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Marshall Rising Magazine

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The Official Magazine of the Marshall Foundation

The Marshall University Foundation is excited to announce the creation of Marshall Rising, a brand new publication focused on telling the incredible stories of alumni, supporters and friends of Marshall University and their impact on the lives of past, present and future students.

Marshall Rising is a reimagined and expanded version of previous publications created by the Marshall Foundation. And the new venture will be used to tell the story of the private support of individuals that helps the university be able to dream big and reach new heights.

The publication’s title showcases the upward trajectory of Marshall, while at the same time honoring the university’s very first comprehensive campaign Marshall Rises, which concluded in 2022 with more than $176 million raised for the university.

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How John Rahal is changing lives in Appalachia

To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48).

It is an adage as old as time, and one that has guided countless individuals throughout history to carefully assess their worldly deeds and accrued possessions, giving back to others whenever possible. It is a statement as complex as it is simplistic, one that reminds those who have been blessed in life to in turn do the same for others.

For John Rahal, he counts himself as one of the lucky ones.

A Huntington native and Marshall business graduate, Rahal aspired to one day take over his grandfather’s accounting practice and make a life for himself in the Appalachian region. What he didn’t expect was that his life journey would lead him to the boardroom of a Fortune 300 company as a corporate executive.

“My career journey has far exceeded anything that I ever thought possible while I sat at my Marshall graduation in the Civic Center,” Rahal said. “I never dreamt I would have gotten here.”

Marshall Hero Image

Annual Scholarship Brunch Creating Connections

Almost every spring for the last three decades, hundreds of scholarship recipients, donors and their respective guests, as well as university faculty and staff, have gathered for the annual Scholarship Honor Brunch.

Marshall alum changing lives after being nominated for NFL High School Coach of the Year

If you ask high school football coach Larry Choates to define the word “winner,” his answer would have little to do with athletic achievement. It would not be defined by wins and losses, nor would it show up in statistics or in shiny trophies on a shelf.

A winner, according to Choates, is someone who makes a difference in the lives of others. It is an adage he hopes to instill in his young players every time they step foot on the field of play.

“I was lucky. I had both of my parents in the house growing up, but I still needed more,” Choates recalled. “I needed guidance and friendship, and I got that from my football coaches. They provided all the extra things that I needed after school. They kept me out of trouble and gave me some purpose. I want to provide that for the people and players at this school.”

From the guidance of his own coaches, to having the opportunity to inspire young men himself, Choates was selected earlier this year by the Washington Commanders to represent John R. Lewis High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, as its nominee for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Award. The Commanders selected Choates after having previously recognized him as their coach of the month.

Feature Stories

#GratiTuesday Posts

Sharing stories of student impact every Tuesday on our social media channels at @ForMarshallU!

Isabella Griffiths

Because of the Yeager Scholarship, former student body president Isabella Griffiths has had a Marshall experience like no other.

In addition to opening the door to meeting new people and mastering new subjects, Bella had an opportunity to study abroad this past summer, visiting Oxford University and touring Europe where she had the chance to experience new cultures and the world. “I would have none of that if it weren’t for scholarships through Marshall.” Check out Bella’s story in the video below from Marshall’s 2023 Day of Giving.


Caleb Spainhower

Caleb Spainhower, a three-time graduate of Marshall from Raceland, Kentucky, chose to attend Marshall because of the “family atmosphere that encompasses each class of students and faculty.” Most recently, Caleb received his Doctor of Medicine as part of the School of Medicine Class of 2023, and as an out-of-state student, scholarships have allowed him to focus on becoming the best physician he can become.

“I started my journey as a young Kentucky boy with a passion for science and a dream of becoming a doctor. Through the generous and selfless acts of making my scholarships possible, I was able to finish undergrad and my master’s degree without any debt. But on top of that, I have now achieved that dream of becoming a surgeon. Without a shadow of a doubt, I could not have made it without the kind and caring acts of each of you that helped me pursue my lifelong dream through the scholarships. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Allison Himes

Allison Himes, recent Class of 2023 graduate from South Point, Ohio, double majored in music and psychology with a goal to become a music therapist. Allison was very active on campus as a resident advisor and desk assistant in the residence halls, a presidential and School of Music ambassador, a tour guide and a BCM worship team member. She plans to stay involved and give back with her time and service, continuing to be a resource to Marshall as her scholarship donors were to her.

“Scholarships mean support for my future. It means so much to me that someone would invest and fund into a student’s life. It takes so much weight off my shoulders to know that I won’t have to worry about paying for college and that is only because of the wonderful donors that support us.”

Peregrine Schray

Peregrine Schray, a junior in the biochemistry department. Peregrine is not only taking classes for his major, but also doing research on a protein called Apo A1, involved in cholesterol homeostasis. Peregrine grew up in Huntington, West Virginia, and has always loved Marshall.

“I dreamed of going to this amazing university. I truly love being at Marshall, and I think the chemistry department is the best department on campus as well as in the state. Every professor cares about the students and wants them to do the best they possibly can.
“This scholarship means the world to me because it allows me to spend more time doing research in the lab instead of needing to get another job to pay for college! I have been able to almost double my time in the lab this semester because of your generosity and it is the best gift I have ever received. I dream of getting my Ph.D. in biochemistry and then becoming a professor so I can not only teach, but also continue doing research that will hopefully one day change the world for the better.”

Jada Mills

Jada Mills is a second-year student at Marshall University who is studying broadcast journalism. A native of Beckley, West Virginia, Jada is grateful for the Jeff Nathan Scholarship as it is one of the reasons she is able to attend Marshall.

“I am a first-generation college student, which makes me very proud! Marshall was my top pick because the campus environment was very welcoming, and the journalism department was very impressive. I felt at home at Marshall and continue to feel that way every day. The professors really do care about the students and always share information that is resourceful and helpful for my future and my goals. I have already gained so many hands-on experiences from being a part of this program.

“Marshall isn’t Marshall without people constantly caring about the campus and pouring their time into making it the best that it can be, especially for the student. I truly cannot thank you enough for giving me this scholarship so that I can continue to go to Marshall and be a part of the people who make the campus feel like a home.”

Destiny Dingess

Destiny Dingess, a senior multimedia journalism major, fell in love with the Marshall campus as a sophomore in high school taking a tour with her cousin. She worked six days a week in a gap year to save enough money to pay her way last year.

“I fell in love with the atmosphere, what Marshall stood for, and the people. From the very first tour, it felt like home. I knew I wanted to attend Marshall, but I felt like it could only ever be a thought because I didn’t think I would be able to attend because of the financial status of my family and me. I was so happy and grateful to receive scholarships this year. They have allowed me to spend more time on my studies and learning and have more time with family, friends and myself. I would love to continue my love for journalism and write for a local newspaper or news station. I will continue to work hard and learn all I can to be the best journalist one day.”

Nicholas Smith

Nicholas Smith is a senior-level student in the College of Business, majoring in Economics with a minor in International Affairs. Nick says scholarships are important to him because they help relieve stress and focus on achieving short- and long-term goals. These include goals of maintaining a strong GPA, completing internships and other learning opportunities, and pursuing graduate school with a focus in urban policy and quantitative methods.

“I believe I am a hard worker, as I have a 3.93 GPA, about to finish a commercial credit internship, and a research assistant at CBER. I intend on using my future knowledge to help community development. At CBER, I am working on a Broadband Infrastructure plan for the state. The plan would help create greater in quantity and quality internet infrastructure across the state, simultaneously creating jobs for the construction of the plans and bringing in more jobs in the long run. Greater internet access is an important part in improving West Virginia’s future economy outlook and improving quality of life.”