Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | February 2021
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
A Very Special Place
Greetings Herd Alums!

When you think of Marshall University, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Is it a location? A tradition? A memory? A sport? A professor? A friend?

We all have that one reason (or many) that makes Marshall University a truly special place to us all. And throughout the month of love - also known as February - we will be celebrating those reasons and many more! Below you will read how you can get involved in letting us know exactly what it is you love most about Marshall University by showing some #MarshallULove!

To get us started, we asked each of the staff members here at the Office of Alumni Relations to give us the one word they would use to best describe why they love Marshall!

Matt Hayes: Passion. Faithful Thundering Herd Alumni are some of the most passionate folks anyone will ever meet. We bleed green and care deeply about a great many things, especially our alma mater, fellow alumni, and student success both in the classroom and in athletics.

Larry Crum: Family. It is a bit cliché I know, but is there a better word to convey what makes Marshall so great? This university is filled with caring individuals willing to do anything for each other and the advancement of Marshall University.

Kasey Stevens: Community. I love that I can go anywhere- across the country, down the street or in an airport and meet someone that is connected to the Marshall family. It’s something you don’t get anywhere else!

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

Office of Alumni Relations
Matt Hayes
Larry Crum
Kasey Stevens
Charles Huff named
head football coach

Marshall University officials announced that University of Alabama associate head coach/running backs coach Charles Huff has been named the Thundering Herd's next head football coach.

Huff just finished his second year with the Alabama Crimson Tide and earlier this week helped lead the team to a victory in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship versus Ohio State University.

Marshall President Jerome A. Gilbert said, "This is an exciting day for Marshall University football and I can't wait for Coach Huff to get here. He is going to energize the Herd fanbase and I know folks are going to love him and his style of football. I appreciate all the work of the search committee over the last week or so. Their dedication to Marshall and commitment to the process helped us land the very best candidate."

Huff joined Alabama in 2019 after one season (2018) as the assistant head coach, run-game coordinator and running backs coach at Mississippi State University. He boasts 17 years of coaching experience on both the NFL and college levels, with stops at Penn State University (2014-17), Western Michigan University (2013), the NFL's Buffalo Bills (2012), Vanderbilt University (2011), Hampton University (2010), University of Maryland (2009) and Tennessee State University (2006-08).

Huff wows in introductory press conference
Shortly after arriving in Huntington, new Thundering Herd football coach Charles Huff visited Joan C. Edwards Stadium for the first time.

"It was a little surreal," he said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference on the campus of Marshall University. "Walking on that field and feeling the emotion and the energy – I could hear the crowd and there was nobody there."

Lewis College of Business included in the Princeton Review Best Business Schools
For the third year in a row, Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business, home of the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business, has been named among the nation’s most outstanding business schools, according to The Princeton Review®. The education services company, headquartered in New York City, profiled Marshall as one of 244 outstanding on-campus M.B.A. programs for its “Best Business Schools for 2021” list.

President Jerry Gilbert recognized as Huntington Chamber Volunteer of the Year
The Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce recognized its many volunteers and committees at its annual Volunteer event Friday, Jan. 29. This year’s Volunteer of the Year award went to Dr. Jerome A. “Jerry” Gilbert, the president of Marshall University.

Why Do You
Love Marshall?
We all love Marshall University.

But for what reason? We all have our moments, memories, iconic spots, and traditions that make Marshall special to us all.

Throughout the month of February, we will be celebrating all of those reasons and more on the Marshall University Alumni Association social media pages.

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know the reason why you love Marshall University and you could win cool prizes and be featured in an upcoming alumni newsletter! #MarshallULove
Marshall announces virtual events to
commemorate Black History Month

Marshall University has several events planned in February to recognize Black History Month 2021, most of which will be virtual and observe all of the university’s and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines. The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum and the Office of Intercultural Affairs have several activities scheduled.

“The lyceum has collaborated with hundreds of people on the Marshall campus, Huntington and the state of West Virginia. Speakers commemorating Black history will bring to life important periods in local and American history and how these events have impacted so many lives,” said Burnis R. Morris, director of the Woodson Lyceum.

Morris added that the Woodson Lyceum will offer several events throughout the year.

Get the latest COVID-19 updates from campus
Marshall recently published a COVID-19 dashboard that displays real-time data in an effort to keep students, employees, alumni and the surrounding community informed daily.

Alumni Spotlight: Jillian Howell

Disney Magic
America’s beloved neighborhood friend, Mr. Rogers, was once quoted saying, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

And when the Netflix original Hillbilly Elegy was released last year, it was easy for Appalachians to grow discouraged of their representation on the big screen—like in the broad characterization of poverty for the region, and the idea that to succeed if you’re from Appalachia, you have to ‘escape.’

Enter Jillian Carney Howell—a Marshall and University of North Carolina Wilmington alumna who is using filmmaking to turn around and invest in the lives of those in Appalachia, the same way others invested in her.

Carney Howell said her love of filmmaking began at age seven, when Santa brought her a Barbie video camera for Christmas.

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
MUAA announces affinity partnership upgrade
You owe it to yourself to check this out!

More choice and expanded coverage options are now available to Marshall University alumni!

Our insurance affinity program has been significantly upgraded for 2021. Membership in the MUAA provides you with access to this new portal. Within a few minutes on the portal, you can see if you are overpaying for home and auto insurance. In the weeks ahead, the portal will allow you to shop life insurance rates with top companies and even secure personal medical coverage via the Exchange.

CLICK HERE to check it out!
Donations needed for campus food pantry
With the new semester starting, we wanted to make our alumni aware of the needs of the on-campus Marshall University Food Pantry. Their mission is to eliminate hunger at Marshall University by providing food and promote nutrition to our students and the community. They provide a variety of nutrient-dense foods, giving students and the community a well balanced diet.

The food pantry is always in need of shelf-stable or refrigerated milk, grains (rice, pasta, oatmeal), and canned beans. Their customers also love to receive fresh produce, meat, and eggs. The pantry was just granted a large refrigerator to keep perishable foods, so they have plenty of room.

To donate online, CLICK HERE and select your designation as the second option Food Pantry- Department of Dietetics.
Did you know?
Did you know that Thursday, January 21 was Squirrel Appreciation Day?

Anyone that has been to Marshall University's campus has a story or two about the friendly squirrels that inhabit the trees, bushes, and even trash cans! Do you have any fond memories of our neighborly squirrel friends?
Not all that long ago, Buskirk Field was just an expanse of grass with dirt paths for students to get to and from class. In the early 1990s, administrators sanctioned sidewalks to criss-cross the field and trees were planted to shade the walks. 

Today, those trees have grown to fill campus with a beautiful array of colors and provide that much needed shade on long walks to class!
Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Mid-Ohio Valley Alumni Chapter makes a major gift

Through their 2020 fundraising efforts, Marshall University’s Mid-Ohio Valley Alumni Chapter made a $30,000 gift to the Marshall University Foundation.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Alumni Chapter, which serves Marshall alumni from Wood County, West Virginia, and the surrounding areas, has supported the university through scholarships and gifts to the Big Green Foundation for numerous years. Despite the pandemic, creative chapter members found ways to raise support.

Having already received funds for their annual scholarship fundraising dinner, the chapter requested that those businesses, organizations, and individuals who had contributed to the spring event allow the chapter to apply those dollars to their scholarships. Less than $1,000 of the $15,600 raised was all that was returned.

Artifacts of Appreciation:
Jarred Carter
"Scholarships are a means of pursuing higher education and consequently opening dozens of doors that will inevitably allow me to be presented with opportunity that many minorities in this country wouldn't have access to otherwise. Consequently, they are a liaison from the lessening of the financial burdens that cause young adults to repeat cycles of poverty and hardship which often disable them from being able to achieve more," said Jarred Carter of St. Albans, West Virginia.

Artifacts of Appreciation:
Taylor Riedel
"When alumni give back, it gives the next generation of students the opportunity to get an education just like they did," said Taylor Riedel, a third year pharmacy student the Marshall University School of Pharmacy.

Four-time Marshall grad enjoys giving back to MU
"I only had eyes for Marshall when it came time to apply for college. Marshall has always been very special to me, but the people make it a great institution of higher education. As a young boy from Lincoln County, once while riding by campus and pointing at the buildings, I asked my parents, 'what happens there?' My parents told me that is where very smart young men and women go after they graduate high school. I set my sights on becoming a Son of Marshall," said Glen Midkiff, a four-time graduate of Marshall University.

University makes commitment to go plastic-free by 2026

Marshall University has joined the ‘zero waste’ movement with a new, campus-wide commitment to becoming plastic-free.

Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert recently signed the ‘Break Free from Plastic Campus Pledge,’ which is a campus-wide commitment to eliminate all single-use disposable plastics. The pledge specifically addresses accessibility and inclusivity concerns and generates a framework for college campuses and other institutions to develop long-term systemic solutions to issues around waste and disposable consumption.

Marshall Artists Series to host outdoor concert celebrating Huntington's 150th anniversary

Mountain Health Network will present West Virginia’s own live radio program, MOUNTAIN STAGE with Larry Groce, at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium to celebrate Huntington’s 150th anniversary of becoming a city. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16. This epic live performance, held in honor of Frank E. Hanshaw Jr., will feature artists will be announced at a later date.

All seating at the stadium will be general admission. Seating will be socially distanced.

History professor launches podcast focusing on COVID-19 in West Virginia

Marshall University history professor Dr. Chris White has kicked off a new podcast discussing the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID in West Virginia Podcast with Chris White,” is available on Spotify, Stitcher and Apple Podcasts. Episodes will be posted as they are made, with two episodes already available.

Episodes will cover other medical issues, such as the vaccine rollout, as well as education concerns, the economy, the history of epidemics in West Virginia and many more, White said. Along with health care professionals, he plans to interview politicians, civil servants, counselors, coaches and many others.

Marshall set to open first commercial composting facility in West Virginia

Marshall University will soon open the first commercial composting facility in the state of West Virginia.

The composting facility, designed and operated by the university’s Sustainability Department, led by Amy Parsons-White, will be the second-largest university compost facility in the eastern United States and has the capacity to compost eight tons of organic waste per day. Organic waste consists of food waste, lawn waste, white office paper and cardboard. In addition, the university’s carbon footprint will be lowered by reducing waste haul to landfills and thousands of dollars will be saved each year in waste haul fees.

Learn more about Marshall's Doctor of Business Administration in a virtual info session

Are you thinking about advancing in your career? The DBA is ideal for aspiring collegiate professors, business consultants, policy makers, and C-level executives. Please join the Brad D. Smith Graduate School of Business for its Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Virtual Information Session on Thursday, February 25 from 3:00-4:00pm EST. During this session you will learn about the convenience with hybrid delivery mode, the low-cost and high-value program, and the three in-demand concentrations. CLICK HERE to register.

For questions about the DBA program contact Wes Spradlin by calling 304-746-8964 or emailing
NOTICE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many events in the Marshall community have been postponed or cancelled. Please CLICK HERE for updates and additional information. We remain focused and committed to offering the #MarshallUFamily the very best in events, updates and membership services to enjoy during this pandemic. We Are...MARSHALL!
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