November 2010 News Releases

Monday November 29, 2010
Contact: Jaye Ike, Director of Communications, 304-696-3296

Choral Union concert takes place this weekend

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Choral Union will present two performances of its fall concert this weekend at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. Both performances will take place in the Smith Music Hall on the Huntington campus.

The program will include Choral Union singing Alan Hovhaness' Glory to God and Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria.

Vivaldi composed this Gloria in Venice, in 1715, for the choir of the Ospedale della Piete, an orphanage for girls. This, his most famous choral piece, presents the traditional Gloria from the Latin mass.

"I think the audiences of today walk away from this music humming the melodies presented in this work," said Mark Smith, director of the Choral Union. "It has a very sunny disposition throughout much of the work."  The Choral Union will be joined by a small instrumental group from the Marshall University Department of Music led by Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, professor of music at Marshall.

Also on the program will be a performance of Dan Forest's Three Nocturnes by the Marshall University Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. David Castleberry.

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Tuesday November 23, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Area writers launch new books with reading at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Writer Marie Manilla and poet Chris Green will read from their work at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, in the Shawkey Room of the Marshall University Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.  The reading marks the release of Manilla's short story collection Still Life with Plums, just out from the West Virginia University Press, and Green's new collection of poems, Rushlight.

Manilla, a fiction writer and Huntington native, is also the author of Shrapnel, a novel, which won the Fred Bonnie Award sponsored by River City Publishing. Her work has appeared in Mississippi Review, Calyx Journal, Kestrel, GSU Review, Portland Review, VitNow, The Long Story, Writers' Dojo, Carve, Timber Creek Review, and other literary journals.

Manilla's work has been recognized by The Chicago Tribune as a Nelson Algren finalist, and she has also received the Lawrence Foundation Award for best story published in Prairie Schooner. A graduate of Marshall University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she teaches writing and lives in Huntington with her husband Don Primerano.

Green, a poet, scholar and Lexington, Ky., native, co-edited Coal: A Poetry Anthology and was also editor of Wind - Kentucky's oldest and longest running literary journal - from 1999 to 2003.  His work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine and Artful Dodge, among other literary magazines.

Green's historical study of race and social justice in Appalachian writing, The Social Life of Poetry (Palgrave Macmillan), has established him as a major voice in the region. He has taught poetry writing to community roundtables, rural special-education students, third graders and convicts, as well as at Kentucky's Governor's School for the Arts. He teaches writing and literature in Marshall University's English department.

Their appearance is sponsored by the Marshall Visiting Writers Series with support from the English department and the College of Liberal Arts.

For more information, contact Art Stringer in the Marshall English department at 304-696-2403.

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Tuesday November 23, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Nearly 1,100 students to graduate from Marshall in December

Nearly 1,100 students will graduate from Marshall University on Sunday, Dec. 5, when the university celebrates its 2010 Winter Commencement at Cam Henderson Center on MU's Huntington campus. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m.

Among the 1,069 students receiving degrees are 650 undergraduates, 414 with graduate degrees and five from the School of Medicine. The Winter Commencement will honor graduates from July and August 2010, and tentative December 2010 graduates.

Graduates will be recognized individually at the Winter Commencement. They will walk to the area in front of the stage, where their names will be announced, and they will receive congratulations and a scroll from the Marshall Alumni Association.

Registrar Roberta Ferguson said 159 students will graduate with honors. Fifteen will graduate summa cum laude (3.85 to 4.0 GPA), 46 magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.84 GPA), and 90 cum laude (3.3 to 3.59 GPA). Two students receiving associate degrees will graduate with high honors, and six associate degree recipients will graduate with honors.

Based on tentative grade point averages, three students will complete their baccalaureate degrees with perfect 4.0 GPAs. They are April Ann Crouse of Culloden, West Virginia, Truc Thai Thanh Pham of Huntington, and Arianna Cathena Price of Gerrardstown, West Virginia.

Dr. Bonita Lawrence, the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia's 2009 Professor of the Year, will deliver the keynote address.

Lawrence has been at Marshall since August 2001 when she was hired as an assistant professor of mathematics. She was promoted to associate professor in 2003, granted tenure in 2005 and promoted to professor in 2007. She received the Marshall University Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award for 2001 and 2006, the Marshall and Shirley Reynolds Outstanding Teacher Award for 2004 and the Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award in 2009.

She received her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics in 1979 from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla., her Master of Science in Mathematics in 1990 from Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and her Ph.D. in Mathematical Sciences in 1994 from the University of Texas at Arlington.

DVDs available

Marshall University will make available DVDs of 2010 Winter Commencement. Nancy Pelphrey, Marshall University's coordinator of alumni programs, said a table with order forms will be set up in the upstairs lobby of Henderson Center from 1 p.m. until commencement is over. DVDs cost $15 each, and payment can be made by using Visa, MasterCard, Discover or cash, or by check made payable to the Marshall University Alumni Association.

The DVDs will be produced by Marshall University Instructional Television Services. For more information, contact Pelphrey at 304-696-3134.


Free parking for commencement will be available in the garage across 3rd Avenue from Cam Henderson Center, or on any university parking lot. The garage and the Joan C. Edwards Stadium West Lot provide the most convenient parking.

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Friday November 19, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Toys for Tots campaign continues at Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Many toys have been collected but many more are needed three weeks into the 2010 Toys for Tots regional campaign staged by the United States Marine Corps Reserves and supported by Marshall University.

The drive to collect toys this holiday season for needy children in 14 West Virginia counties and four counties in Ohio began Nov. 1 and continues through Dec. 17. Collection boxes have been placed in the Memorial Student Center and other buildings on MU's Huntington campus.

New, unwrapped toys valued at no more than $30 each may be dropped off at the Memorial Student Center throughout the campaign. They also may be dropped off at various locations in all 18 counties - just look for the Toys for Tots posters.

The student center will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22 through Wednesday, Nov. 24, for those who would like to drop off toys there next week. The student center will be closed Thanksgiving Day through Sunday, Nov. 28.

Toy distribution is planned for Dec. 18-20.

For more information, contact Staff Sgt. Don Snyder, who is heading the campaign, at 304-776-4806, ext. 302, e-mail him at, or visit the Toys for Tots web site at


Photo: Tommy Reynolds, wearing the hat, and Tim Crowder sort through the toys collected so far during the 2010 Toys for Tots regional campaign. Reynolds and Crowder are military veterans and Marshall University students. Three weeks into the campaign, 225 toys have been collected, but many more are needed as the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves has received thousands of requests for toys. Marshall University photo by Rick Haye.

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Tuesday November 16, 2010
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services, 304-746-2038

Marshall Theatre Alliance to present 'A Christmas Carol'

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Theatre Alliance will present a one-man play based on Charles Dickens' novella A Christmas Carol, featuring theatre faculty member Jack Cirillo. The performances will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2; Friday, Dec. 3; and Saturday, Dec. 4, in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse on the Huntington campus.

Set in 1867, the play is based on the condensed version Dickens himself used on his reading tours of the United States in the 19th Century. Portraying Dickens, Cirillo performs from memory the magical story of Ebenezer Scrooge's journey from miserliness to redemption with warmth and humor.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $5 for children and seniors.  Admission is free to Marshall students with valid IDs. For tickets and information, call the box office at 304-696-2787.

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Tuesday November 16, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Huntington Federal Savings adds to Kermit McGinnis professorship fund


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Huntington Federal Savings has added $50,000 in 2009 and 2010 to the principal of the fund that honors its chairman of the board, Kermit McGinnis, with distinguished professorships in Marshall University's Lewis College of Business.

Dr. Chong W. Kim, dean of the college, said the principal of the endowed fund has reached more than $300,000 with these latest gifts.

Dr. Deanna Mader, professor of marketing, and Dr. Harlan Smith, professor of economics, are the current recipients of the Kermit McGinnis Endowed Professorships.

McGinnis is the chairman of the board of Huntington Federal Savings Bank and an alumnus of Marshall. He is member of the John Marshall Society and served as president of the Marshall University Foundation in 1982-1983. He was selected for the Lewis College of Business Hall of Fame in 2000.

Kim expressed his appreciation for Huntington Federal's contribution. "The maintenance of the high quality of professors is the most important element in providing an excellent business program for Marshall University," he said, adding that this quality will lead to maintaining accreditation by AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, which is considered the premier accreditation body for business schools.


Photo: Kermit McGinnis, left, chairman of the board of Huntington Federal Savings Bank, and Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp display an oversized check for $50,000 presented today to the Marshall University Foundation for the Lewis College of Business/Kermit McGinnis Endowed Professorship. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Tuesday November 16, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Memorial service available on YouTube

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Sunday's memorial service for the 75 persons who lost their lives in the 1970 plane crash may be viewed on Marshall University's HerdVideo site on YouTube. The video may be accessed by clicking on "Videos" on, or directly at

The ceremony included remarks by Marshall Head Football Coach John "Doc" Holliday, Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp and acting West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. The keynote address was given by William "Mickey" Jackson, president of the Marshall University Alumni Association. Jackson was a coach of the 1970 football team, most of whom perished in the crash along with coaches, staff members, supporters and flight crew. He was not on the plane because of a scouting trip.

In addition, a still photo gallery may be viewed by clicking "Photos" on or directly at

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Monday November 15, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall to kick off United Way campaign on Nov. 16

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will begin its 2010 United Way campaign Tuesday, Nov. 16 with a kickoff celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center lobby on the Huntington campus.

The campaign, which is part of the West Virginia State Employee Combined Campaign (WVSECC), runs through Friday, Dec. 17.

Marshall faculty, staff and administrators will be serving cake throughout the event, and hot dogs, pop corn and drinks will be served as well. Donations will be accepted.

Lisa Martin is chairperson of the President's Blue Ribbon committee, which represents different departments and campuses. She said Marshall's campaign, conducted in conjunction with the United Way of the River Cities, is called "Change for Change."

The goal at Marshall, she said, is to increase participation by signing up 155 new donors, and for current donors to continue to participate.

"The United Way partners across the tri-state do a good service for the community," Martin said. "They need support from everyone. We realize these are tough times for a lot of people, but these service organizations, charities and agencies do benefit a lot of people who use their services."

Those who choose to donate may target their contribution to a specific agency listed in the WVSECC brochure. The United Way of the River Cities, Inc., has 28 partner agencies.

In addition to annual pledges and payroll deductions, Marshall University employees may contribute by participating in numerous fund-raising activities planned during the campaign. An updated schedule of campaign activities is expected to be available at beginning the day of the kickoff.

One of the most popular special activities is the opportunity for Marshall employees to wear jeans to work. Participants will be "permitted" to wear jeans to work on selected days, depending on which day they choose and how much they donate to the campaign. Jeans days are Nov. 16, 18, 23 and 30, and Dec. 2, 7, 9, 14 and 16.

"I'm Wearing Jeans for United Way" stickers may be purchased in the following locations:

         Old Main basement, mailroom (Leonard Lovely, 696-6644)

         Old Main 207, Human Resources (Stephanie Gray, 696-2593)

         Memorial Student Center 2W6 (Eleanore Beckett, 696-6472)

         Holderby Hall 109 (Sharon Booth, 696-2569)

         Gullickson Hall 112 (Cammy Holley, 696-5459)

         Sorrell Bulding, Physical Plant (Anita Hill, 696-2989)

         Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center 301Q (Anita Mathis, 696-7322)

         MU Medical Center, dean's office 3408 (Wanda Webb, 691-1700)

Cost to purchase stickers is $3 for one day, $5 for two days or $20 for all nine days.

For more information on Marshall's United Way campaign, call Martin at 304-696-2495.

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Thursday November 11, 2010
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Media Communications Specialist, 304-696-6397

Organization of African Students presents 'An African Wedding'

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Organization of African Students will present an original play, "An African Wedding," at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov.12, in Smith Hall Auditorium 154 on the Huntington campus.

The play is entirely student produced and is an original work written and directed by Marshall University graduate student Luwin Witherspoon, who is from Liberia, and co-written by Joyce Ishola, a senior from Nigeria.

"In addition to the intriguing story of love and marriage, this play showcases the unique culture, rituals, and traditions of pre-marriage and the marital ceremony of a young couple in Africa," said Maurice Cooley, director of the Center for African American Students' Programs, which is sponsoring the performance. "It's strikingly different from our Western culture and ceremony.  This is a grand opportunity to experience the creativity of our students, while exploring the similarities and differences in cultures."

The play is free and open to the public.   Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Cooley by phone at 304-696-5430.

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Thursday November 11, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Lajterman family to present check to MU Foundation to endow Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Members of the Marcelo Lajterman family will present the Marshall University Foundation, Inc., with a check for $23,000 to endow the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship during the Thundering Herd's football game Saturday with Memphis at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Lajterman, a native of Lyndhurst, N.J., was a placekicker for Marshall and was just 19 years old when he died in the 1970 plane crash. The amount of the scholarship represents the No. 23 Lajterman wore when he played for Marshall.

The presentation will take place during the first timeout of the opening quarter. The game begins at 3 p.m.

Joining Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp and Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the foundation, in the presentation will be Marcelo Lajterman's mother, Mrs. Emily Lajterman; his brothers, Mo and Tito, and their spouses, Karen and Linda; another brother, Abe; Marcelo's niece and nephew, Julie and Josh Lajterman; and his cousin, Adrian Steingart.

The foundation announced establishment of the Marcelo Lajterman Memorial Scholarship in 2008.

Kristi Arrowood, director of Foundation Development and Strategic Programs, said the Lajterman family has worked hard to raise enough money to endow the scholarship. A minimum of $15,000 was needed, but the Lajtermans set and reached a goal of $23,000 to match Marcelo's number.

"They are passionate about making sure Marcelo's name lives on," Arrowood said. "Their family has worked endless hours with golf tournaments, auctions and fund raisers to make this happen. We are humbled by the Lajterman family's commitment to not only give back to Marshall University through this scholarship, but to honor the life of number 23 - Marcelo Lajterman."

To learn more about Marcelo Lajterman or to contribute to the scholarship, persons may visit They also may contribute to the scholarship by contacting the Marshall University Foundation at 304-696-6781. Arrowood may be reached by calling 304-696-3505.

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Wednesday November 10, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Criminal Justice students do well in competition at conferences

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Graduate and undergraduate students from Marshall University's Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology received awards in their field at two recent conferences.

Two students who took part in the West Virginia Criminal Justice Educators' Association's annual conference Nov. 4-5 won two of the four awards for the student paper competition.

Andrew Walker of Philippi, W.Va., took first place in the graduate student competition, and Angie Taylor of Williamstown, W.Va., took first place in the undergraduate competition. Each received a $100 award.

Two Marshall graduate students, along with three undergraduates, presented papers during the conference, which took place at West Virginia University-Parkersburg. Graduate papers included Walker's "Honk if You're Mad!: Examining Aggressive Driving Through Displaced Aggression Theory," and Amy Sadler's "Female Domestic Serial Killers."

Undergraduate papers included Taylor's "A Perspective of Child Abuse;" Adam Slone's "Merton's Anomie Theory and Organized Crime;" and Kyle McCallister's "School Shootings."

In October, the Marshall University Alpha Omega Chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon was in Institute, W.Va., for the association's Region IV Conference.

Members of the chapter participated in written criminal justice knowledge exams and competed in the investigation of a mock crime scene. The conference ran Oct. 21-23.

Alpha Omega members took home several awards. Michael Ellis was first in police management and third in juvenile justice, and Samantha Miller won first place on the corrections knowledge exam. Both Ellis and Miller competed on the lower collegiate level.

In the upper collegiate division, Andrew Walker placed second in juvenile justice knowledge. In the crime scene competition, Matthew Johnson, Danielle Ocheltree and Samantha Miller took third place at the professional level.

For more information, contact Dr. Kimberly A. DeTardo-Bora, associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology, at 304-696-3084.

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Wednesday November 10, 2010
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

Brazilian music professors to perform at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Two Brazilian music faculty members, guitarist Dr. Werner Aguiar and cellist Dr. Hans Twitchell, will present a free public recital at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall University's Huntington campus.

The two will be visiting Marshall University as part of a faculty exchange program beginning Monday, Nov. 15, and continuing through Friday, Nov. 19.

Aguiar is from the Federal University of Gois (UFG) in Goiania and Twitchell is from the State University of Santa Catarina (UDESC) in Florianupolis.

In addition to their recital, the artists will give master classes to MU guitar and cello students, observe classes, meet with the students from their schools who are presently studying at Marshall, meet the Marshall students who will be studying at their schools next semester and meet with Marshall  administrators.

This faculty exchange is one element of an agreement the Brazilian schools have with Marshall and Morehead State University in Kentucky. It is part of a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education and the Brazilian Ministry of Education.  The first year of the grant, 2009-10, was dedicated to planning the specifics of the program and securing agreements among the four universities. Faculty and administrators from the four schools visited each other's campuses and discussed curriculum and procedures for the exchange program.

In addition to the faculty exchange, this semester two music students from UFG and one from UDESC are studying at Marshall.  Next semester three Marshall students will be studying in Brazil, two at UFG and one at UDESC.

Each year of the grant, three Marshall and three Morehead students will spend one semester studying in Brazil, and three students from UFG and three from UDESC will spend a semester at Marshall and Morehead State.  In addition, two faculty members from each U.S. university and two from each Brazilian university will travel to the partner universities to teach and perform.

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Tuesday November 9, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall Theatre Alliance to present evening of 10-minute plays

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Theatre Alliance will present an evening of 10-minute plays and a staged reading of Bert V. Royal's Dog Sees God - Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, in the Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre on the Huntington campus.

One-act works include Welcome to the Moon by John Patrick Shanley, That Midnight Rodeo by Mary Sue Price, A Sermon by David Mamet, The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Where Babies Come From by Christopher Durang and Time Trap by Marshall theatre student Erik Woods, as well as several other comedic pieces.

The critic in CurtainUp Reviews, an online theatre magazine, called Dog Sees God  "...easily identifiable with the Peanuts crowd yet with a distinctly 'Royal' touchThe way Royal builds on the foundation of Charles Schulz's iconic comic strip actually results in a parody that's also a stand-alone play apt to resonate even with anyone belonging to that small population segment unfamiliar with Peanuts."

This production is for mature audiences and not appropriate for children.

For more information call 304-696-6395 or 304-696-2787.

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Monday November 8, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Distinguished writer Dinty Moore to read from his work at Marshall

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Writer Dinty Moore will read from his work at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, in the Shawkey Room of the Memorial Student Center on Marshall University's Huntington campus. 

Moore is the author of five books of prose.  His memoir, Between Panic and Desire (University of Nebraska), was winner of the 2009 Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize. 
His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, The Emperor's Virtual Clothes, and the writing guide, The Truth of the Matter: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction.

Donna Seaman at Booklist says of his new memoir: "Moore forges a brisk, incisive, funny, sometimes silly, yet stealthily affecting memoir in essays and skits, a generational autobiography."

Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harper's, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader, and Crazyhorse, among many others. 

His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.  His work has also been honored as a "notable" in Best American Essays 2010.  He directs the Creative Writing program at Ohio University.

His appearance is sponsored by the Marshall English Department, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Office of the Provost.  It is free and open to the public.

For more information, call Art Stringer in Marshall's English Department at 304-696-2403.

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Friday November 5, 2010
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

MU Chamber Choir to present fall Concert

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall University Chamber Choir, a select thirty-four-voice ensemble, will present a fall concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, in Smith Recital Hall on Marshall's Huntington campus.

Selections to be performed range from sixteenth-century masterpieces by Palestrina and Gabrieli to a set of newly composed pieces by Dan Forrest, titled "Nocturnes." The latter work includes settings of poetry by Sara Teasdale, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman for choir and percussion. Other selections include folk songs and spirituals.

Dr. David Castleberry, director of choral activities and conductor of the Chamber Choir, is particularly excited about the music included in this performance. "For a young choir to accept the challenge of such a difficult program, and to sing beautifully and with conviction, is a remarkable accomplishment," Castleberry said. "This music covers an amazing spectrum of emotions, musical styles and technical demands, and the singers have risen to the challenge."

Castleberry speaks with particular emotion about Heinrich Schutz's "Musikalische Exequien" as one of the most profound and moving pieces he has ever encountered. "For a composer to have lived the life Schutz lived, surrounded by war that took from him the musicians with whom he worked, and plagues that claimed nearly a third of his town, including his wife and two daughters, is extraordinary. For him to then set words such as 'The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord,' is even more remarkable. His music communicates hopefulness and joy, even in the most dire of circumstances - making him as relevant today as he was four hundred years ago."

The concert is free, open to the public and will last about an hour.

The Chamber Choir is a touring ensemble which has been heard on National Public Radio and seen on public television. The group has also given performances for the American Choral Directors Association and the West Virginia Music Educators Association.

For further information about concerts at Marshall University, contact the music office at 304-696-3117.


Photo: Marshall University's Chamber Choir, conducted by Dr. David Castleberry and accompanied by Mark Smith, will perform in concert Sunday, Nov. 14.

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Tuesday November 2, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Victims to be honored on 40-year anniversary of plane crash

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The 75 victims of the 1970 Marshall University plane crash will be honored at the annual memorial service conducted by MU's Student Government Association at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 on the Huntington campus.

The service will take place on the Memorial Student Center plaza on the 40-year anniversary of the crash, which occurred at about 7:47 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 1970. A DC-9 jetliner, returning Marshall home from its football game at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., clipped some treetops just short of Tri-State Airport and went down. Victims included Marshall football players, coaches, staff and supporters, along with the crew of five.

Patrick Murphy, a New York native and president of Marshall's student body, said he knows how important the annual memorial service is to the surviving family members and the entire MU community.

"I have tried to plan the ceremony with the utmost sincerity and empathy for what I hope will be a memorial service that properly honors the victims and their families," Murphy said. "I have met so many people that have been affected by the events of November 14th and feel extremely honored to be given the opportunity and privilege to be a part of something that means so much to so many people."

Mickey Jackson, president of the Marshall University Alumni Association and a former running back and assistant coach for the Thundering Herd, will be the keynote speaker at the service. He was an assistant coach for the 1970 Thundering Herd and missed the flight from Greenville because he, along with assistant coach Carl Kokor, was scouting future Marshall opponent Ohio University in its game with Penn State.

"I am very proud and honored to have been asked to deliver the message - a very important message that needs to be repeated every year," Jackson said. "And that message is that we should never, ever forget those who lost their lives while contributing to the Marshall University football program."

Jackson said he always has mixed emotions when attending the memorial service.

"It is very inspirational to remember those folks and the relationships," he said. "But, it is very, very sad at the same time. When they place the wreath at the fountain and the water stops, my heart just stops beating."

Jackson, a 1968 Marshall graduate, played football for the Thundering Herd from 1964 through 1966. He gained 1,231 yards rushing for his career and scored 24 touchdowns. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, and formerly was backfield coach for legendary Coach Woody Hayes at Ohio State University.

Joining Murphy and Jackson as speakers will be Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick, and head football Coach Doc Holliday.

The service will conclude with the traditional placing of the memorial wreath at the Memorial Fountain. The fountain will be silenced after the laying of the wreath, and remain silent until next spring.


Photo: Mickey Jackson, president of the Marshall University Alumni Association and a former running back and assistant coach for the Thundering Herd, will be the keynote speaker at the plane crash memorial service Nov. 14.

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Tuesday November 2, 2010
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts, 304-696-3296

Guest artist series to present bassist Volkan Orhon

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's MUsic Alive concert series will host double bassist Volkan Orhon on Friday, Nov. 12. The concert will take place at noon at First Presbyterian Church in Huntington, which is located at 1015 5th Ave.

The guest artist will be joined by cellist Dr. Şőlen Dikener, a member of the Marshall music faculty, and another bassist, Jason McNeal.

The double bass is a relatively rare solo instrument, Dikener said. A native of Turkey, Orhon has established himself as one of the top double bassists in the world today. He was a finalist and prize winner in the Concert Artists Guild Solo Competition in New York City, and was the co-first place winner of the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition. Additionally, he distinguished himself as the first double bass player ever to win the grand prize overall and first prize for double bass at the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition.

Orhon has performed with internationally recognized musicians including Gary Karr, Fazil Say and the Emerson String Quartet, and has been a soloist with many symphony orchestras. As a pedagogue, Orhon has been an invited clinician to workshops across the U.S. and abroad, including the Ouro Branco Festival in Brazil, the World Bass Festival in Paris, the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the International Society of Bassists. He currently is the associate professor of double bass at the University of Iowa and principal double bass in the Orchestra Iowa. He is a D'Addario Diamond Performing Artist.

In a collaborative effort with the First Presbyterian Church of Huntington, Marshall's Department of Music has been offering the MUsic Alive series since 2006. The concerts take place at noon on Fridays for an hour, followed by a luncheon prepared by the church members. This gives the opportunity for the audience to meet the artists and ask them any questions they may have.

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Tuesday November 2, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Training for W.Va. Sheriffs' Association to take place at Marshall University

- Marshall University's Geography Department is hosting aerial imagery and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) training for the West Virginia Sheriffs' Association on Wednesday, Nov. 3 and Thursday, Nov. 4.

"Marshall University welcomes the Sheriffs' Association to campus and is happy to provide the use of our GIS computer lab for the professional community," said Dr. James Leonard, associate professor of geography.

The training will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day in computer labs in Harris Hall and Smith Hall on the Huntington campus.

The West Virginia Sheriffs' Association (WVSA) is a nonprofit organization composed of the 55 sheriffs that serve each county in West Virginia and honorary members statewide. WVSA works with the West Virginia Legislature to improve conditions for law enforcement officers and make the state safer.  The Sheriffs' Association offers annual scholarships and hosts a camp for teenagers interested in law enforcement at the West Virginia Sheriffs' Youth Leadership Academy.

The West Virginia Sheriffs' Association has invited deputies and IT workers from all over the state to attend this pilot training session for Pictometry's Electronic Field Study (EFS) software.  The training is designed to familiarize end users with EFS software including the general layout of the screen, menus, functions, and tools. This class is designed as a "hands-on" class.

The software, data, and training will be provided by Pictometry International Corporation, headquartered in Rochester, N.Y.  Pictometry is a leading provider of geo-referenced aerial, oblique image libraries and related software.  Pictometry technologies are widely used by county GIS, planning and assessing professionals around the country and a growing number of commercial businesses including those in insurance, utilities, real estate, construction, and more.

WVSA has contracted with Pictometry to provide aerial imagery covering the entire state of West Virginia, EFS software, and training for law enforcement officers, administrators, and IT support staff.  The imagery and software will be used in both routine and emergency public safety conditions and eventually will be available for every sheriff's office in West Virginia.

For more information, contact Dr. James Leonard at 304-696-4626.

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Monday November 1, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall students get a chance to start their own fraternity

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity is being welcomed back to campus this week as it begins its two-week recruiting process to re-colonize the chapter at Marshall University.

Two members of Pi Kappa Phi's national staff, Curt Herzog and Tyler Johansson, are on campus through Nov. 14 looking for men who are interested in stepping up and becoming founding members of a new and unique fraternity on campus.

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity was founded in December of 1904 and since has established itself as a distinctive organization within the fraternity world. Pi Kappa Phi officials say it was the second fraternity to outlaw hazing, the first to establish a student leadership program, and the only fraternity to found, own, and operate its own non-profit philanthropic organization. For more information, visit

Founding members of the new chapter at Marshall will have an opportunity to leave their legacy at MU and influence the lives of men who will follow in their footsteps. They will also be able to take advantage of leadership conferences, apply for more than $80,000 worth of scholarships, or even ride a bicycle across America for Pi Kappa Phi's Philanthropy, Push America. To see what Pi Kappa Phi is about, watch this video:

According to Herzog, the ability to create your own rules and traditions is the most enjoyable experience of starting your organization.

"Starting a chapter of Pi Kappa Phi is an amazing opportunity for students to discover and develop their leadership abilities, and to make a positive change in not only their Greek and campus community, but also in their own lives," said Herzog, a founding father of Pi Kappa Phi at Missouri State University.

"Anyone can join a fraternity, but building your own fraternity is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. From budgets to brotherhood, you make the decisions; you set the rules; you start the traditions. And along the way, you'll also build lifelong friendships."

Any men interested in hearing more about the opportunity to become a founding member may contact Johansson by phone at 704-359-7832 or by e-mail at

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Monday November 1, 2010
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Record turnout expected for 7th annual Marshall Marathon

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - More than 1,400 people from about 40 states have signed up to run or walk in the 7th annual Marshall University Marathon Sunday, Nov. 7, race director Tom Dannals said today.

The number of pre-race entrants is a record for the event, what starts at 7 a.m. on 3rd Avenue near Cam Henderson Center on Marshall's Huntington campus. Along with the USA Track & Field-certified 26.2-mile marathon, other events include The Herald-Dispatch half-marathon and the half-marathon relay, and the 5-mile walk. The previous most pre-race entrants was 800 and the highest final count was 1,100 in 2009.

This year's total includes 75 in the new armed forces division. Military personnel received special entry prices in honor of their service to the country.

"We've grown to this number despite being in a small city due to the incredible contribution of our volunteers in all aspects of the race - at the intersections, at the expo and the dinner the day before, and at the finish line," Dannals said. "Also, people love the goal-line finish carrying the football at a major university."

The last mile of the marathon takes runners and walkers through Marshall's campus for a goal-line finish at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The flat, fast course extends to west Huntington and back, passing Pullman Square and the Ohio River, and going through Ritter Park. Footballs are available for runners to carry the final 100 yards if desired.

Although the cutoff date to register online has passed, participants may still register on Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Marshall Recreation Center. There will be no race-day registration for any event.

Entry fees are as follows: marathon, $80; The Herald-Dispatch half-marathon, $50, and half-marathon relay, $75 per team; 5-mile walk, $20.

For more information, visit

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