August 2012 Press Releases

Friday August 31, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine volunteer faculty member honored with national teaching award

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Dr. Jason A. Hudak, a three-time Marshall University graduate, has been selected as a recipient of the 2012 Pfizer Teacher Development Award. The prestigious honor is given to only 13 physicians nationwide by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Foundation.

The Pfizer award is presented to community-based, new physicians who combine their clinical practice with part-time teaching of family medicine. Hudak has a private practice in Barboursville and serves as a volunteer clinical faculty member with the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

"I was really surprised to receive this award," Hudak said.  "As a new volunteer faculty member, I was learning to teach just as much as the students were learning to learn. It's been an unexpected blessing."

Hudak graduated from Marshall with his undergraduate degree in 2001 and then with his medical degree in 2005.   He completed a residency in Family Medicine in 2007.

Hudak was nominated by colleagues in the Marshall Department of Family and Community Health, including Dr. Mitch Shaver, who is residency director for the department.

"We are so proud of Dr. Hudak," Shaver said.  "A professional demeanor was one of many outstanding attributes Dr. Hudak exhibited during his residency and I think a reason why students really enjoy their rotation in Family Medicine with him - he portrays such a great example."

This is the second consecutive time a Marshall University Family Medicine residency graduate has received the AAFP Pfizer Teaching Development Award.   Last year, Dr. Scott Davis was also recognized.

Hudak will be honored at the AAFP's Scientific Assembly meeting later this year in Philadelphia.

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Friday August 31, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

State Supreme Court of Appeals returns to Marshall Sept. 18; public invited to attend session and hear four cases

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals returns to Marshall University's Huntington campus in September to conduct a session that includes four distinctive cases.

The Court's appearance on Tuesday, Sept. 18, will be its fifth in the past eight years at Marshall, but first since 2009. It is one of the many events to be staged during Constitution Week at MU, which begins Monday, Sept. 10, and concludes Thursday, Sept. 27.

The docket for the Supreme Court's visit can be found at The session begins at 10 a.m. in the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the session and a reception honoring the judges which follows in the Performing Arts Center lobby. In addition to hors d'oeuvres, pizza will be served.

The five Supreme Court justices hear appeals of decisions over all matters decided in the circuit courts, including criminal convictions affirmed on appeal from magistrate court and appeals from administrative agencies.

Menis E. Ketchum II is the Court's chief justice. He is a former member and chairman of Marshall University's board of governors. Other justices are Robin Jean Davis, Brent D. Benjamin, Margaret L. Workman and Thomas E. McHugh.

Obstructing an officer, negligence and first-degree murder convictions will be appealed during the session. A simple way to describe the other case to be heard, which is actually the first on the docket, is, "Can my neighbor order my dog killed?" It deals with dog-related injuries sustained by a 2-year-old girl.

"It is a very interesting docket," said Dr. Alan Gould, director of the John Deaver Drinko Academy at Marshall, which sponsors Constitution Week activities. "We invite all students, faculty and members of the community to join us as the Court hears and rules on these noteworthy appeals."  

Constitution Week at Marshall is an annual observance to commemorate the adoption of the United States Constitution and the contributions of Chief Justice John Marshall, for whom the university is named. Constitution Week activities are sponsored by the John Deaver Drinko Academy.

Gould said Constitution Week was started by United States Senator Robert C. Byrd in order to draw attention to the important document that our system of government is based upon.

"Included within federal legislation that was passed in 2004 was a provision requiring educational institutions that receive federal funds to set some time aside on or near the September 17th anniversary of the document's signing to study the United States Constitution," he said.

Highlighting the other events planned during Constitution Week is a slightly revamped quoits tournament. Quoits, which is similar to horseshoes, was John Marshall's favorite sport.

On Monday, Sept. 10, teams of faculty, staff, students, fraternities and sororities can sign up to play for trophies and prizes. To sign up, participants need to stop by the quoits pits on the west end of Buskirk Field between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. that Monday, e-mail Kristen Pack at, or call her at 304-696-3183. Deadline to register is 5 p.m. that day.

Competition begins Tuesday, Sept. 11, and runs through Thursday, Sept. 13. On Friday, Sept. 14, the winning team will play the Quoits Presidential Round, taking on MU President Stephen J. Kopp in a new competition. That game begins at 11:30 a.m.

On Monday, Sept. 24, as in years past, the President's Invitational Quoits Media Challenge will take place at 11:30 a.m. WSAZ's Tim Irr and Keith Morehouse won the championship last year. All quoits action is on the west end of Buskirk Field. Before the quoits challenge begins, President Kopp will cut the John Marshall birthday cake on the Memorial Student Center plaza.

Here is a brief look at other Constitution Week events:

  • 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17 - Announcement of the winner of the Judge Dan O'Hanlon Constitution Week and John Marshall Celebration Essay competition, John Marshall Dining Room

  • 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26 - First of five Amicus Curiae lectures. The guest speaker is Thomas E. Mann, author of New York Times Bestseller, It's Even Worse than It Looks: How The American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism, Marshall Foundation Hall

  • 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 - The Robert C. Byrd Forum on Civic Responsibility. Professor Jean Edward Smith will speak on the topic, History Misconstrued: Marshall, Grant and Eisenhower, Francis-Booth Experimental Theatre

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Wednesday August 29, 2012
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications, 304-746-1971

Lectures by distinguished scholars center around civil rights movement

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University will host a series of lectures by distinguished scholars  centering around the long civil rights movement in the U.S. during the fall semester, according to Dr. David Trowbridge, associate professor of history and director of African and African American Studies.

"The series is inspired by a course that I am co-teaching with Joan Browning, one of the original Freedom Riders," Trowbridge said. "Joan told me that her top priority was to get students to think beyond the 'Eyes on the Prize' series.  I hope these six topics will help to achieve that goal.  Our speakers include Bancroft Prize winners and recipients of the Carter G. Woodson Medallion.  We are certainly fortunate to have six scholars of this magnitude come to Marshall this semester."

The lecturers and their topics include:

Tuesday, Sept. 11 - Dr. Thomas J. Sugrue will speak on the unique aspects of the civil rights struggle in Northern communities.  He is the author of Sweet Land of Liberty:  The Forgotten Struggle  for Civil Rights in the North, and is the recipient of the Bancroft Prize for the best book in the field of history.

Tuesday, Sept. 25 - Dr. Tracy  K'Meyer will lecture about the unique history of nearby communities within Kentucky and their experience during the civil rights movement.  K'Meyer is the author of Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South:  Louisville, Kentucky, 1945-1980.

Tuesday, Oct. 9 - Dr. Hasan Kwame  Jeffries will address the voting rights movement in Alabama which gave rise to the original Black Panthers a local political party in Lowndes County, Ala.  He is the author of Bloody Lowndes:  Civil Rights and Black Power in  Alabama's Black Belt.

Tuesday, Oct. 23 - Dr. Danielle McGuire will speak on the connection between the civil rights movement and efforts to confront violence against  black women in the Jim Crow South.  She is the author of At the Dark End of the Street:  Black Women, Rape, and Resistance,  A New History of the Civil Rights Movement.  McGuire was the winner of the 2011 Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 - Dr. John M. Glen's topic will be the connection between Appalachia and the civil rights movement.   A scholar of Appalachian history, he will discuss the importance of the Highlander School and other interracial collaborations in Appalachia during the movement.  Glen is the author of Highlander:  No Ordinary School.

Tuesday, Nov. 13 - The final lecture features Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas speaking on the unique experiences of women and their contributions to the civil rights movement.  She also will discuss the way the civil rights movement led to greater activism among women.  She is the author of numerous books including the award-winning  Sisters in the Struggle:  African-American Women in the Civil Rights-Black Power Movement.

All six lectures will begin at 7 p.m. in the Marshall Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center on the Huntington campus and are free to the public.  This series is sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council and Marshall's College of Liberal Arts, the Center for African-American Students' Programs, Multicultural Affairs, the Department of History, and the African and African American Studies Program. 

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Tuesday August 28, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Students from Raleigh, Mingo, Kanawha counties awarded Friends of Coal Scholarships

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Three Marshall University freshmen from Raleigh, Mingo and Kanawha counties in West Virginia have been awarded the Friends of Coal Scholarships for 2012.

The recipients are Marva Virtiena Lewis of Beckley, Christopher George Robinson of Chattaroy and Erinn Whitney Rodriguez of Gallagher.

Lewis is a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Raleigh County and will major in Pre-Science/Pre-Med; Robinson is a graduate of Mingo Central High School in Mingo County and will major in Pre-Science/Pre-Med; and Rodriguez is a graduate of Riverside High School in Kanawha County and will major in BSN Nursing.

Each student will receive a one-time award of $2,500, which is the result of the sponsorship provided by the Friends of Coal for the Marshall University-West Virginia University football series. Marshall plays WVU Saturday, Sept. 1, in Morgantown in the seventh and final game of the cross-state rival series known as the Friends of Coal Bowl.

Students eligible to receive the scholarship must have had high GPAs in high school, live in southern West Virginia and demonstrate financial need.

"The Friends of Coal from across the state are so proud of these great students from Raleigh, Mingo and Kanawha counties who represent the strength, tenacity and integrity that will help secure the future for our industry, our people and the State of West Virginia," said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. "The accomplishments of these students exemplify the high standards of hard work, dedication and loyalty for which West Virginians are so well known. We're so pleased to recognize their achievements."

Steve Hensley, dean of student affairs at Marshall, said the Friends of Coal Scholarships have benefited both schools and all of the recipients in many ways.

"We thank the West Virginia Coal Association for their support of higher education," Hensley said. "Eighteen Marshall University students have received the Friends of Coal Scholarships, dating back to 2007 when the first three were awarded. Everybody wins with these scholarships - the recipients, the university and the state."

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Tuesday August 28, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall University scientist receives National Science Foundation grant for laboratory equipment

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Marshall University scientist has received a $338,845 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to fund high-end laboratory equipment that will be used by researchers and students in biochemistry, chemistry and physics.

The grant to Dr. Derrick Kolling, assistant professor of chemistry, along with colleagues at Marshall and the University of Charleston, was awarded competitively through the NSF's Major Research Instrumentation program. Kolling will use the funds to purchase a device called an electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer. The equipment will be housed in Kolling's lab at Marshall.

According to Kolling, the spectrometer incorporates a powerful magnet and a source of microwaves to observe unpaired electrons many of which are known as free radicals.

"The real power of this instrument lies in the fact that it can identify free radicals and map their surroundings," he said. "Free radicals play a vital role in a number of chemical processes, including control over blood pressure and the underlying chemistry of photosynthesis, among many others."

He added that EPR spectroscopy is also useful in understanding the electronic organization of many metal compounds.

Kolling says he and colleagues will use the new equipment to enhance their ongoing research projects to improve alternative energy production, help detect environmental toxins and chemical and biological threats, design more efficient semiconductors and safer radioactive waste disposal systems, and further the medical community's understanding of the disease atherosclerosis or "hardening of the arteries."

He said, "At least five of our faculty members in three departments will be using this device in their research right away. Just as importantly, it will immediately benefit our students. Studies show that student interest in science is enhanced by their use of high-end equipment. Generating and measuring samples on this spectroscope is an opportunity that few undergraduate students get. Through the hands-on experience they gain here, they will become better trained and more scientifically sophisticated."

He added that the University of Charleston collaborated on the grant proposal and at least one of that institution's faculty members will be using the instrument in his research. The UC faculty member also will travel to Marshall's Huntington campus to perform measurements on his students' lab samples, bringing students with him as funds allow.

Kolling noted that the nearest EPR spectrometer is currently located several hours from Marshall.

"The drive alone creates a significant hurdle," he said. "The complication of transporting temperature-sensitive materials, along with the loss of at least a day due to travel, significantly hampers our research. We are looking forward to having the equipment here, where we can have ready access."

Dr. Charles Somerville, dean of Marshall's College of Science, praised Kolling's efforts to secure the grant, saying there are also benefits from the synergistic effect of having the device.

Somerville said, "The availability of this equipment will bring together faculty from different departments and different institutions with greater frequency, increasing the likelihood that collaborations will develop. These collaborative interactions are good news for the region's entire scientific community."

Dr. John Maher, Marshall's vice president for research, said the equipment will provide a tremendous boost to the university's research infrastructure and educational programs.

"With the growing emphasis on interdisciplinary research, it is important that we continue to add tools that can be used in a broad range of studies," Maher added. "Having access to instrumentation like this spectrometer is becoming vital not only for performing cutting-edge research but also for training the next generation of scientists. Congratulations to Dr. Kolling and his co-investigators for this significant award. We applaud the immense effort and teamwork that produced it."

Kolling's co-investigators on the grant included Dr. Michael Castellani, professor and chairman of Marshall's Department of Chemistry; Dr. Michael Norton, professor of chemistry and director of the university's Molecular and Biological Imaging Center; Dr. Nalini Santanam, associate professor of pharmacology and coordinator of the cardiovascular, obesity and diabetes research cluster at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; and Dr. Xiaoping Sun, associate professor and coordinator of the chemistry program at the University of Charleston. Kolling added that Drs. Xiaojuan Fan and Maria Babiuc-Hamilton, assistant professors of physics, also contributed to the grant proposal by suggesting the use of the EPR spectrometer in the development of new semiconductors and in physics teaching laboratories, respectively.

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Monday August 27, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Successful Week of Welcome helps freshmen get ready for college careers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Nearly 1,750 Marshall University freshmen experienced the WOW factor last week on the Huntington campus. They learned about college life during the Week of Welcome (WOW), and today the Class of 2016 began the process of learning a lot more with the start of fall classes.

"They've been given a great deal of information and advice to digest that will help them not only in the first few days of their college lives, but throughout the next four years," said Dr. Gayle Ormiston, Marshall's provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. "It was a very educational and - hopefully - fun week for the students, and we believe they are eager to get started."

Among the many highlights of the week, Ormiston said, were the President's Freshman  Convocation at Cam Henderson Center, the group photo taken in the circle outside the Drinko Library, and the support the students received from their families.

The family picnic on Wednesday was a huge success. Cheryl King, operations manager with Sodexo, said the estimated 2,200-2,300 students and their families consumed about 1,800 hamburgers and 2,300 hot dogs during the 90-minute event. The Marching Thunder, the largest band in MU history with 330 members, performed on Buskirk Field and the group Jabberwocky performed on the Memorial Student Center plaza.

"We've gotten really good feedback about the picnic and other activities," said Dr. Corley Dennison, associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of undergraduate studies.

MU President Stephen J. Kopp spoke at the Convocation, along with Ormiston, head football Coach Doc Holliday, head men's basketball Coach Tom Herrion and student body President Ray Harrell Jr.  In his address to the freshmen, Dr. Kopp explained the importance of obtaining a college degree, and urged them to finish what they start. He also talked about the power of preparation, the importance of reading and the merits of hard work..

Entering college, he said, represents "an unparalleled chapter in your life."

"You each stand at the defining moment of your life," he said. "We believe in you; hopefully, you believe in yourself."

Dennison said 1,745 students registered for UNI 100 Freshman First Class this fall. Some 1,600 took part in the convocation. UNI 100 is an integral part of Week of Welcome. It is an introduction to academic structures and expectations of college life, and literally is the first class most freshmen will take at Marshall. Successful completion of the course earns one hour of elective credit.

Because they were concerned with the freshmen remaining in large groups during Week of Welcome, Marshall officials changed the format this year. Instead of keeping them in their large college groups, they divided them into UNI 100 classroom sessions of anywhere from 25 to 40 students. In all, there were 57 sessions.

"We were concerned about the large groups and we tried to address that," said Sherri Stepp, director of University College. "I think the new format worked."

Marshall also added 80 volunteer peer mentors to assist session facilitators this year. The mentors were all Marshall students, mostly undergraduate.

"The peer mentors assisted the facilitators and added credibility to what the facilitators were saying," Dennison said. "Plus, the mentors will send e-mails to students this week, making sure everything is ok and to see if they need anything."

Through Tuesday, students can get help finding their classes and other useful information from MU staff and students stationed under a green tent on the Memorial Student Center plaza.

Photos: (Above) Hundreds of freshmen and their families took part in the Week of Welcome Family Picnic Wednesday, Aug. 22, on the Memorial Student Center plaza. Photo by Tyler Kes/Marshall University. (Middle) Trombone players from the Marching Thunder perform Wednesday, Aug. 22, during the family picnic on Buskirk Field. (Below) Marshall freshmen wearing matching t-shirts representing their colleges listen to a speaker Thursday, Aug. 23, during the President's Freshman Convocation at Henderson Center. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

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Friday August 24, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

New parking facility ready for Marshall students, employees; numerous upgrades made over the summer

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Students reporting to Marshall University's Huntington campus for the start of fall classes on Monday, Aug. 27, will have new parking from which to choose.

A $7 million, six-story parking facility located on Sixth Avenue next to the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center will be open and ready for business. The garage has 411 spaces and two elevators, and payment will be 50 cents an hour for employees, students and guests. Employees also have the choice of paying a flat fee of $40 a month.

About 40 metered spaces from the surface lot used for staging the garage project will be available as well.

"This new parking facility will help commuter students and guests on campus," said Jim Terry, Marshall's director of public safety. "We are looking forward to implementing this kind of operation for the first time on our campus. We think a lot of people will take advantage of these new spaces."

Terry said the entrance to the garage Monday, Aug. 27, through Wednesday, Aug. 29, will be off John Marshall Drive and the 5 alley. Beginning on Thursday, the 30th, the main entrance on 6th Avenue will be open.

All that week, Aug. 27-31, parking in the new facility will be free. Prices go into effect after Labor Day. The garage will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each Monday through Friday, with no overnight parking. It will be closed on weekends, although that could change depending on demand.

The facility is brightly lit and energy efficient and has 50 cameras and 12 emergency phones. It is one of many projects at various levels completed this summer - some on campus, some off - by Marshall University. Some of the major ones include:

  • Extensive renovations to the Robert W. Coon Education Building at the Huntington VA Medical Center in Spring Valley, now the home of Marshall's School of Pharmacy. The $8.9 million overhaul resulted in a cutting-edge, technology-enabled learning environment and research facility. A ribbon cutting celebrating the school's opening took place Aug. 14.

  • Abatement and demolition of Memorial Field House on Fifth Avenue to make room for a new Marshall University soccer complex, which will open in 2013. Cost was $616,000. Marshall's men's team will play most of its home matches this fall in Charleston and Hurricane, while the women will play home matches at Cabell Midland, Huntington and Hurricane high schools.

  • Renovations of 40 classrooms in Corbly, Harris and Smith halls on the Huntington campus. Technology upgrades were made, new furniture, white boards and podiums were purchased, and many rooms were painted and received electrical upgrades. Total cost was $442,000.

  • Installation of a new sound system at Cam Henderson Center, home of Marshall men's and women's basketball and volleyball. The system, installed by Newtech Systems Inc., from Ashland, Ky., for $405,000, is a vast improvement to the old one, and is audible in all areas of the arena. Also, alterations to the air ventilation system will make the arena more comfortable.

  • Replacement of multiple rooftop air handling units and other work, such as replacing multiple exhaust fans, at the Twin Towers residence halls for $741,000.
    HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) renovations at the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center for $1,537,000.

  • Lobby renovations at the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing in downtown Huntington for $165,000.

  • Various concrete replacement projects at Joan C. Edwards Stadium for $37,000.

Numerous other summer projects - some large, some small - were completed, such as replacing the sidewalk at Gullickson Hall for $26,500 and converting the former auditorium on the second floor of Old Main to office space for $240,000.

Many landscaping projects were completed during the summer, and repairs and upgrades were made in many buildings.  In Jenkins Hall, room 101 was painted and received new carpeting; in Corbly Hall, automatic doors were replaced; in Old Main, central heat and air conditioning were added in three rooms on the third floor. In Henderson Center, old lights were replaced in the concourse; and, trees were removed near Corbly Hall. Off campus, the site of the 1970 Marshall plane crash in Kenova was spruced up.

Also, Marshall's residence halls received an upgrade in wireless connectivity, HVAC units and carbon monoxide detectors.

A major and required project was the installation of the carbon monoxide detectors in all residence halls that use gas.  Holderby Hall received 15 detectors, Twin Towers East 31, Twin Towers West 31, Buskirk Hall  nine, First Year Residence Hall North 11 and First Year Residence Hall South 11. Total cost of this project was more than $61,000.

The John Marshall Dining Room in the Memorial Student Center underwent a $125,000 renovation this summer. Among the improvements are new flooring, upholstery, countertops, equipment and cabinets.

New vertical banners now hang from the front of the Joseph M. Gillette Welcome Center on the corner of 5th Avenue and Hal Greer Boulevard. The green and white Welcome Center banners are highly visible to traffic from all directions approaching the intersection.

"They're so large and dynamic, they will help people locate us more easily," said Beth Wolfe, director of recruitment at Marshall. "It's been easy for people to go past us and not realized they missed us. These new banners will help people find us a lot more easily."


Photos: (Above) Marshall's new six-story parking facility, which has 411 spaces, will be open in time for the start of the fall semester Monday, Aug. 27. (Middle) The land where the Veterans Memorial Field House stood is the future home of Marshall University's soccer complex. The field house was demolished this summer. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University. (Below) New banners hang from the front of the Joseph M. Gillette Welcome Center at Marshall University, making the building much more visible to visitors. Photo by Dave Wellman/Marshall University.

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Thursday August 23, 2012
Contact: Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964

Marshall University sponsors regional biotechnology conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University is one of the organizers of the 10th annual Ohio Valley Affiliates for Life Sciences (OVALS) conference to be held Oct. 1-2 in Louisville, Ky.

With the theme "Meeting Health Care Challenges through Technology and Novel Approaches," this year's conference will bring together the region's research institutions, federal agencies, industry, investors and service providers to discuss biotechnology innovation and commercialization opportunities.

The target audience includes university researchers, technology transfer professionals, corporate scientists, business development professionals, state and local economic development officials, attorneys, investors and entrepreneurs.

According to Amy Melton, assistant director of the Technology Transfer Office at the Marshall University Research Corporation, the conference provides a forum for exposure to the thinking of national leaders, opens up strategic dialogues and expands opportunities for networking.

"Anyone interested in commercialization of biotechnology, collaboration opportunities and creating economic impact is encouraged to attend," she said. "The topics on the agenda really complement Marshall's strengths in biotech research and focus on innovation."

She said the this year's conference program will focus on partnership opportunities for commercialization of medical devices, the realities of raising capital for start-up companies in today's environment, and recent changes in patent law and how the changes will affect the patent process in the U.S.

OVALS is a collaborative effort of the University of Cincinnati, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, Marshall University, Ohio University, BioOhio, Bluegrass Business Development Partnership, CincyTechUSA and Edison Biotechnology Institute.

Additional conference sponsors include Fox Rothschild LLP, Stites & Harbison PLLC and Viksnins Harris & Padys PLLP.

For more information and registration information, visit

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Wednesday August 22, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

New students can get acquainted with community, Marshall organizations Saturday at fourth annual RecFest

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - About 80 businesses and organizations will showcase their names and services to Marshall University students and community members at the fourth annual RecFest Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Marshall Recreation Center on the Huntington campus.

The event, sponsored by Chase Bank, will take place from noon to 3 p.m. on the center's basketball court space. All freshmen and returning students, along with faculty and staff, are invited to check out the options available to them both on campus and in the Huntington area.

"RecFest is one of the last activities of the Week of Welcome," said Michelle Muth, the rec center's assistant director of marketing and memberships. "It's a good way for the students, especially freshmen and those from out of town, to get introduced to the community."

Muth said there will be many giveaways at RecFest, including an iPad 2. Other prizes and giveaways include TOMS shoes, gift baskets, gift cards, coupons, free samples of products and free food. The first 250 people entering RecFest receive free water bottles, and  at one booth, prizes will be awarded to the person who comes closest to guessing how much money is in a jar.

For musical entertainment, country singer Devin Hale will perform from noon to 2 p.m.

Week of Welcome begins today (Wednesday, Aug. 22) and fall classes start Monday, Aug. 27. The Week of Welcome Family Picnic is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today at the Memorial Student Center plaza and Buskirk Field.

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Wednesday August 22, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall homecoming parade set for 11:30 a.m. Oct. 6; interested participants can sign up now

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The 2012 Marshall University homecoming parade, sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Marshall University Alumni Association, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in downtown Huntington, SGA President Ray Harrell Jr. said today.

Harrell said participants will begin lining up at 10:30 a.m. at designated locations along 8th Street and 4th Avenue, and the parade will begin an hour later. Marshall plays host to Tulsa at 3:30 p.m. that day at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in the homecoming football game.

The theme of this year's homecoming is "Happy 175th, Marshall! Remember the Past - Thunder Into the Future."

Persons or organizations wanting to participate in the parade are invited to apply online at  For general inquiries, please contact Adam Fridley at or by phone at 304-688-8811.

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Tuesday August 21, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy,, 304-691-1713

Five new academic scholarships established at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Faculty and alumni contribute to assist students

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Five new scholarships have been created for medical students at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, courtesy of several different benefactors. One of the scholarships is geared toward medical students who plan on careers in specific areas of medicine. All five scholarships will benefit students who have demonstrated financial need.

Two of the new scholarships are being created by the faculty and staff of the Department of Orthopaedics, under the direction of Dr. Ali Oliashirazi, chairman of the department.

The Department of Orthopaedics Third Year Medical Student Scholarship will be awarded to a third-year student who has an interest in orthopaedic medicine, excels academically and has a demonstrated financial need.   The Department of Orthopaedics Fourth Year Medical Student Scholarship will be awarded to a fourth-year student who has maintained a 4.0 GPA during medical school and also has a financial need.

A third scholarship has been endowed by Dr. Monica A. Valentovic, professor of Pharmacology, in honor of her parents.  The Edward and Anne Valentovic Memorial Scholarship is named in memory of Valentovic's parents, who lived and worked most of their lives in Cleveland, Ohio. The scholarship will be awarded to a third- or fourth-year medical student who has been involved with research either at the undergraduate level or while in medical school.  Preference will be given to a student who has done or is currently involved in research with a full-time faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology.

"It is thrilling to work with individuals who are committed to helping our students in whatever ways are needed," said Linda Holmes, director of Development and Alumni Affairs.  "Dr. Oliashirazi and Dr. Valentovic are both incredible, dynamic professors and for them to take this extra step to help students financially speaks volumes about their sincere desire to see our students and our School of Medicine succeed."

Holmes said two other scholarships have been established through the generous support of a JCESOM alumnus and the grateful family of a recent graduate. They are the Janssen Scholarship for the School of Medicine, created by Dr. Eric W. Janssen, Class of 1986, and the Sekar Family Scholarship, created by Dr. Chandra S. Sekar.

The Janssen Scholarship was created in memory of Eric Janssen's parents, Mr. Fred L. and Mrs. Louis J. Janssen. The recipient of the award will be a first-year medical student who has a financial need.  The award is renewable for all four years pending satisfactory academic progress.

The Sekar Family Scholarship was created in honor of Dr. Chandra S. Sekar's son, Dr. Krish D. Sekar, Class of 2012, in memory of his late wife, Hema Sekar, and to show appreciation to the School of Medicine for his son's  medical education.    The award will be given to a first-year student and is renewable based on normal academic progress.

The five endowed scholarships will help defray annual tuition expenses for the student recipients.

For more information on the scholarships contact Linda Holmes at 304-691-1711.

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Monday August 20, 2012
Contact: Jaye Ike, College of Fine Arts,, 304-696-3296

MU Choral Union accepting new members

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University's Choral Union is looking for interested singers to join the group for the 2012-2013 season.

This fall, the choir will join with the West Virginia Symphony Chorus to present performances of Marc-Antoine Charpentier's "Midnight Mass for Christmas." The combined choirs will perform in Huntington Thursday, Nov. 29, and in Charleston Friday, Nov. 30.

"We combined the two choruses last year for our Haydn-Beethoven performances and the results were hugely successful," said Dr. David Castleberry, director of choral activities at Marshall and director of the West Virginia Symphony Chorus, who will conduct the performances. "The singers enjoyed the collaboration so much that we decided to put the choirs together again this fall."

"The Midnight Mass is a charming work, based on French Noels that are woven into the choral textures of this marvelous liturgical work," Castleberry said. "It is a delightful, evocative piece that will appeal to singers and audiences alike."

Will Murphy, who is completing a master's degree in music at Marshall, will prepare the Choral Union for these joint performances. 

Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday evening, Aug. 28, and take place each Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. in Smith Music Hall, Room 150. Music will be available for purchase at rehearsal. No audition is necessary, but previous musical experience is helpful. For further information, please contact the Marshall School of Music and Theatre at 304-696-3117.

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Friday August 17, 2012
Contact: Mallory Jarrell, Coordinator of Marketing and Branding,, 304-696-3490

Green Fridays business contest returns at Marshall

Fans can show their support for Marshall's Thundering Herd
and become a Green Fridays Winning Business

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University is encouraging employees at all Tri-State Area businesses to show their Marshall spirit this fall by wearing green as MU kicks off another series of Green Fridays.

Businesses can qualify to participate if they register for the Green Fridays business contest and their  employees wear Marshall gear every Friday. They could win  a Marshall package of four tickets to a Herd football game, public recognition and other special prizes.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 20, businesses can register by visiting Registration is open throughout the campaign and is needed only once.

On selected Fridays throughout football season, one business will be chosen as the Green Fridays Winning Business. The winner will be selected from those that qualify for the contest. Prizes will be delivered to the winning business.

Also, a group photo will be shown on the video boards during Marshall's home football game the next day in recognition of the winning business.

Businesses are encouraged to send photos of their groups participating in the contest to

Prizes will be awarded the Friday before all six home games. The dates are Sept. 7 and 14, Oct. 5 and 26, and Nov. 2 and 16.

For more information, persons may contact Mallory Jarrell by phone at 304-696-3490 or by e-mail at

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Thursday August 16, 2012
Contact: James E. Casto, Associate Director of Public Information, RCBI,, 304-781-1670

RCBI part of nation's first Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute

Federal grant will foster innovation, growth of region's manufacturers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - West Virginia's Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) is a partner in a major federal investment that will establish the nation's first Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).                                                           

The new initiative, which will receive $30 million in federal funds, is designed to connect industry, universities, community colleges, federal agencies and states together to jumpstart manufacturing innovation and foster the nation's economic growth. RCBI's Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers will be key components of this initiative. With a 50/50 match, the three-year project totals more than $60 million.

The new initiative was announced today in Youngstown, Ohio, by Gene Sperling, the President's National Economic Council Director; Rebecca Blank, the Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and Brett B. Lambert, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy.

"RCBI is pleased to join with 40 dynamic partners for this extraordinary opportunity," said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director and CEO. This regional team includes major universities such as Carnegie Mellon, Penn State, the University of Akron, Youngstown State and Kent State; businesses; community and technical colleges; research facilities and government agencies. The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) will serve as the lead for the Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania regionally concentrated team.

"This federal funding renews our fight for American manufacturing jobs and serves as a significant national stamp of approval for RCBI.  As part of this new multi-state workforce and industry hub, RCBI is helping chart a new direction for the workhorse of the American economy, our manufacturing industry," said Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.

"RCBI brings its proven technology, tools and talent to a larger table to help train America's next generation of manufacturing workers for a greater competitive edge in the global marketplace," Rahall said. "Some current trends show American manufacturers are returning their operations to our shores. RCBI's training and operational capabilities in flexible manufacturing, especially in the promising additive manufacturing process I have watched in operation, provide extra incentive to reinvest in West Virginia workers."

"Additive manufacturing has the potential to reduce start-up costs and speed up prototyping," said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. "It presents a great opportunity for this country's manufacturing sector. This is an enormous opportunity for West Virginia to create new jobs, expand the innovative manufacturing strength of our country and enhance the future of our citizens. It demonstrates strong confidence in West Virginia, our capability to innovate and the ability of our workforce to prepare for today's more technological workplace. We commend the collaborative approach that RCBI and its many partners took to apply for and win this award. That same teamwork will enable our public, private and educational sectors to combine our strengths to successfully carry out this multi-dimensional program."

The purpose of this new institute will be to accelerate the development, integration, evaluation and exploitation of efficient/rapid/flexible additive manufacturing technology for commercial manufacturing. With that goal in mind, the partners will conduct extensive outreach to businesses for the open exchange of additive manufacturing information, design tools, shared manufacturing equipment options, demonstration, process improvement and energy/cost efficiency.

"West Virginia has a strong history of manufacturing and developing new technologies, and it's only appropriate that our state continues to help lead the way with a groundbreaking new program to guarantee that America is making the best, most innovative products, and putting more people back to work.  I applaud the Obama Administration for putting together such an innovative, forward looking program," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller. D-W.Va.  

"Over the past two years, I have convened several manufacturing roundtables with West Virginia workers and business owners, held three Congressional hearings - including one in West Virginia - on the future of manufacturing, and introduced or supported a dozen bills that would help create jobs and boost manufacturing in the state - including bills to train American workers in emerging manufacturing fields and help American manufacturers stay competitive, and others to end tax breaks for companies that send jobs to foreign countries.  We can't sit and watch American jobs get shipped overseas.  With this new institute, and help from the four key West Virginia partners, we can work to keep our manufacturing center competitive and bring jobs back to the United States."

"The people of West Virginia and I believe that now is the time to start rebuilding America by creating good American jobs right here at home, and I am pleased that this project will take a step in that direction," said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is the cosponsor of the Rebuild America Jobs Act. "We need to take advantage of regional opportunities to work together to save and create good jobs in the manufacturing sector. I've been proud to support countless efforts to help this important industry and will continue to work with leaders on both sides of the aisle to address the loss of manufacturing jobs and our trade imbalance. I've always said that West Virginians are some of the hardest working people in the world, who can compete with anyone in the world - as long as the playing field is fair."

"The proven expertise of RCBI and the resources that this grant will provide are a powerful combination in terms of promoting the development of innovative and expansive applications of additive manufacturing technology," said Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp. "RCBI and Marshall have a rich history of strong collaborations that have advanced business solutions, which have fostered businesses growth and economic development. The new opportunities provided by RCBI's additive manufacturing technology capabilities continue to fuel our robust partnership and inspire tremendous pride."

"RCBI will be a key player in this partnership because our centers provide the region's manufacturers - small and large - with a unique set of offerings of shared manufacturing equipment availability, additive manufacturing expertise and 3D design technology," Weber said. "With our Design Works labs in Charleston and Huntington and our Advanced Composites Technology & Production Center in Bridgeport, RCBI is a valuable resource for the region's business and industry to access affordable design and production options in additive manufacturing technology."

Utilizing its statewide Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers and skilled instructors, RCBI will leverage its extensive education and training programs to provide degree and certification programs, workforce training and on-the-job training that are specific to additive manufacturing. RCBI also will participate in the development of "cradle to career" additive manufacturing educational programs for STEM students K-12 through college.

In addition to RCBI, West Virginia is represented by other strong partners in this new initiative. FMW Composite Systems Inc., of Bridgeport, W.Va., brings a wealth of resources - state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, composites expertise and an ongoing drive for research and innovation.  Touchstone Research Laboratory in Triadelphia, W.Va., has a history of research and development that has made it a top 100 leader in innovation for the past four years. All involved will work closely with the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown.

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Tuesday August 14, 2012
Contact: Leah Clark Payne, Public Affairs Director, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Pharmacy Ribbon-Cutting to be Streamed Live at 1 p.m.

Today's School of Pharmacy ribbon-cutting ceremony on the campus of the VA Medical Center will be streamed live beginning at 1 p.m.

The link will be operational tomorrow just prior to the start time and is located at:

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Tuesday August 14, 2012
Contact: Dave Wellman, Director of Communications, (304) 696-7153

Marshall celebrates opening of School of Pharmacy program

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for newly renovated space attracts hundreds

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After more than two years of planning, designing and renovating, the Marshall University School of Pharmacy officially opened its doors with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the school in Spring Valley.

Some 200 guests, including Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Congressman Nick J. Rahall, II, and Sen. Robert H. Plymale, attended the ceremony at the Robert W. Coon Education Building, located on the Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus in Wayne County.  Eighty students will begin preparation for their pharmacy careers when classes start Monday, Aug. 20.

"As our population ages, the need for pharmacists in hospitals, outpatient care centers, nursing homes and rural health clinics will continue to escalate," Gov. Tomblin said. "At the same time, our pharmacists are on the front line in the war on drugs, and I'm grateful that Marshall will prepare these soon-to-be pharmacists to serve our communities in every capacity their careers may encounter."

Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp said the opening of the program signals the beginning of a new era of health care and health care education for West Virginia.

"For decades, our School of Medicine has educated physicians who deliver state-of-the-art medical care to West Virginians and patients across America and the globe, regardless of whether they reside in large cities or rural communities," Kopp said.  "The establishment of the Marshall School of Pharmacy fosters the pursuit of a similarly dedicated mission.   In just four short years, the first cohort of Marshall pharmacy students will graduate. They will be well-prepared to deliver quality pharmaceutical care and counseling across the health care continuum for all sectors of our society."

Kopp praised founding dean Dr. Kevin Yingling and his colleagues for designing the program, which in the spring received pre-candidate accreditation status from the Accreditation Council on Pharmacy Education.

"I am very grateful to Dr. Yingling and his leadership team for their hard work in establishing a dynamic and well-conceived pharmacy program that will educate future pharmacists," he said.  "The need for pharmacists, particularly in West Virginia, is great as is evidenced in study after study including statistics from a 2010 report by the Pharmacy Manpower Project.   Our program, which provides an affordable public option for West Virginians, will certainly help meet that projected need."

Marshall's School of Pharmacy has established education agreements with dozens of health care providers and community pharmacies throughout West Virginia and the tri-state region where students will receive their experiential education.  Locally, hospital partners include Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary's Medical Center, Kings Daughter's Medical Center,  River Park Hospital, Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital, the VA Medical Center, Pleasant Valley Hospital, Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC),Thomas Memorial Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and CAMC-Teays Valley.

"The opening of the Marshall University School of Pharmacy marks another significant advancement in meeting the health care needs of our region," said Edward H. Seiler, Director of the VA Medical Center.  "VA staff are looking forward to our partnership with Marshall's newest academic enterprise."

Today's event also showcased the Coon Education Building, which has more than 76,000 square feet of space and recently underwent a nearly $9 million transformation.

"I am extremely pleased with the facility and what it offers our students," said Yingling.  "From the design of the technology-enhanced classrooms that feature SMART technologies to the common study spaces and patient simulation areas, our students have access to top-of-the-line educational opportunities.   They will certainly benefit from a facility that contains areas of learning, research and pharmacy practice all in one building."

The Coon building was built in the late 1970s to house Marshall's School of Medicine, but with construction of the Marshall University Medical Center, the Erma Ora Byrd Clinical Center and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center, many of the medical school classes moved to the new downtown facilities.   Edward Tucker Architects Inc., of Huntington, designed the building's overhaul and M.I.R.C. Construction Services of Scott Depot served as general contractor.


Photos: (Above) From left, Sen. Robert H. Plymale, Congressman Nick J. Rahall, II, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Marshall President Stephen J. Kopp, School of Pharmacy Dean Kevin Yingling and Edward H. Seiler, director of the VA Medical Center, cut the ribbon today during a ceremony signifying the opening of Marshall's School of Pharmacy in Spring Valley. (Below) Earl Ray Tomblin addresses the big crowd gathered today at the School of Pharmacy for a ribbon cutting. Photos by Rick Haye/Marshall University.

View complete photo gallery.

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Friday August 10, 2012
Contact: Tiffany Bajus, Communications Specialist,, 304-696-6397

Marshall University public relations students and alumni honored

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Public relations students and alumni of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) have earned awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) -West Virginia chapter.

The 2012 PRSA-West Virginia Chapter Crystal Awards Gala took place earlier this summer at the Edgewood Country Club in Charleston. The event honored exceptional public relations campaigns and tactics from 2011.

Marshall students and alumni took home 11 different awards in June including five Crystal Awards, three honorable mentions, the Best in West Virginia Award and individual honors.

Assistant Professor of Public Relations Dr. Terry Hapney Jr. said he is proud of his students and their accomplishments.

"They worked very hard to research, plan, communicate and evaluate successful public relations campaigns for River Valley Child Development Services and the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University," Hapney said. "Not only did their clients and I believe they were successful in accomplishing their goals in an excellent fashion, public relations professionals statewide also believed that. That's what these awards signify."

Marshall students in the spring 2011 public relations campaign management classes won Crystal Awards for both campaigns on which they worked.

Stacie Fonner, a member of a 2011 public relations campaign management class, said she was honored to be part of the public relations program.

"These awards are just a small symbol of the great achievements of our program," Fonner said. "The school of journalism prepares students to enter the world of PR, or in my case, the world of law. I have been complimented for my interview, editing and writing skills and have been able to propel my career because of this great undergraduate program."

The Trivia-4-Tots campaign benefitted River Valley Child Development Services and won awards in the External Communications Campaign and Media Release 500 Words or Less categories.

The Make Your Mark, Leave Your Legacy campaign benefitted the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University and won awards in the Logo and Direct Mail categories. 

The students also received honorable mentions for two posters and a special issue publication for the Trivia-4-Tots campaign.

Kaylin Adkins, Marshall public relations alumna and current marketing coordinator for the United Way of the River Cities, won a Crystal Award and the top honor, Best in West Virginia Award, for her work on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

"It was an immense honor to also receive the Best in West Virginia award for the campaign," Adkins said. "I am involved with a multitude of great initiatives, collaboratives and programs in my position. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to create and implement the public relations plan that targeted an important issue in today's society."

Many Marshall public relations graduates also work at agencies throughout the state that were honored during the awards gala, Hapney said.

Marshall alumna Rachel Coffman took home the Outstanding Young Professional of the Year award. Coffman is currently an account executive at TSG Consulting and is known for her work with social media and public relations campaigns in general.

Kim Harbour, Marshall alumna and current director of marketing and communications for the West Virginia Department of Commerce, took home the Practitioner of the Year Award. Harbour has won numerous awards over the years, including the 2011 Best in West Virginia Award and Best in Show Award at the PRSA- East Central District Diamond Awards earlier in the year.

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Wednesday August 8, 2012
Contact: Mallory Jarrell, Coordinator of Marketing and Branding,, 304-696-3490

Marshall fans encouraged to pledge their allegiance to the Thundering Herd by registering on

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - As a participant in the inaugural Pledge Your Allegiance for College Colors Day spirit competition, Marshall University is asking for fan support to help win the prestigious College Colors Day Spirit Cup and $10,000 toward the general scholarship fund.

By visiting, fans can register to pledge their allegiance to Marshall as the school with the most college spirit and loyal fan base. All registrants are entered to win weekly $50 gift cards from ESPN Shop and one of two grand prizes, including a $500 college shopping spree at ESPN Shop.

The website-based rivalry competition, which includes 165 participating colleges and universities, is an element of this year's 2012 College Colors Day celebration. It will run through the entire month leading up to College Colors Day on Aug. 31. Throughout the competition, standings will be tracked nationally, as well as by conference.

College Colors Day is an annual celebration dedicated to promoting the traditions and spirit that embody the college experience by encouraging fans across America to wear their favorite college or university apparel throughout the day on Friday, Aug. 31. It also is the kickoff for Marshall University's annual Green Fridays campaign. Fans are encouraged to wear green every Friday throughout football season to show their Marshall spirit.

The inaugural national spirit competition is presented by The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), a division of IMG College, and NCAA Football.

Fans also are encouraged to share the Pledge Your Allegiance for College Colors Day competition through Facebook.

About The Collegiate Licensing Company
CLC is a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG. Founded in 1981, CLC is the oldest and largest collegiate trademark licensing agency in the U.S. and currently represents nearly 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, The Heisman Trophy and the NCAA. The mission of CLC is to be the guiding force in collegiate trademark licensing and one of the top sports licensing firms in the country. CLC is dedicated to being a center of excellence in providing licensing services of the highest quality to its member institutions, licensees, retailers and consumers. Headquartered in Atlanta, CLC is a full-service licensing representative, which employs a staff of more than 80 licensing professionals who provide full-service capabilities in brand protection, brand management, and brand development. For more information on CLC, visit: or

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