Concord Celebrates 142 Years
Concord University marked its 142nd anniversary with a ceremony that honored faculty, staff and students. The event was meant to help explain the spirit of the university.
Interim President Kendra Boggess then spoke to the crowd about what she feels the purpose the university has found over the years.
“We feel a mission and a place in West Virginia that allows our citizens to improve their lives,” Boggess said.
The president then introduced the crowd to the keynote speaker and Princeton Native Lori McKinney. McKinney is a founder of the Riff Raff Arts Collective and a volunteer with the Princeton Renaissance Project, a movement designed to breathe life back into the struggling town. She focused her speech on bringing cultural change to the area.
“I began to realize what my hometown did have to offer,” she said. “Beautiful landscapes, historical buildings, open highways, easy living, interstate access and tons of music and heritage. All the things I didn’t realize while living here for eighteen years.”
Since the founding of the Riff Raff, McKinney and her team have painted murals on old, run-down buildings and created new town events on Halloween and New Year’s Eve.
McKinney feels that the experience is unique for her, saying, “there are thousands of people in say New York City doing what I do. Here I have the opportunity to make a significant difference and a positive impact on my home state.”
After her speech, awards were given out to faculty, staff and students based on service, teaching, scholarship, student spirit and philanthropy. The mayors of five local towns (Athens, Bluefield, Princeton, Hinton and Beckley) from the university for their part in making Concord successful.