Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | February 2022
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
The Month of Love
February is often known for being a month dedicated to and all about love.

But February is not only about valentines and sweethearts; instead it can also be a month for self-love and self-care, fostering relationships with family and friends, and loving others.

For us, February is all about taking the opportunity to reflect on the things that we love most about our time at Marshall. The relationships, friendships and forever bonds that blossomed while we were students. The relationships as alumni we all share with this great university. The relationships between donors and the students they impact through scholarships.

This month, while being bombarded with advertisements for chocolates and flowers and matching pajamas, take a moment and remember the love we all share for Marshall and the relationships that we have all formed as students and as alumni.

As part of that celebration, don't miss the opportunity to share your #MarshallULoveStory in the alumni section below and possibly be featured on social media later this month!

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

MU Office of Alumni Relations
Capito tours aviation program at Huntington Tri-State Airport
Marshall University President Brad D. Smith and other university representatives welcomed U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito to Huntington Tri-State Airport, where the senator toured facilities for the Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program set to open this fall, pending FAA certification.

The associate degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology, the course of study to be completed in 18 months, is in collaboration with Mountwest Community and Technical College and is believed to be the first of its kind in the state.

“Marshall University has developed a future-focused and truly market-driven program that will lead the next generation in the aviation maintenance industry," said Marshall University President Brad D. Smith. “We have incredibly talented people here ready to educate students who will get great jobs coming straight out of this program.”

Appalachian Regional Commission co-chair visits Huntington campus

Marshall University shared its comprehensive strategy and research efforts aimed at boosting West Virginia’s economy with Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin during a series of meetings with several university deans, as well as leaders from Marshall University Research Corporation; the Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, which Marshall chairs; the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Flexible Manufacturing and university President Brad D. Smith.

Manchin’s visit included a working luncheon with researchers from across the university who are focused on a variety of projects, services and outreach concentrating on West Virginia’s economy. Following a roundtable discussion, Manchin met with Smith.

Marshall University celebrates Black History Month 2022

Marshall University has several events planned to recognize Black History Month. A combination of virtual and in person events observing all of the University’s COVID-19 guidelines are being offered.

Visit to learn more. 
Marshall's Ali named Freshman All-American
Marshall running back Rasheen Ali was announced as an all-purpose selection on the 2021 Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America team.

The list includes players who were either redshirt freshmen, true freshmen or freshmen playing in their second season via the NCAA's updated COVID eligibility rules as designated by their respective schools.

Ali finished with 140.9 all-purpose yards per game in 2021, the 10th-highest average nationally and the top mark in Conference USA. He also led the nation in total touchdowns (25), rushing touchdowns (23-tied), points scored (150) and points per game (11.5-tied). The league's coaches also tabbed him a first-team All-Conference USA pick.

For his efforts, the Cleveland, Ohio, native was also named Marshall's Most Valuable Player at the program's postseason banquet.

Dossantos, Dias taken in MLS SuperDraft
Marshall's men's soccer program had two student-athletes who were chosen in the 2022 Major League Soccer (MLS) SuperDraft last month, as defender Nathan Dossantos went to the Orlando City SC in the second round as the 46th overall pick while midfielder Victor Dias was drafted by the Vancouver Whitecaps in the third round with the 86th overall selection.

The 2022 SuperDraft marked the first time in program history that Marshall had more than one player selected, and the third-straight draft that a Herd player was picked.

Alumni Spotlight:
Emily (Burch) Harris

Fact and Fiction: An Alumna's Story
Breaking news. Epic fantasy. While these genres seemingly have nothing in common, for Marshall University graduate Emily (Burch) Harris, they are two published volumes in her professional bibliography.

Harris has worked in journalism for more than 25 years and is currently a lecturer and the program adviser for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s student newspaper, The A&T Register. In addition, Harris recently co-authored a book, “Shadowplay,” alongside New York Times best-selling author and friend, Terry Mancour.

“It was really rewarding, amazing and surprisingly painless,” Harris said of her venture with Mancour, who is the author of the “Spellmonger” book series. “Shadowplay,” which was published in October 2021, is the first book in a trilogy based on Gatina, a popular “Spellmonger” character. “Shadowplay” is available on Kindle and Audible and was produced by Podium Audio.

Harris, who has edited the “Spellmonger” series since 2010, said she approached Mancour with the idea of collaborating on a book early in the pandemic. They spent weeks brainstorming and outlining, often speaking over the phone or video chat before being able to meet in person on a joint family beach trip in August 2020.

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
Share your #MarshallULoveStory
It is February and that can only mean one thing - love is in the air!

Every year during the month of February, the Marshall University Alumni Association puts a spotlight on the wonderful stories of first dates, blossoming romances and marriages that took place right here at Marshall. Did you meet your significant other as a student? Did you come to Huntington as a couple? Did you choose Marshall as the backdrop of your wedding? We want to know!

Stories like the one above between Nick and Lora Adkins who met when they were teenagers. They chose Marshall after graduating high school and completed their degrees, both while serving as members of the Marching Thunder. During their last year at Marshall, Nick proposed to Lora in front of Old Main - with friends and family there to grab a snapshot. Each year since, Nick and Lora visit campus and take a photo in the same location during Homecoming weekend.

We want to hear your story!
What is your #MarshallULoveStory? We want to hear from you! Share your story with us today by clicking on the link below. There is even a section to upload photos!
Barbara White
Beckley native Barbara White is a 1985 graduate of Marshall University, earning a bachelor's degree in zoology with minors in chemistry and psychology.

Barbara, who now resides in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, is in her fifth year on the MUAA Board of Directors. She is the Operations Manager in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University, overseeing facility operations and safety for an interdisciplinary department to meet the mission of teaching, research and extension at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Why did you choose to serve on the MUAA Board of Directors?
To be honest, initially I did not realize that being a chapter president came with a seat on the board. I knew that I wanted to give back to Marshall now that I was at an age and stage in life that I had more time to do so. I had no idea that this would lead to so many opportunities for growth, friendships, presence at a National Championship soccer match, hanging out with an NBA coach, and so much more. I had taken the presidency just to give a small bit of service to the university in my local area, but just like with everything else at Marshall, I have received far more than I have ever given. I don’t think that I could ever repay this university for giving me the life that I have, for most of it actually would have never been possible without those first few seeds that were planted and nurtured at Marshall.

Conquering the Cycle: The story of a son of Marshall overcoming his demons
Last month, Lee Smith announced he was retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons. But it wasn't a sad moment. It was a point of pride for the old-school blocking tight end who carved out a career playing for the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. He is leaving on his own terms and transitioning to his next act, where he'll provide young people the mentorship and guidance he desperately needed and rarely got as a young man growing up in Tennessee.

To highlight Lee's story of overcoming the odds, the Atlanta Falcons recently did a feature video on Smith and his battle with alcohol and how the mistakes of his past helped guide him to a successful football career at Marshall University and, eventually, being drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Thursday, February 3
@ Carolina Ale House
Cary, NC

Raleigh Chapter
Marshall Men's Basketball Game Watching Party

Saturday, March 5
@ Spectrum Center
Charlotte, NC

MU Alumni Association
Marshall Night
Hornets vs. Spurs

Thursday, March 11
@ Nationwide Arena
Columbus, OH

Columbus Chapter
Marshall Night
Blue Jackets vs. Wild

Marco can literally do it all, as evident in this photo from the 1994-95 Marshall basketball season as he tops a pyramid of Herd cheerleaders.

Did you know that Marco's name developed from a mix of the university's name at the time, MARshall COllege. Marshall became a university in 1961, but the name Marco stuck.

See more throwback photos and #HerdHistory every week on the Marshall University Alumni Association social media channels.
Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Donor Spotlight:
Donald McCloud
Several Logan County McClouds have walked Marshall University’s campus thanks to one moment in 1936. Today, thanks to that history, Donald McCloud has established the McCloud Family Scholarship, born of his desire to give back what he and his family so richly benefitted from as students at Marshall.

Do you have a giving story to share?

There are so many ways to make a difference for our students!

The Why We Give section of our website has stories from donors who have chosen to support future sons and daughters of Marshall through an estate gift.

If you have included Marshall in your long-term plans and want to share your story, let us know! We'd love to not only thank you, but make sure your intentions for your gift are documented and celebrated.

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

Marshall returns to Charleston with MU Day at the Capitol

Marshall University faculty, staff and students are once again preparing to make their voices heard on the biggest stage in the state when the university travels to Charleston to celebrate Marshall Day at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the West Virginia State Capitol building.

The annual event, which includes hands-on exhibits from departments across the Marshall community, provides a unique opportunity for the university to showcase its programs and students. Among the highlights of the event is an official proclamation declaring Feb. 8 “Marshall University Day” in West Virginia, as well as performances by the Marshall Fife and Drum Corp and special readings in the House of Delegates and Senate chambers.

University representatives will be at the Capitol from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., greeting visitors, interacting with legislators and promoting Marshall’s academic and community offerings. Many of the programs will have displays during the event, which is organized by Marshall’s Office of Alumni Relations.

English Language Institute at Marshall provides international students with English help

The English Language Institute (ELI) at Marshall University provides international students with English classes aimed at improving their English proficiency for college-level work. Since August 2020, the ELI’s four-level program allows students to complete their English proficiency requirements for Marshall’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

Marshall ELI offers three cycles of programs during the academic year. The ELI is open in the Fall and Spring for 14 weeks and Summer for 12 weeks. Applications are accepted for the Fall semester by June 15, Spring semester on October 15, and Summer semester on March 15. Our ELI program offers integrated English classes in the following skills: Reading-Vocabulary, Grammar-Writing and Listening Speaking. Students are enrolled in 20 credit hours of English classes. Additionally, students can access all campus resources, student clubs, sporting events and community activities.

August and December ACTA Scholar Graduates Announced

Marshall University’s John Deaver Drinko Academy has announced its cohort of August and December 2021 National Society of American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) Scholar graduates. Twenty-one Marshall students recently completed their degrees with this prestigious honor.

The National Society of ACTA Scholars academic honorary was founded in 2020 by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a Washington, D.C., based nonprofit that promotes rigorous studies in the arts and sciences, as well as free speech and civil discourse on college campuses. Marshall University is one of several institutions of higher education that recently established chapters.

Enjoy Green & White Day open house events for incoming students in February and April

We are excited to announce our plans to host in-person Green & White Day open house events on February 11th and April 2nd.

Explore our beautiful campus on a guided tour, get in-depth information about your intended major, and meet with award-winning faculty members at our interactive Academic Showcase. You’ll also have the opportunity to tour residence halls and learn about living on campus. Seniors, if you haven’t yet applied or submitted your enrollment deposit, we can assist you with those steps while you are on campus. Registration is limited and will be based on capacity guidelines at the time of the event. We can’t wait to see you on campus – and as part of the Marshall Family!

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!
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