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The 28th Annual David S. Roth Memorial 5K Run

By James Trent
On April 11, 2018

Entry fees for the run fund the Roth Scholarship.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Roth


2018 marks the 28th annual David S. Roth Memorial 5K Walk/Run, and the 28th year of the Roth Scholarship to honor Concord’s writing talent. 
The namesake for the run, Dr. David S. Roth, was an English and journalism instructor at Concord from 1969 to 1986. He was a beloved professor who was very active in the school’s athletic activities.  According to Dr. Elizabeth Roth, “his contributions to the life of the university included enthusiastic support for Concord University athletics in his roles as statistician, reporter, announcer at football games, and ardent Mountain Lions fan.” He was appreciated for his work in the classroom as well as out of it, and he served the Mountain Lions until his death in 1986 after many years of battling cancer. As Dr. Roth puts it, “His zest for life and the courage he manifested during several years of struggle against cancer were an inspiration to the university community.”
After he passed away, three of his colleagues and friends, Dr. Sheila M. Chipley, Dr. William K. Finley, and Dr. William J. Ofsa, all got together and started the Roth Scholarship. Since Dr. David Roth was a valued English professor, they decided that the purpose of the scholarship would be “to encourage retention of currently-enrolled Concord University students who demonstrate strong writing skills,” according to the Roth Scholarship’s official website. Students who won the writing competition held each year would be awarded $1000 for their talents, to honor Dr. David Roth’s memory. 
It would be another four years in the spring of 1990 before the Memorial 5K Walk/Run would be launched by Dr. Roger F. Sheppard, another of Dr. David Roth’s colleagues and friends. Entry fees for it help fund the scholarship and ensure the Roth Scholarship could continue to reward Concord’s students. Participants can choose whether to walk or run the 3.1-mile track from Beckett Hill through Concord Campus and into downtown Athens. 
Today, the event is co-coordinated by Paul T. “Tom” Davis and Dr. Elizabeth Roth. Many students are also involved with organizing the event, as Concord’s track team, the Running Mountain Lions, primarily organize the event and Concord’s chapters of Alpha Sigma Alpha and Sigma Zeta serve as race-day assistants. The Student Government Association also sponsors the event. 
Anyone is welcomed to participate in the walk/run, and there are benefits to entering. Along with the health benefits and good karma, entrants will receive a t-shirt designed by a Concord University advertising or graphic design student. There will also be trophies awarded to first, second, and third place runners for each gender and category. The three categories are student, faculty, or staff. There will also be various door prizes awarded to everyone participating in the event. Many students and citizens from the surrounding communities run along Concord students as well, and refreshments like lemonade and fresh fruit are provided by Aramark. 
The 28th Annual Roth 5K will be held on April 24, and registration will be open until 5 p.m. that day in Carter Hall lobby. For students, registering on the day of the 5K will cost them $10, while preregistering will cost only $8. Any non-students registering will have to pay $20 to register the day of, and only $15 if they preregister. 
Anyone wanting to preregister should contact Mr. Davis at, and Dr. Elizabeth Roth can be contacted at If anyone might need special accommodations to participate, they should contact Ms. Nancy Ellison of Concord’s Disability Services Office by email at or by phone at 304-384-6086.  


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