Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | November 2021
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
A New Era
What a time to be a member of The Herd!

In the span of 24 hours on a rainy few days in Huntington, we welcomed Brad D. Smith as the 38th President of Marshall University and discovered that Marshall's athletic programs would be joining the Sun Belt Conference. Talk about a game changer!

Suddenly, Marshall University - which was already a university on the rise - enters 2022 with as much momentum and buzz as any in the country. We are on a path of innovation and achievement that will position Marshall as a major player on the national and international scene and will lead to big things over the coming years.

What is most exciting is that Brad D. Smith is one of us. He is a West Virginian. He is a Son of Marshall. A touching line from Smith's press conference by Patrick Farrell, chairman of the Board of Governors, probably sums it up best.

"Whether you know him as 'Brad from Kenova,' 'Intuit Brad' or anything else, from now on we'll all know him as President Smith."

Over the years, Smith has worn a lot of hats and served in many roles. Now, he is coming back home and will lead the charge in positioning Marshall on a path of national prominence and notoriety.

Welcome home Brad D. Smith and congratulations!

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

Office of Alumni Relations
Matt Hayes
Larry Crum
Kasey Stevens
Brad D. Smith named Marshall's 38th President
The Marshall University Board of Governors has named Marshall alumnus, Wing 2 Wing Foundation co-founder and former Intuit CEO Brad D. Smith the institution’s 38th president. Smith will assume the presidency Jan. 1, 2022.

In October, the presidential search committee announced Smith as one of five finalists for the position following a national search. The five candidates took part in open forums on the university’s Huntington and South Charleston campuses, meeting with students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

The decision to hire Smith was made by the Marshall University Board of Governors with a unanimous vote at its regular October meeting.

Mr. Brad D. Smith is a proud West Virginia native with a passion for philanthropy and leadership. Formerly the CEO of Intuit, Mr. Smith is focused on helping facilitate change by developing, supporting and investing in people. His most recent work focuses on unlocking economic and lifestyle prosperity for all West Virginians and beyond through the Wing 2 Wing Foundation that he co-founded with his wife Alys.

Prior to serving as the CEO of Intuit for 11 years, his career spanned four industries leading large, global organizations through turn-around, transformation and high growth environments. He is the executive chairman of the board of Intuit, chairman of the Nordstrom board and a board member of Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey). He formerly served on the board of Yahoo as well.

Mr. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and his master’s degree in management from Aquinas College in Michigan. His commitment to giving back to West Virginia runs deep and the work of the foundation is focused on three proven pillars for creating sustainable social and economic success: education, entrepreneurship and the environment.

The Wing 2 Wing Foundation provides increased access and support for education, entrepreneurship mentoring and investment, and works to position West Virginia as a showcase for the nation, where doers can come to fulfill their dreams while preserving the natural beauty of Appalachia.

Herd joins Sun Belt Conference
Marshall University has officially joined the Sun Belt athletic conference with the university Board of Governors approving the move on Monday, November 1.

Interim Athletic Director Jeff O’Malley presented SBC commissioner Keith Gill with some Marshall Blenko glass and was joined on stage at the press conference by Marshall University president Jerome Gilbert and incoming president-elect of Marshall University Brad D. Smith.

Marshall athletics will join the Sun Belt Conference July 1, 2023.

"We're excited for Marshall University to begin a new era in the Sun Belt Conference. During our comprehensive and thoughtful discussions over the past weeks and months, it became clear that the Sun Belt offered a perfect fit for our school and athletic department," O'Malley said. "There's an energy in the league that meshes nostalgic rivalries with new opponents that will delight our fan base. 

"Marshall was uniquely positioned in this round of realignment because of the number of options we had, which is a testament to our strong national brand, reputation and passionate fan base."

Fountain Ceremony
Sunday, November 14, 2021

Join us for our 51st Annual Memorial Fountain Ceremony on the Memorial Student Center Plaza.

This year, the ceremony will begin at 2 p.m., because November 14th falls on a Sunday.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, masks are required in all university buildings and are strongly encouraged at this event.
Watch Exploring Marshall Video Series

During Homecoming 2021, the Marshall University Office of Alumni Relations unveiled two new episodes of the Exploring Marshall video series which focuses on different aspects of the Marshall community.

The first episode, Young Thundering Herd: 50 Years Later, takes a deep dive into the lives of the coaches and players that helped resurrect the Marshall University football program following the tragic plane crash on November 14, 1970. The episode takes a look at that 1971 season and the years following for members of the Young Thundering Herd, told through first-hand accounts and footage from that season.

The second episode, Rising To New Heights, showcases the overwhelming success of Marshall University's very first comprehensive campaign and how Marshall Rises has and will continue to impact the students and alumni of Marshall.

Thank You! Marshall's first
Day of Giving a huge success!
What. A. Day!

Marshall University held its first-ever Day of Giving on Thursday, Oct. 14 and the event was an overwhelming success. The event featured 24 hours of giving thanks, with interactive elements throughout the day on the Foundation and Marshall University social media accounts, along with a giving wall, state-by-state participation numbers, giving challenges and much more.

At the end of the day, over $75,000 was raised with nearly 250 gifts given from 33 individual states. Thank you to the entire #MarshallUFamily from all of us at Marshall University and The Marshall University Foundation, Inc. for your generosity. YOU are the reason Marshall is on the rise!

#MarshallUDayofGiving 💚 #MarshallRises
Statue honoring Marshall and NBA great
Hal Greer dedicated last month
Former college and NBA basketball star athlete Harold Everett “Hal” Greer was honored posthumously with the dedication of a bronze statue in his likeness last month.

The nearly eight-foot piece of artwork, situated on a marble base and surrounded by four benches and newly planted trees, was commissioned by the university to honor Greer, who played for Marshall from 1954-58 and is credited with breaking the collegiate athletics color barrier in West Virginia.

Celebrating first generation students!

Marshall University will be participating in the First-Generation College Celebration on Monday, Nov. 8 with a series of events Nov. 8-11.

All first-generation students, alumni, faculty, and staff across West Virginia are invited to show their first-gen pride through social media. Post a photo and share why you are a proud first-generation student using the hashtag #CelebrateFirstGen and #IAmFirstGen and be sure to tag @MarshallU and @MarshallUAlumni!
Alumni Spotlight:
Lucianne Kautz-Call

A Sentimental Journey
Lucianne Kautz-Call is a staple of the Marshall community.

You can find her at Thundering Herd sporting events decked out in the latest green and white fashion or simply representing the university in her community. She is also a doer, helping organize the Fountain Ceremony each fall honoring the 75 souls who perished in the 1970 crash of Southern Airways Flight 932. She has even helped found and preside over multiple alumni chapters in the southeast. 

But Call’s connection to Marshall runs much deeper than simply attending as a student and helping plan events. It runs much deeper than representing the school as a cheerleader and community leader. It even runs much deeper than meeting her husband, Rick, in the Student Union and getting married during her senior year in the spring of 1970. 

In fact, Call is as much a part of the fabric of Marshall University as the leaders who guide the institution daily. 

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
A #HerdHomecoming To Remember!
Marshall University observed the return of Homecoming in a big way during a raucous celebration the week of October 4-9 on the Huntington campus.

The week, titled "Back and Better Than Ever," featured a return to traditional Homecoming events such as the Homecoming Parade and Bonfire, Stampede 5k, Unity Walk, Picnic on the Plaza, and the Alumni & Family Tailgate.

Anchored throughout the week by Homecoming Grand Marshals, members of the 1971 Young Thundering Herd football team, the week featured a number of virtual and in-person activities for alumni, students, and the entire Marshall University family.

Hundreds of supporters, and thousands of viewers at home, had an opportunity to witness the first Homecoming parade in nearly two years on Thursday, October 7 as the Grand Marshals, represented by four-year letterman and team captain Allen Meadows and former cheerleader Lucianne Kautz Call, led the way. The event was immediately followed by a wonderful new tradition in a bonfire on Harless Field.

The rest of the weekend included the Picnic on the Plaza on Friday, October 8 as hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and staff attended the pep rally event. On gameday, the morning got underway with the two-lap campus run/walk known as the Stampede 5k, led by top male finishers Stephen McCollam, Eric Desmond, Paul Williams, Trent Rodbell and Rick Ramell, and overall female winners Roegan Good, Brookelyn Reynolds, Lucia Okuno, Macy Smith and Beth Ely.
2021 Mr. Marshall Zack Ihnat and Miss Marshall Caroline Kinder
Later that morning members of the #HerdAlum and #MarshallUFamily community gathered for the Alumni & Family Tailgate sponsored by the Woodlands Retirement Community beside Joan C. Edwards Stadium and an incredible crowd turned out to watch the Thundering Herd defeat Old Dominion University 20-13 in overtime.

During halftime of the game, students elected senior Zack Ihnat and junior Caroline Kinder as their 2021 Mr. and Miss Marshall.

Thank you to all who attended this year's #HerdHomecoming festivities. We can't wait to celebrate with you in 2022!
Members of the Charleston, South Carolina Alumni Chapter enjoying a game watching party at Hobcaw Brewing Company this fall. 
Change Is In The Air
It's an exciting time for our alumni chapters! We love seeing the great activity by chapters each fall, and it is especially exciting to see chapters getting together this fall after the hiatus in 2020.

The move to the Sun Belt Conference brings greater television and streaming coverage through ESPN- which is a true game-changer for game watching parties.

We currently have 24 active alumni chapters near and far, with new chapters continuing to develop and get off the ground.

Interested in an alumni chapter in your area? Check out our chapter map on our website to find one close to you. If there's not one, email us at to get one started.
In the history of Marshall University, numerous men and women have guided the institution through its years as an academy, college and, eventually, a university.

After many years being labeled principals, the first official president of Marshall was Lawrence J. Corbly. When he took over there were only nine faculty members, and by 1907 the faculty had increased to 27, while student enrollment quadrupled in size.
Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Rahal commits $1 million to Marshall's Center for Strategic Engagement
The Marshall University Foundation has announced that John Rahal, Marshall alumnus and general partner with Edward Jones, has made a gift of $1 million to support the John F. Rahal Center for Strategic Engagement within Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business.

The John F. Rahal Center for Strategic Engagement, formerly the Center for Stakeholder Engagement, is a program designed to raise the visibility of the Lewis College of Business as well as boost student engagement and professional development.

“I believe, as alumni, we have a responsibility to each other to make sure that our business school is one of the best in the country,” Rahal said. “In the financial services industry, I have had a career for which Marshall University truly prepared me. Alongside other generous individuals, it is our goal to continue to make Marshall’s business school a national business school of prominence to prepare students for the future.”

The center aims to drive demand for undergraduate and graduate business students by connecting faculty, students, alumni and corporate partners through strategic projects. The center also strives to keep stakeholders informed of the college’s latest initiatives and developing internships that connect Marshall’s corporate partners with students and graduates.

End the Year on a High Note!

Reminder: There are important CARES Act provisions scheduled to expire at year’s end. Read about these and other ways to end the year on a high note!

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 October 2021, 707 donors made 1,038 gifts towards the five pillars as we continue to exceed our goal of $150 million!

Artifacts of Appreciation:
Natwara Anukratiporn
“I chose to attend Marshall University because the living cost here is reasonable, and my family can afford it during my study. Secondly, I appreciate the student to professor ratio. There are many opportunities for the professor to concentrate and advise all students. Third, the atmosphere is focused and suitable for studying and one can explore the beautiful natural surroundings during breaks.” – Natwara Anukratiporn, Business Administration, Class of 2022

Forensic Science graduate students earn Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship
Two students in Marshall University’s forensic science master’s degree program are recipients of the Paul H. and Dixie O. Nicely Scholarship. Jacob Bennett and Shelby Morgan will each receive $1,000 as winners of the scholarship, which was established by Tamela J. White-Farrell to honor her father and her mother.

Entries welcome for 2022 Black History Month poster competition

The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum’s 2022 Black History Month Poster Competition is open this semester, and all West Virginia K-12 students and Marshall University students are welcome to participate. The theme is “Black Health and Wellness.”

For K-12, there will be three winners – a $100 prize for one student winner each at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The winners’ teachers win $50 each. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. Parents must grant permission for the work to be shared publicly.

Celebrate Huntington with 'Home' on November 5 at Keith Albee

"Home," a new musical conceived by Adam Dalton, will feature over 50 musicians (including the talented MU Wind Symphony) to celebrate Huntington’s 150th Birthday at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at 7:30 p.m.

With a story written by Clint McElroy and directed by Jack Cirillo, the musical will explore themes of “home” and the unique spirit of the Huntington community.

'Small Communities, BIG Solutions' conference registration now open

The Alliance for the Economic Development of Southern West Virginia, the West Virginia Community Development Hub and Coalfield Development have teamed up once again to shine a spotlight on West Virginia, by hosting the Small Communities, BIG Solutions Conference. This annual event showcases successful projects and highlights West Virginia change makers. It will be held virtually from Monday, Nov. 15, to Thursday, Nov. 18. Tickets are priced at $25 per attendee and can be purchased at

Winter commencement to be held Saturday, December 11

Marshall University will mark its 2021 Winter Commencement Saturday, Dec. 11, with two separate ceremonies at the Mountain Health Arena. The two ceremonies will allow for fewer people attending at one time and provide the arena with ample time to sanitize and clean between the events.

The keynote speaker for both ceremonies is Dr. Dan Holbrook. Holbrook retired last spring after a decades-long career teaching history at Marshall. He is a past recipient of several teaching awards at Marshall.

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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