Sons & Daughters

Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | June 2022
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
A New Adventure
In the May edition of the Marshall University alumni newsletter, we talked about the excitement of welcoming new graduates to the #MarshallUFamily.

This month, we shift our focus to another group of students on the opposite end of the student spectrum - those just beginning their Marshall journey.

Throughout the months of June, July and August, incoming freshmen will travel to Huntington for weeklong New Student Orientation sessions. At these events, new students will have an opportunity to explore campus for the very first time, while also scheduling their classes, getting their student ID and learning about the resources available to them.

We here at the Marshall University Alumni Association and Marshall University Foundation use these special days as an opportunity to help greet these students, teach them a little about what being a Herd Alum is all about and even have a little fun. Each day we will be taking photos of students and their families by the Memorial Fountain and we will also be offering them an opportunity to sign their class banner.

Join us in welcoming the newest sons and daughters of Marshall to campus and be sure to visit our social media accounts @MarshallUAlumni and @MarshallUGive for photos and updates from these sessions.

Enjoy reading this edition of Sons & Daughters. GO HERD!

MU Office of Alumni Relations
Marshall welcomes new leaders
Stroud appointed general counsel
H. Toney Stroud, an accomplished attorney with more than 24 years of experience in complex compliance and regulatory issues, has been appointed general counsel for Marshall University following a national search.

In his role, Stroud will serve as the university’s chief legal officer, advising senior administrators, faculty and staff members, and the institution’s Board of Governors on a wide range of legal and strategic matters. He will report directly to President Brad D. Smith and serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet. The appointment is effective June 20.

Simms named VP for intercultural and student affairs
Marshall University President Brad D. Smith announced that Dr. Marcie Simms will serve as the university’s next vice president for intercultural and student affairs, effective July 5.

Simms is currently the dean of students at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Simms completed her undergraduate work at Marshall, earned a master’s degree at Eastern Kentucky University and graduated from Marshall with her doctorate in education. A native of Cabell County, Simms has served at Florida State University and EKU, in addition to her time at Shawnee State.

Community Cares Week
Dates added, last call to participate!

“How can I help?” That has been the most commonly asked question of President Brad D. Smith during his first semester in office.

In response to this generous offer to assist, Marshall University is excited to announce Community Cares Week: Giving Back to the Herd, slated for June 20-25 on Marshall’s Huntington campus. All members of the #MarshallUFamily, including alumni, community members, students, faculty and staff, are invited to volunteer their time and effort to roll up their sleeves and help make the campus shine this summer season.

Marshall University President Brad D. Smith said this is an excellent opportunity for alumni chapters in nearby cities and states to “pay it forward’, making an impact for current and future students and staff. “Marshall feels like home to so many people,” Smith said. “I’m excited to welcome volunteers to return home to our beautiful campus, work side by side and leave the place better than we found it.”
Marshall supporters still have time to be a part of historic campaign
In 2019, Marshall University asked its supporters to help it reach new heights through the largest comprehensive campaign in the university’s history. The goal? To raise $150 million in five years, which would translate to more scholarships, new buildings and more faculty support.

Thanks to Marshall’s generous donors, the Marshall Rises comprehensive campaign met its goal. To date, the campaign has raised more than $170 million, and we aren’t done yet.

“Marshall Rises embraces the hope of so many in our communities,” said Dr. Ron Area, chief executive officer of the Marshall University Foundation. “It is supporting first-generation students to rise and reach their dreams. It is offering them new opportunities that promote personal and professional growth. It is lifting up our faculty, rewarding them for their dedication and providing the chance for them to further conduct research. Marshall Rises allowed for academic expansion through programs and facilities, which helps recruit new students and boost our retention rate.”

So far, the campaign has led to a 44% increase in scholarship aid, with 500 more students receiving aid annually. The Bill Noe Flight School opened its doors at West Virginia International Yeager Airport. Ground has been broken on a brand-new building for the Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business. Renovations have been completed across the Huntington campus, from the Memorial Student Center to athletic facilities. More professors are being supported and more research is being completed.

There is still time to be a part of the unprecedented growth happening at Marshall University. Make a gift to Marshall University by June 30 to count yourself among those who made an impact during Marshall Rises. Visit to make a donation.
Gary and Jo Ann White establish Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert Professorship in Biomedical Engineering
Gary G. and Jo Ann White announced that they have established the Dr. Jerome A. Gilbert Professorship in Biomedical Engineering in honor of the 37th president of Marshall University.

Gary White, who served as interim president of Marshall University from December 2014 to January 2016, said he hopes this professorship will help cement the legacy of Gilbert while also continuing to propel the university forward in this unique and exciting field of study.

“Dr. Jerry Gilbert came to Marshall University at a critical time in our history, becoming Marshall’s 37th president after the unfortunate and untimely death of Stephen J. Kopp,” White said. “Under Dr. Gilbert’s leadership, Marshall continued to move forward. Among his many initiatives, Dr. Gilbert established the biomedical engineering program in 2018, combining the strengths of Marshall’s School of Medicine and its College of Engineering to provide students the opportunity to enter this new and exciting profession. Jo Ann and I are pleased to be able to honor Dr. Gilbert and his wife, Leigh, for their service to Marshall University and the region it serves.”

Collaborative cybersecurity project pairs Marshall with the U.S. Army and Civil-Military Innovation Institute
Marshall University was chosen for a project in the Pathfinder program, the first West Virginia project awarded by U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) and the Civil-Military Innovation Institute (CMI2). Marshall will lead a research project that focuses on engineering and cybersecurity for technology used by the military.

Pathfinder joins researchers and the U.S. military to help provide Army soldiers with a platform to create and produce much-needed technology. Awarded earlier this year, the subcontract runs through August.

“The Pathfinder program represents opportunities to study challenges encountered by our military and develop solutions to those challenges,” said Dr. David Dampier, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences at Marshall University. “This partnership is especially meaningful in that Marshall University’s academic community plays a critical role in directly supporting the technological needs of soldiers.”

Notre Dame away game ticket info released
Herd takes on Fighting Irish Sep. 10 in South Bend
Tickets for the Marshall at Notre Dame football game went on sale last month. The Thundering Herd, led by second-year head coach Charles Huff, will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday, September 10 in South Bend, Indiana, at Notre Dame Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

"Quite honestly a trip to South Bend is a bucket list opportunity," said Marshall Athletic Director Christian Spears. "A program rich in history and tradition can be inspiring for our fans and our football program. If you can join us and be a part of the Thundering Herd's visit to a Notre Dame Stadium you need to make it happen. Let's show them what it means to play Marshall."

In order to purchase tickets, fans must be active Big Green Scholarship Foundation members.

Notre Dame has imposed strict ticket return deadlines and stipulations for this game. All Herd fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets from the Marshall Ticket Office as soon as possible to ensure that they are able to get them and to ensure that the maximum number of fans can attend the game.

For more information, you can call the Marshall Ticket Office at 800-THE-HERD or The Big Green at 304-696-4661.
Alumni Spotlight:
Daniel Jonas

Snakes and Spiders and Lizards, Oh My!
We all have things we are passionate about in life.

Passion for sports. Passion for art. Passion for music. And, of course, a deep, unwavering passion for snakes, spiders and other things that creep and crawl along the forest floors. 

While that last list might be a bit of a stretch for some, maybe most, people, it is undoubtedly the passion that drives high school science teacher Daniel Jonas. 

Jonas is in his 11th year teaching biology and natural history at Parkersburg High School, but it his passion for the outdoors – specifically the things that live there – that truly drives Jonas in his career and in life.

“Teaching allows me to show other people what I consider to be the most interesting things in the world,” Jonas said. “Seeing kids learn about wildlife and have an active interest in it is a great feeling. One of the highlights is the field trips we go on. I take students to local wildlife parks to find and identify animals and we also visit elementary schools and lead programs.

“Another highlight is seeing students’ love for nature. They often come show me pictures of cool things they’ve seen outside or tell me stories of some interesting experience they’ve had. Some of them go on to pursue a career in the nature sciences. I like to think I’ve played some small role in that.”

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
Alumni Awards
Nominate an awardee today!
YOU can be a part of Marshall's biggest night of the year for alumni!

Submit an online nomination today to recommend an outstanding member of the Marshall University family for an alumni award.

There are numerous awards including Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna, Distinguished Service to Marshall University, Outstanding Community Achievement and Distinguished Young Alumnus/Alumna.

Nominate someone today or learn more about the awards in the links below!
Woodlands Retirement Community
A premier Continuing Care Retirement Community in Huntington
The Marshall University Alumni Association is proud to partner with Woodlands Retirement Community located in Huntington, West Virginia.

Woodlands Retirement Community is a premier Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) for people 55 and over that sits atop 171 acres of spectacular property overlooking hilltops and valleys in the area. Woodlands is a community that offers peace of mind by catering to three defining areas of living. First, encouraging wellness through an active, independent lifestyle and the companionship of close friends. Second, spacious cottages and apartments and providing services, events and special amenities to provide an unparalleled independent living experience. Finally, providing every resident access to onsite assisted living and memory support, should health care services ever be required.

Woodlands has the distinction of being the region’s only LifeCare community. Residents who choose LifeCare have the security of knowing they will always be able to stay in their Woodlands home – near friends, old and new – even if their health care needs change and they outlive their financial resources.

Get your MUAA gear!

For a limited time, 2022 Marshall University Alumni Association branded shirts, polos, vests, jackets, hats and more are available online at Glenn's Sporting Goods.

Get the latest MUAA gear today by visiting the link below.
Go Green and Go Herd!

Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter
The Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter is currently raising funds for its annual scholarships. Over the past few years, the chapter has proudly awarded more than 100 scholarships to students in the Parkersburg area to attend Marshall.

The chapter is currently trying to reach a goal of $15,000 by June 30. They will be hosting an online silent auction from June 15-30 with all proceeds funding scholarships. The chapter will also host its annual Coaches Rally - featuring head football coach Charles Huff, basketball coach Dan D'Antoni and others - on Wednesday, June 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the Nemesis Shrine in Parkersburg. Tickets are $25 person person and kids under 12 are free. Everyone is welcome and tickets are available at the door.

For more information visit the chapter Facebook page.
Did you know that Marshall's Old Main once housed an auditorium? Added in 1907, the auditorium was 60 by 84 feet in size, with a stage that was 18 feet deep and extended the auditorium's full 60-foot width.

The floor was inclined and originally seated 600 folding beech opera chairs. A second floor balcony contained 400 oak chairs. With the opening of the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center in 1992, the Old Main auditorium was dismantled.

See more throwback photos and #HerdHistory every week on the Marshall University Alumni Association social media channels.

Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Service Wire Company makes $1 million gift in support of new business school

The Marshall University Foundation has announced that Service Wire Company has committed $1 million in support of the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation at Marshall University.

Service Wire Company will provide both financial resources as well as wire and cable products for the new state-of-the-art facility for the Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business. Additionally, the Transformative Sales and Service Excellence Center within the college will be renamed the Service Wire Company Transformative Sales and Service Excellence Center.

Louis Weisberg, president and chief executive officer of Service Wire Company, said he is excited to expand upon an existing relationship with the university and the city of Huntington.

“Service Wire has a long-standing history partnering with Marshall University, and we are pleased to continue this legacy,” said Weisberg.

Chuck Oldaker establishes two funds at Marshall honoring late wife, celebrating new business school

Marshall University alumnus Chuck Oldaker has pledged two gifts to the university honoring his late wife’s passion for education and celebrating Marshall’s new business school.

Oldaker, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Service Wire Company, committed $30,000 to endow The Michalle Arthur Oldaker Memorial Scholarship in honor of his late wife who passed earlier this year. In addition, Oldaker has also pledged $50,000 to the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation.

“Before her passing, we started talking about if there was something we could do together,” Oldaker said. “Or were there two things we could do. Then, she ended up passing away and it became very clear to me that setting up a memorial scholarship in her name was the way to honor her and continue her legacy.”

May we write you a check?

A great way to support your future and ours is with a Charitable Gift Annuity. It’s the gift that pays you back, soon with higher guaranteed payments for life. Keep watching for more information about the new rates effective July 1, 2022. To learn more about how a Charitable Gift Annuity works follow the link below.

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

J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering awarded
Dr. Asad Salem was awarded the J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering in Marshall University’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences in April. Salem is the interim chair of the Weisberg Department of Mechanical Engineering.

“Dr. Salem has served Marshall University in mechanical engineering very well for a number of years, and is very deserving of this honor,” said Dr. David A. Dampier, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.

The J. Robert Fletcher Professorship for Engineering supports an endowed faculty position in mechanical engineering at Marshall. J.H. Fletcher & Co., along with the Fletcher family, established the endowment in 2010 with a gift of $125,000, which was matched by the trust fund at that time.

School of Medicine announces return of Standing Out in Our Field event Aug. 27
The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine announces the return of its largest student scholarship fundraiser, Standing Out in Our Field, Saturday, Aug. 27. The annual event, which typically raises more than $100,000 for the school’s scholarship endowment, was canceled in 2020 and 2021 as a result of COVID-19.

This year, the unique outdoor dining experience that draws hundreds has been moved to the Barboursville Soccer Complex. Sponsored by the school’s major teaching hospital partner, Mountain Health Network, Standing Out in Our Field will feature a “Night in Havana” theme and serve up a gourmet Cuban menu by Cabell Huntington Hospital’s Executive Chef Don Sallada.

The event begins with a reception at 6 p.m. and is followed by dinner and dancing from 7 to 11 p.m., featuring music by the band Big Planet Soul.

University transitions to battery-operated lawn equipment

Marshall University is going green with landscaping initiatives on its Huntington campus.

The university recently purchased an array of battery-powered lawn equipment, including: eight string trimmers, three hedge trimmers, two mini-hedge trimmers, four blowers, three push mowers, two hand pruners, two pole saws, four chainsaws, two multi tools and a zero-turn mower with a 60-inch deck. The cost of the initiative is around $53,000, with an estimated payback in maintenance and fuel savings in five to seven years.

With this initiative, Marshall becomes the first university in West Virginia and surrounding states to transition to battery-operated landscape equipment.

Yeager Scholar receives Fulbright Award

Rafael Alfonso, a rising sophomore student at Marshall University, has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award from the Fulbright Commission to study Technology, Creativity, and Innovation at the Fulbright Scotland Summer Institute in the University of Strathclyde and the Glasgow School of Art in Glasgow, Scotland.

Alfonso is a double major at Marshall, studying creative writing and computer science.

Alfonso is a member of the Society of Yeager Scholars in the Charlie and Alma Slack Class of 2025, and is the first second-generation Yeager Scholar. He also serves as the copy editor for the student newspaper, The Parthenon.

Society of Yeager Scholars announces 36th class of scholars

Ten students have been selected for the 36th class of Yeager Scholars at Marshall University.

These students, from four states, represent a diverse group of academically talented scholars and driven young leaders. As Yeager Scholars, they join a storied program that has supported 35 cohorts of Marshall University students since 1987. These students receive a full scholarship for tuition and fees, room and board, international study, a laptop and a personal stipend.

Juneteenth Celebration to be held June 16 for campus and community

Marshall University will host a Juneteenth Celebration on Thursday, June 16, from 2:30-5 p.m.

The program is free and open to the public and will feature food and live music. The event will be held under a tent on Harless Field on Fifth Ave. between Harless Dining Hall and City National Bank.

Juneteenth is a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans in the U.S.
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