Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | May 2022
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
True Meaning of Home
What do you envision when you hear the word home?

Is it a specific location? A building? A group of loved ones?

Home means a lot of things to a lot of people. It is a place where we can unwind. It is the people we surround ourselves with. It is where we can go for comfort and retreat. And the best part is, we can have more than one.

We can find our "home" in where we live, where we work, where we seek higher purpose, and even where we earned a degree. Marshall University is one of those places you can always call home. Marshall will always welcome you back and greet you with a warm embrace. And that is one of the many great things about becoming part of the #HerdAlum family.

In late April, we welcomed more than 1,300 new members to our Herd at the spring commencement ceremony in Huntington. More than 1,300 new alumni who shared a bond with this university and this town.

We want to recognize and celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of these graduates in this edition of Sons & Daughters and be among the first to say "welcome home." We are so proud of you!

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

MU Office of Alumni Relations
Mukherjee named provost and senior VP for academic affairs
Marshall University President Brad D. Smith has announced that he has named Dr. Avinandan “Avi” Mukherjee as the university’s next provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

Mukherjee, who has served in the interim role since July 2021, previously served as dean of Marshall’s Lewis College of Business since 2017.

His new appointment was effective April 9. The announcement followed a national search that culminated with five finalists participating in on-campus interviews in April.

“I am delighted Dr. Mukherjee has accepted the position of provost and senior vice president for academic affairs,” Smith said. “He emerged from a rigorous search process as the right leader to steward Marshall’s current and future position in the higher education arena. I am excited to see the impact he will have as he transitions from the ‘interim’ designation to a fully empowered provost.”

Smith cited Mukherjee’s interdisciplinary orientation and innovative approach, as well as his track record of progressive leadership at scale, international education and experience, research and scholarly contributions, and fundraising experience as the main reasons he emerged as the successful candidate. He added that Mukherjee brings the added benefit of a deep understanding and appreciation of the university, community, major stakeholders and our strengths and opportunities.

Community Cares Week
Join us June 20 – 24 to help out on campus!

Do you love The Herd? Do you want to help make our campus shine?

Calling all alumni, supporters, community members, faculty, staff and students… We need your help!

Join us for our first-ever Community Cares Week as we all put a little sweat equity into the campus we hold so dear.

Sign up for a time frame and a task. T-shirt and lunch will be provided.

Everyone is welcome!

Sun Belt announces the return of men's soccer for the 2022 season
The Marshall men's soccer team will be making the move into the Sun Belt Conference this coming fall of 2022, as the league announced that men's soccer will be back this season.

Nine teams will comprise Sun Belt Conference men's soccer; three of the new Sun Belt members (as of July 1) James Madison, Marshall, and Old Dominion will join Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Georgia State. In addition, Kentucky, South Carolina and West Virginia will compete as affiliate members for men's soccer only. The Sun Belt Conference previously sponsored men's soccer from 1976-1995 and 2014-20.

"These elite programs will lend instant credibility and help establish the Sun Belt as one of the nation's premier men's collegiate soccer conferences," Commissioner Keith Gill said. "They each bring their unique traditions and histories of excellence. We welcome them and look forward to a bright future on the pitch."

Board of Governors approves new budget
Marshall University’s Board of Governors approved the 2022-23 budget, while basically holding tuition and regular fees flat for undergraduate students.

Marshall University President Brad D. Smith said upgrading the student experience from end to end is one of the top goals for his new administration.

Graduate, professional and nursing students will see variable increases in specialty program fees and all students will see increases in auxiliary and auxiliary capital fees of 4.4%, which covers services like the Memorial Student Center, athletics, TTA Big Green Machine and the university’s bike program. Additionally, residence hall students will see an average increase of about 2% in housing costs and a 4% increase in meal plans.

The approved overall university operating budget, almost $318 million, includes restoration of employee salary reductions for those whose salaries were reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as general salary increases for benefit-eligible employees.

As part of the university’s overall budget, a $34.5 million athletics budget was also approved.

Dutch Miller Auto Group commits $1 million to new College of Business facility
The Marshall University Foundation has announced that the Dutch Miller Auto Group has pledged a gift of $1 million in support of the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation at Marshall University.

The new state-of-the-art facility for the Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business is slated to be built in the 1400 block of 4th Avenue on a plot of land that formerly housed the Flats on 4th apartment complex. The building is scheduled to open in January of 2024.

“I cannot imagine anything more important to the overall success of the economic development of the city of Huntington and the region than doing our part to help fund a business school that will revolutionize and transform the way we do business in the 21st and 22nd centuries,” said Chris Miller, co-owner of the Dutch Miller Auto Group and member of the Marshall University Board of Governors. “As Marshall goes, so goes Huntington. The correlation and connection between adding thousands of students to the city and what those students will do for Huntington and the region as far as economic development is substantial.”

Big weekend for Thundering Herd with Green and White game, spring Fountain Ceremony
Herd great Vinny Curry welcomed to athletic Hall of Fame
The Marshall University Thundering Herd wrapped up its spring training with a big weekend of activities in late April culminating with the annual spring fountain ceremony and the Green and White football game on April 23.

The weekend began with the annual Thundering Lanes Celebrity Bowl-a-Thon featuring Head Coach Charles Huff and former student-athletes. At that event, Marshall great Vinny Curry, defensive end for the New York Jets, was announced as the latest selection to the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame.

The following day, the university held its annual spring fountain ceremony in which the memorial fountain on Marshall's campus was turned on. Bob Bronger, a member of the Young Thundering Herd, served as the keynote speaker.

The weekend culminated with the annual Green and White spring game at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex due to turf renovations at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Despite the game being held at the indoor facility, the stadium was also open and hosted concessions, music, games, inflatables and other activities on the field. In that game, Green edged out White in a 13-6 win.
Alumni Spotlight:
83rd Alumni Awards Banquet

One Incredible Evening
Marshall University and the Marshall University Alumni Association (MUAA) were pleased to host the 83rd annual Alumni Awards Banquet Saturday, April 9, at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall. 

The Marshall University Alumni Awards Banquet recognizes outstanding alumni, university supporters and students during an evening of celebration and reverence of the great things being accomplished by the Marshall University alumni community. The event, postponed for the past two years due to the pandemic, featured awardees who were originally slated to be honored in 2020. 

Highlighting the list of more than a dozen honorees at the 2022 awards banquet were Brad and Alys Smith. Brad D. Smith was selected as the recipient of the Marshall University Distinguished Alumnus award, while Alys Smith was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Marshall University award, two of Marshall’s highest honors. William Joseph Kehoe and Cathy Burns were selected as co-recipients of the Outstanding Community Achievement award, and Jeff McKay received the Distinguished Young Alumnus award. 

The Marshall University Southern Coalfields Alumni and Big Green Chapter, located in Beckley, West Virginia, was named MUAA’s 2022 Chapter of the Year, while the Emerging Chapter of the Year award was presented to the Eastern Panhandle Alumni Chapter based out of Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Relive that amazing night in our photo gallery and event broadcast in the links below.

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
MUAA welcomes newest members of #HerdAlum family
About 1,300 students graduated from Marshall's programs last month, and about 850 graduates, who obtained doctoral, master's, bachelor's or associate degrees, participated in the ceremonies at Mountain Health Arena in Huntington.

Griffin McElroy, a Huntington native who hosts the podcast "My Brother, My Brother and Me" with his brothers, gave the commencement address. McElroy graduated from Marshall in 2009 with a degree in journalism.

Click on the links below for photo galleries and replays of the ceremonies.
Marshall University School of Nursing establishing Alumni Association
The Marshall University School of Nursing has been graduating nurses since the 1960s, and now they want to bring those alumni together.

Led by Associate professor Dr. Bobbie Taylor, DNP, FNP-BC, MSN, BSN, RN, and Professor and Director of the RN to BSN Program Dr. Sandra Prunty, Ph.D., RN, the School of Nursing Alumni Association aims to reconnect alumni with the university and each other. Taylor and Prunty said they hope the group in the future will fund a scholarship that will help the profession of nursing grow, as well as provide continuing education courses to support nurses in the field.

“Nurses recently have been under such a strain the past two years,” Prunty said. “The fact is nurses are leaving the profession and there is a shortage. If we could support each, it might make it easier. It’s hard to be a nurse today, especially in the hospital setting, where a lot of our graduates find themselves.”

Nursing education has been offered at Marshall since the inception of an Associate Degree program in 1960. Over the years Marshall School of Nursing has developed a Bachelor of Science degree, and a Master of Science degree. Fall 2022, the Doctor of Nursing Practice program will begin with the first group of students. The School of Nursing merged with other health profession departments to become the College of Health Professions in 1978. The program has a history of excellence, with graduates consistently passing the nursing licensure test with high marks.

Irv Johnson
Irv Johnson is a 1988 graduate of Marshall University, earning his bachelor’s degree in biology.

A Huntington, West Virginia, native through and through, Irv grew up a fan of the Thundering Herd and cherishes his days on campus. Today, Irv is in his ninth year serving as Cabell County Assessor and is in his second term with the Marshall University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Why did you choose to serve on the MUAA Board of Directors? I see it as a great honor to dedicate time back to the university. West Virginians need to do a better job at telling our story about the great opportunities and quality of life at Marshall and in our great state.

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!

Southern Coalfields Chapter
Larry Foster, treasurer of the Southern Coalfields Alumni & Big Green Chapter, stopped by Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall last month to present a check toward the Southern Coalfields Scholarship fund. The chapter, established in 2017, has done a wonderful job generating support for various causes thanks to a great leadership team. For their efforts, the chapter was named Marshall University Alumni Association Chapter of the Year in 2022.

Receiving the check is Nathan Holbrook, director of philanthropy at the Foundation, and Kasey Stevens, assistant director of alumni relations.
This former railway hospital next to campus became the home of the new School of Medicine that admitted its first class in 1978. The program was a cooperative effort with the Veterans Administration. Additional facilities would be added later at the VA Medical Center west of Huntington.

The Marshall University School of Medicine was established in the 1970s through federal legislation which authorized the creation of five new medical schools in conjunction with existing VA hospitals. The West Virginia Legislature appropriated funding for the school in 1975, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education granted provisional accreditation in 1977, and the first class entered in January 1978 and graduated in 1981.

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

Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Marshall University Scholarship Honor Brunch returns after pandemic hiatus

Privately funded scholarship recipients at Marshall University had the chance to thank their donors Saturday during the 2022 Scholarship Honor Brunch, hosted by the Marshall University Foundation, Inc.

Nearly 400 students and donors attended the event in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center, back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

Senior Airman Richard Tettey Tei-Wayo, first-year student in the School of Pharmacy from Ghana, Africa, recipient of the Meade & Althea Nance Smith Award, was the featured student speaker. Tei-Wayo has spent the past two years working on the front lines of the pandemic as a public health technician with the West Virginia Air National Guard, 130th Airlift Wing.

“As a public health technician during the COVID pandemic, I was part of the airmen that helped in making sure that almost everyone in the state of West Virginia got their COVID shots,” Tei-Wayo said during his remarks at the brunch. “We as the military service members distributed COVID vaccines across the state of West Virginia to the retail pharmacies, hospitals, health departments, and to communities where our older generations find it difficult to get access to these COVID vaccine supplies. For nine solid months I was on this COVID mission just to serve my community here in Huntington and across the state of West Virginia, as my service to the citizens of this state.”

Gifts That Pay You Income

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

Scholar Spotlight:
Richard Tei-Wayo
Growing up in Ghana, Africa, Richard Tei-Wayo was no different than many American students. He enjoyed school from a young age at nursery through to attending university, and he always dreamed of becoming a pharmacist.

“Raised by a single mother, the baby of three older sisters, my mother placed great emphasis on education,” Tei-Wayo said, during his remarks at the Scholarship Honor Brunch on April 9. “Because my sisters chose to develop their skills in trades and administrative positions locally in Ghana, my mother was able to focus on me and my educational pursuits, she told me I was the ‘lucky one’ and knew I was smart and hardworking.”

Marshall congratulates International Yeager Airport on US Customs expansion

Marshall University President Brad D. Smith today congratulated West Virginia International Yeager Airport on the opening of its new $4 million U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility.

Speaking at the ribbon-cutting event in Charleston, Smith said expansion of the customs operation is important to the growth of the state, as well as the university’s academic aviation programs.

“One of our most successful partnerships has been our aviation collaboration with Yeager,” Smith said. “As we enter the next chapter, we will need to continue to make bold moves, like this one, to position our students, our institution and our state to compete in this fast-changing world.”

Dr. Zelideth Rivas named Hedrick Outstanding Faculty winner

Dr. Zelideth Rivas, professor of Japanese at Marshall University, has been selected as the university’s Dr. Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award winner for 2021-2022.

Rivas will receive $5,000 through a grant from Charles B. and Mary Jo Locke Hedrick. The award is named in honor of Charles Hedrick’s father, Charles E. Hedrick, a former history professor and later chair of the Graduate Council, and one of the founders of Marshall’s graduate program.

Dr. Zelideth Rivas has been teaching at Marshall since 2012, when she joined the modern languages department teaching Japanese.

Marshall celebrates grand opening of Intercultural Center

Marshall University celebrated the grand opening of the Intercultural Center in East Hall, which will serve as a hub for various offices focused on diversity and inclusion.

The newly redesigned gathering spaces combine eye-popping design with functional work areas to create a welcoming atmosphere. The following offices and services are located inside: LGBTQ+ Office, Center for African American Students, Center for International Student Affairs, and other offices including the Office of Student Success and the English Language Institute offices.
Empty Bowls continues online, with more than $11,900 raised

The Empty Bowls 2022 pottery sale fundraiser hosted by the Marshall University School of Art and Design continues in an online format through May 6. Bowls can be purchased online via the Pottery Place website at Bowls are $20, with proceeds going to the Facing Hunger Foodbank.

The in-person sale hosted at Pullman Square on April 22 raised more than $11,900 for the food bank, which allows the food bank to provide 107,451 meals for neighbors in need.

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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