19th annual ‘Paint the Capital Green’ an event for all

With the Marshall University band, the Marching Thunder, and Marshall dance team leading the way, the Big Green Club and Charleston Quarterback Club kicked off their 19th annual Paint the Capital Green event in Charleston Thursday.

Hundreds of alumni were in attendance, joined by Marshall President Dr. Jerome Gilbert, as well as athletic director Mike Hamrick, a native of Kanawha County. Several members of Marshall’s football team also attended, dining with various boosters over the course of the two-hour event.

Gilbert was among those who addressed the crowd. Gilbert, who has dubbed himself the “freshman president,” stressed the importance of reaching out to all the Marshall fans residing in the capital city.

“Events like this show Charleston that we consider this part of our territory,” Gilbert said.

Athletic Director Mike Hamrick echoed those sentiments.

“I was born and raised in Kanawha County,” Hamrick said. “So, I think it’s important that we reach out to all these Marshall fans that live up here.”

Among those in attendance was Geena Brooks Ryan, a Marshall alumna who attended school at the time of the infamous plane crash of 1970. Brooks said that is her motivation for attending all but one of these events during its 19-year run.

“This event just kicks off our season for fans who have been there forever,” Brooks said. “[My husband and I] were there for the plane crash and it’s always continued to remind us to do everything we can for the athletic program because of the friends we lost.”

Not only does the event serve as a reminder for some, but it also officially kicks off the 2016 football season. Marshall opens their schedule at home for week one against Morgan State. The game kicks off September 10 at noon.

Jacob Griffith can be contacted at [email protected].