Official Newsletter of the Marshall University Alumni Association | May 2021
Diversity – Integrity – Loyalty – Pride – Respect
Welcome To Our Newest Herd Alums
This time of year is always a special one for our office.

In addition to a budding campus and the fresh start that comes with every spring season, we get to welcome thousands of new alumni to the #HerdAlum family!

Each commencement ceremony, we revel in the opportunity to watch the newest Sons and Daughters accept their degrees in front of friends, family, and a crowd of supporters, many of whom fondly recall their time transitioning from student to alum.

For contained within each name read and each smiling face is a story of adversity overcome and little triumphs that may never see the light of day. Maybe the individual was the first in their family to attend college. Maybe they almost quit, but decided to see their degree through to the end. Maybe there were financial, personal, or classroom struggles. But housed within each of those stories, a message about perseverance and never giving up.

So from all of us in the Office of Alumni Relations and your Marshall University Alumni Association, let us be the first to welcome you as the newest members of the Marshall University alumni family. We share in the celebration of your happiness and sense of accomplishment and applaud your achievements as a student here at Marshall.

As you make the transition from student to proud alum, we urge you to become involved with development opportunities on campus and participate in alumni events and activities.

Please keep your contact information current by CLICKING HERE and be sure to connect with us on social media @marshallualumni. Your active participation will help Marshall continue to grow and prosper.

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

Office of Alumni Relations
Matt Hayes
Larry Crum
Kasey Stevens
Marshall President Jerry Gilbert announces he is leaving at end of term

Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert has announced that he will step down at the end of his term.

Last week, the 37th president of Marshall University said he will not extend his current contract, which ends in July 2022. Gilbert has been with Marshall since January 2016.

In-person Spring commencement takes place at Joan C. Edwards Stadium

Marshall University welcomed graduates and their families to Joan C. Edwards Stadium for the first commencement to be held in that facility.

The outdoor commencement took place on Saturday, May 1, at 9 a.m. at the stadium usually home to Marshall football.

Spring 2020, summer 2020, and fall 2020 graduates were also honored in the first in-person commencement since fall 2019.

The keynote speaker for the 2021 spring commencement program was Lt. Gen. Anthony Crutchfield. The native of Little Rock, Arkansas, is a 1982 graduate of Marshall University. Crutchfield graduated from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and is a Distinguished Military Graduate.

Crutchfield retired as a lieutenant general from the Army in 2017 after 34 distinguished years. He led units at nearly every level of the army, including the 10th Mountain Division’s Aviation Brigade and Commanding General of the Army’s Aviation Branch at Fort Rucker, Alabama. His last assignment before retiring was as Deputy Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, the largest combatant command in the U.S. unified command structure.

Crutchfield is currently the vice president of army systems at Boeing. In 2011 he served as the grand marshal of Marshall University’s homecoming parade and is currently on the board of the Society of Yeager Scholars.
Green tops Black 34-10 in 2021 Herd Spring Game
Quarterback Grant Wells found wide receiver Shadeed Ahmed for a pair of deep touchdowns to power the Marshall Green over the Black by the score of 34-10 at the 2021 Marshall Spring Football Game. The Saturday contest drew 5,581 fans at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

"Obviously everyone got to see a small portion of where we are," said Marshall head coach Charles Huff. "When you really look at it, it came down to what we've talked about all spring and that's consistency and execution. When we were able to execute consistently, we rolled pretty good."

Marshall OT Ball taken in fourth round of NFL Draft by Dallas Cowboys
Marshall offensive lineman Josh Ball was selected 138th overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday.

Board of Governors approves limited tuition and fees schedule
In an effort to assist incoming freshmen with their cost of education, the Marshall University Board of Governors approved a limited tuition and fees schedule that exempts in-state and metro undergraduate students from the 1.76% core fee increase that will be implemented this coming academic year.

Out-of-state undergraduate students, graduate and professional students will see the minimal rise in fees. Secondary fees like housing and meal plans will also slightly increase depending on the options chosen.

Second plane delivered to MU Bill Noe Flight School
Marshall University’s Bill Noe Flight School has accepted delivery of the second plane in its fleet of training aircraft for its new Bachelor of Science in Commercial Pilot-Fixed Wing program.

Local TEDx event focusing on rising from tragedy featured nationally by TEDx Talks
The Marshall University community celebrated an evening of “RISING” last month at the third annual TEDxMarshallU event.

Two of those stories, told by Young Thundering Herd Head Football Coach Jack Lengyel and Assistant Coach Red Dawson, were recently featured on the national TEDx social media channels.

Award winners recognized at virtual faculty meeting

Castellani, Holbrook, McInerney, Lillvis among those recognized

Awards of distinction were presented and retiring faculty recognized during Marshall University’s spring general faculty meeting held virtually Monday, April 26.

Dr. Kristen Lillvis, professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts at Marshall University, was awarded the university’s Dr. Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award for 2020-2021.

Dr. Dan Holbrook, professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts, received the Marshall and Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award.

Three people were given Distinguished Service Awards. To qualify for Distinguished Service Awards, persons must have at least 20 years of service at Marshall University, a record of distinguished service to the university and/or college, and a record of distinguished teaching as evidenced by peer, administrative and/or student evaluations. Those people are Dr. Mike Castellani, Dr. Dan Holbrook, and Dr. Marjorie McInerney.

Alumni Spotlight:
Alumni Awards Banquet

One Special Night
It is a night where Marshall University has an opportunity to shine the brightest.

A yearly spectacle honoring talented and accomplished individuals from around the globe that lay claim to a picturesque campus on the banks of the Ohio River as their alma mater. It is a night for reverence and for remembrance. But most of all, it is a night to recognize what Marshall means to the community and to the alumni who have graced its hallowed halls.

Of course, we are talking about the annual Alumni Awards Banquet, part of a larger alumni weekend that dates back nearly 100 years honoring outstanding alumni of Marshall University.

Held each spring on the Huntington campus, the Alumni Awards Banquet, preparing to celebrate its 83rd iteration in 2022, recognizes alumni, supporters, faculty, and students of Marshall on a night dedicated to showcasing the best of the university. Awards range from the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna award recognizing individuals for outstanding national achievements, to individual Awards of Distinction presented by each of Marshall’s colleges, to scholarships designed to recognize student athletes and academic success.

The event presents a yearly opportunity to honor those individuals who have achieved great successes, along with individuals who have given so much to their communities and to Marshall University.

Alumni News, Chapters
and Member Benefits
2021 Alumni Association Scholarships
Each spring the Marshall University Alumni Association and Marshall University Black Alumni Association present scholarships to deserving students at Marshall.

The scholarships, awarded to students based on a number of different criteria, are traditionally awarded at the annual Alumni Awards Banquet. As the awards banquet was not able to take place this year, these students were recognized digitally.

Let's meet this year's Alumni Association scholarship recipients.
Janis Winkfield Scholarship Award

Jaelin Cochran
Meet your 2021 recipient of the Janis Winkfield Memorial Scholarship Award presented by the Marshall University Black Alumni Association, Jaelin Cochran.

Jaelin is a health sciences major from Martinsburg, West Virginia who will be graduating a year early and attending Marshall's graduate school in the fall.

Nancy Pelphrey-Herd Village Scholarship

Madalyn Hale
Meet your 2021 recipient of the Nancy Pelphrey-Herd Village Scholarship for band presented by the Marshall University Alumni Association, Madalyn Hale.

Madalyn is a music education and music performance major from Wheelersburg, Ohio and active member of the Marching Thunder playing clarinet.

Nancy Pelphrey-Herd Village Scholarship

Giorgi Morrone
Meet your 2021 recipient of the Nancy Pelphrey-Herd Village Scholarship for cheerleading presented by the Marshall University Alumni Association, Giorgi Morrone.

Giorgi is an exercise science major from Kenova, West Virginia and a member of the Marshall University cheerleading team.

Cam Henderson Scholarship

Regan Raines
Meet your 2021 recipient of the Cam Henderson Scholarship presented by the Marshall University Alumni Association, Regan Raines

Regan is a biomedical engineering student from St. Albans, West Virginia and a three-year member of the Marshall University women's swimming and diving team.

Nate Ruffin Scholarship Award

Semoni Weaver
Meet your 2021 recipient of the Nate Ruffin Memorial Scholarship Award presented by the Marshall University Black Alumni Association, Semoni Weaver.

Semoni is a multimedia journalism major from Chester, Virginia and a freshman at Marshall.

#MyHuntington Presents Marshall Scholarships
The Marshall University Alumni Association is proud to partner with #MyHuntington in presenting the 2021 #MyHuntington scholarship recipients!

Congratulations to the winners of the #MyHuntington Scholarships! Huntington Bank in partnership with the #MyHuntington Committee awarded three students with scholarships to Marshall University for the creativity of their essays that focused on ways to improve economic development in the city of Huntington.

Leading An Alumni Chapter During A Pandemic
Leading an alumni chapter is no small feat. Leading an alumni chapter during a pandemic? We could add the laundry list of words here- unprecedented, impossible, unheard of, but from our alumni chapters- they took it as another challenge.

While they could have stayed silent and wrote 2020 off as a bad year, our alumni chapters found new ways to succeed and support Marshall University. A handful of those chapters we saw great successes from include our Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky chapter, Mid-Ohio Valley (Parkersburg, West Virginia) chapter and our Southern Coalfields (Beckley, West Virginia) chapter.

Not only did we see established chapters have success in the past year, we also heard from talented and dedicated individuals about starting alumni chapters in their regions. Some of those new chapters in development include Richmond, Virginia, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio. These developing chapters are gaining momentum with virtual events and outreach, with the hopes of building on that as we slowly return to in-person events as COVID rates decrease.

Check out how alumni chapters around the country are continuing to make an impact even during a pandemic by clicking on the link below.

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While Huntington is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2021, did you know that Marshall is actually much older than the city! Marshall traces its origin to 1837 when residents of the community of Guyandotte, then part of Virginia, and the farming region nearby turned their attention to providing better educational facilities for their sons and daughters.

According to tradition, they met at the home of local lawyer John Laidley, planned their school, and named it Marshall Academy in honor of a friend of Laidley’s, the late Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall.

On March 30, 1838, the Virginia General Assembly formally incorporated Marshall Academy. Its first full term was in 1838-1839.
Marshall Foundation
News and Updates
Southern Coalfields alumni chapter recognized

Marshall University’s Southern Coalfields alumni chapter has made an impact on Marshall for several years. This past year, they were recognized for their lifetime giving and welcomed into the Marshall University Foundation’s President’s Circle, which recognizes those who have given $100,000 to $249,999 to help the university rise.

“We are always excited when a group of alumni come together to keep their love of Marshall alive,” said Dr. Ron Area, chief executive officer of the Marshall University Foundation. “When they rise to set an example of giving back at this level, we are truly moved by their encouragement and support for our students.”

One of the chapter’s main areas of support is through their scholarship, the Southern Coalfields Scholarship Fund, which supports full-time, undergraduate, incoming freshmen who are residents of Raleigh, Summers, Fayette or Wyoming counties in West Virginia and demonstrate financial need per Marshall’s Office of Student Financial Assistance.

In 2020, the chapter committed to raising another $25,000 over the next five years so that the scholarship can provide additional support to students.

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 April 2021, 596 donors made 888 gifts towards the five pillars as we approach our goal of $150 million!

Artifacts of Appreciation:
Victoria Blickenstaff
"Scholarships mean a great deal to me. They help alleviate financial burdens, maximize my free time, and push me to achieve academic excellence. A sense of relief settled in once I learned I had earned scholarships. It made me feel that all the hard work was finally paying off and motivated me to continue to strive for future goals," said Victoria Blickenstaff, who receives the PROMISE, Marshall University Presidential and Fairmont Senior High School Foundation's Davidson Family scholarships.

Artifacts of Appreciation:
Abbey McBrayer
"To me, scholarships are important and very necessary for some individuals to obtain a college degree. When I was offered a scholarship from Marshall University, I was elated to say the least. While my parents are very hardworking and I respect them for everything they do, it would have been very difficult for me to go to college without the scholarships I have. Before my scholarship offer, I wasn't sure how I was going to pay for college," said Abbey McBrayer, the recipient of the Board of Governors and athletic Marco scholarships.

Donor Spotlight:

Tim and Trudy Bucey

Before making the commitment to attend a university, students tour many campuses. On each exploration, they discover things about each university that they like or dislike. Every time a student lands at Marshall, there are common reasons - the size and beauty of the Huntington campus, the cost of attendance and that nice community feeling that makes them feel at home. For Tim and Trudy Bucey, it was no different.

Tim, a native of Paris, Pennsylvania, attending high school in Weirton, West Virginia, as part of an arrangement between the school districts due to overcrowding. His cousin attended Marshall and when Tim began exploring collegiate options, he realized that the cost of attendance at Marshall was more economical than attending an in-state school in Pennsylvania.

Official ribbon cutting for The Landing celebrates fitness center

Marshall University officially commemorated the opening of the Landing, its independently-operated residential apartment community in Huntington, and a new gym facility located within the building.

The Landing first opened its doors in fall 2019, alongside Stephen J. Kopp Hall. The community features 200 fully furnished, pet-friendly studio and two-bedroom apartments with all-inclusive rent, stainless steel appliances, study and community space, as well as 24-hour security and parking within easy walking distance to the schools of medicine and pharmacy and the forensic science center.

Marshall approved for new neonatal-perinatal fellowship

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine received initial accreditation to establish a new neonatal-perinatal fellowship program in its department of pediatrics.

Approval for the neonatal-perinatal fellowship was issued by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the national accrediting body for post-M.D. training programs in the U.S. Neonatal-perinatal care provides intensive care for premature babies or critically ill newborns.

Researchers study campus wastewater for SARS-CoV-2

Members of the Marshall University research community have looked to an unusual outlet to supplement the battle against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Starting in the fall of 2020, a collaboration of Marshall programs began working together to collect and test campus wastewater for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Dr. Chuck Somerville, the dean of the College Science, was among a group of Marshall University employees that became aware of a program being used at municipalities across the country that would test municipal wastewater as a predictor for clinical outbreaks of the disease. The idea was that if a residence hall waste stream tests positive for Sars-Cov 2, campus safety could monitor those facilities.

New Drinko Fellow named

Sandra Reed, a professor of art and former director of the school of art and design at Marshall University, has been named the 26th Distinguished John Deaver Drinko Academy Fellow.

The announcement of her appointment was made by executive director Montserrat Miller, Ph.D., during a virtual event at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center Friday, April 23.

Reed joined the Marshall faculty in 2014. Her tenure has included four years as the director of the school of art and design; coordination of the juried poster competition that is sponsored by The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum and is a central feature of the university’s annual Black History Month Celebration; and teaching seminars for honors students, among other highlights.

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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