Josephine Kiess Blackwood, a 1930 graduate of Glenville State College, was recognized as GSC’s Oldest Living Graduate on Wednesday, July 21st at her 105th birthday party. Blackwood, who resides with her daughter, Barbara Cutright at her Elkins, West Virginia home, was presented with a distinctive plaque commemorating the occasion, a planter with blue and white silk flowers signifying the college’s school colors, and a birthday card with a special note from GSC President Peter Barr at the birthday celebration.
Blackwood visited with Glenville State College Alumni Association President Bill Deel, GSC Alumni Director Debbie Nagy, other representatives from the college, family, and friends at the celebration. She recalled, with incredible detail, memories from her times at Glenville State Normal, as the college was known at the time. She spoke of the attention given by faculty and staff to all of the students that made their experience so unforgettable. She remembered that George Firestone, who was the school’s only custodian at the time, organized events with flair, going far beyond his role of custodian. Names of her college President E.G. Rohrbough; the college’s Registrar, Carey Woofter; and her teachers such as Willa Brand, E. R. Grose, and H. Y. Clark came effortlessly to her still razor sharp mind.
After graduation, Blackwood spent her education career in Randolph County. She taught at the Cubana, Adolph, Cassity, and Marstiller one-room schools and at Mill Creek Grade School, from which she retired. She enjoys shopping, visiting with her family and friends, the Lawrence Welk Show, and Jeopardy. As GSC’s Vice President for College Advancement Dennis Pounds was preparing to leave the afternoon celebration, she asked him, with a bright smile, if he planned on attending her 200th birthday in 2105!
Glenville State College and the College’s Alumni Association were proud to recognize Blackwood at this monumental occasion in her life and wish her many more happy birthdays to come.