Muscle Mass in Rats,” received a score of 38 out of 40 from the judges presiding over the conference presentations. Pennington presented a part of her research exploring the differences between male and female rats in terms of how exercise affects their bone density and muscle mass.

2022 Power of Performance awards presented at annual conference

Seven recipients were recently honored with Power of Performance Awards for their efforts to change lives, put people to work or revitalize their communities. The awards were presented during the 2021 “Small Communities, BIG Solutions” conference, which showcased West Virginia successes and highlighted what is working across the Mountain State’s 21 most Southern counties.

The conference, which is organized by the Alliance for Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, housed in the Marshall University Research Corporation, West Virginia Community Development Hub and Coalfield Development, took place on a virtual platform Nov. 15-18.

Murphy to have set designs on exhibit in 2022 World Stage Design Exhibition and ScenoFest

Mike Murphy (pictured), professor and technical director in Marshall University’s School of Theatre and Dance, has been chosen to exhibit his scenic designs in the 2022 World Stage Design Exhibition and ScenoFest to be held in Calgary, Alberta, in Canada.

World Stage Design (WSD) showcases and celebrates performance design from individual designers. Held every four years, WSD has now traveled to four cities: Toronto, Canada; Seoul, South Korea; Cardiff, Wales; and Taipei, Taiwan. The fifth WSD exhibition will be held Aug. 6-16, 2022, in Calgary.

MU PerksConnect

The Marshall University Alumni Association is excited to offer a brand new perks program available to all alumni of Marshall University called MU PerksConnect!

The MU PerksConnect portal opens alumni up to a bounty of savings on a variety of offerings, both locally and nationally. Simply register your free account at and immediately start saving on everything from food to travel. MU PerksConnect will use your location to bring you specific savings at stores, restaurants, and more where you live, or visit the national deals to find savings on travel, theme park and event tickets, and much more!

The MU PerksConnect portal also offers handy access to insurance benefits for auto, home and pet and long-term care resources.

If you want to save even more, you can sign up for a free cash back program called Koiyn! Koiyn provides cash back offers at places you already love. Cash back offers are tied directly to your card from participating popular national brands, plus your favorite regional and local retailers too!

Sign up for MU PerksConnect today and start saving!
One of the Herd Podcast

Hey Herd fans, listen up!

The Marshall University Alumni Association has officially unveiled One of the Herd, the official podcast of the MUAA featuring news, updates and alumni interviews!

Do you know an alum that would be a great guest on our show? Let us know at and stay tuned for more information about how to listen!

CLICK HERE to listen!
Submit Your
Content Today!
Have something you would like included in an upcoming issue of the Sons & Daughters alumni newsletter or an upcoming Marshall Magazine?

Please send your updates and content to
519 John Marshall Drive,
Huntington, WV 25703