ATHENS, W.Va. – The Concord University Office of Advancement and the Concord University Foundation announce the establishment of the James H. “Buck” Harless Memorial Business Scholarship. The memorial scholarship is generously provided by the Preservati Family Charitable Trust Foundation.
This scholarship will be awarded annually to a promising southern West Virginia student who is pursuing a degree in business at Concord University and who is a resident of Mercer, McDowell, Mingo or Wyoming county.
Preference will be given to students who are children of a person who is currently employed or was previously employed in the coal mining industry.
“Mr. Harless was a longstanding friend of Concord University and his many generous gifts of resources and time will always be remembered. Now, many more students will benefit from his generosity,” Bren Yeager, Interim Executive Director of the Concord University Foundation, said.
A native of Taplin in Logan County, West Virginia, Harless was a renowned businessman and philanthropist. He was a resident of Gilbert, W.Va. and served as chairman of the board of International Industries and president/chairman of the James H. Harless Foundation. He had also served as president/chairman of the Larry Joe Harless Community Center Foundation.
Harless received an extensive list of honors and awards during his lifetime. Among these accolades are: Coal Man of the Year, 1976, WV Coal Association; West Virginian of the Year, 1983, Charleston Gazette Mail; Spirit of Life Award, City of Hope, 1984; John Marshall Medal of Civic Responsibility, 1994; Public Citizen of the Year, WV Bar Association, 1998; First Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award, Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc., 2008; and, Because of You Award, Miners Celebration, 2013.
Concord University recognized Harless for his exemplary service by awarding him an honorary degree. In 2003, he was presented the Doctor of Business Administration, honoris causa.
Harless was an advocate for Concord students as a contributor to the University’s scholarship program. Along with his own support, Harless encouraged others to contribute as well. In 2003, he served as keynote speaker for Concord’s scholarship fundraiser at The Greenbrier Hotel.
He also contributed to the President’s House fund at Concord and The James H. Harless Development Suite in University Point was named in his honor for his significant contribution to this project.
Harless passed away in January of 2014 at the age of 94.
For additional information on the James H. “Buck” Harless Memorial Business Scholarship, contact Bren Yeager at [email protected] or 304-384-6056.