Charlie Mathena Named Concord University’s 2018 Grand Groundhog Watcher

Mercer County

UPDATE 1/15 @ 6 PM

Charlie Mathena has been named as this year’s Grand Groundhog Watcher for Concord University’s annual Groundhog Day Breakfast.

Mathena was selected because of his commitment to serving and enhancing the community. Mathena said feels honored to be chosen for this annual event, and he looks forward to thanking the community for their support over the years.

“Being able to express my family’s appreciation for how blessed we have been in this community, how good people have been to us and what a wonderful life I’ve had,” Mathena said.


Two Charlies will be in the spotlight at this year’s Concord University Groundhog Day Breakfast.  Famed groundhog weather prognosticator Concord Charlie will make his annual prediction while Charles T. “Charlie” Mathena will be honored as the Grand Groundhog Watcher.   The 40th annual breakfast will be held on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 8 a.m. in the Pais Fellowship Hall in University Point on Concord’s Athens campus.

The Grand Groundhog Watcher honor is bestowed on an individual who has positively impacted life and culture in West Virginia.

Charlie Mathena grew up in Welch, WV and graduated from Welch High School, Bluefield State College and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.  He began his career in the funeral industry at the Memorial Funeral Directory of Princeton, WV, in 1966 and remains there today as the President and General Manager.

Charlie has been married for 49 years to Marquetta Krupey Mathena and is the father of the late Charles T. “Chuck” Mathena, II.

Through the Chuck Mathena Center, Charlie and Marquetta have enhanced the cultural offerings available to the area.   The center, located in Princeton, brings an exciting lineup of live performances to the stage each year enriching the lives of residents across the region.

Charlie’s involvement in church, civic and community activities in recent years includes the Greater Princeton Little League, Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce, Princeton Community Hospital, First Church of God on Mahood Avenue, President of the Chuck Mathena Foundation and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Chuck Mathena Center.   He is currently serving in his second term on the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Concord Charlie has a standing appointment with the University’s President each year to offer his predictions and insights on the duration of winter.   The President relays the forecast to the breakfast guests.

According to Groundhog Day tradition, if the groundhog sees his shadow the morning of February 2, 2018, six more weeks of winter can be expected.   An early spring will be on the way if he doesn’t see his shadow.

The Concord Charlie tradition was originated in 1978 by the late Professor R.T. “Tom” Hill.   As chairman of both the geography department and the Appalachian Studies program at Concord, Hill started the Groundhog Day Breakfast as a means to celebrate a big of Appalachian heritage and highlight the program.

Cost per person for this year’s breakfast is $20.   Reservations are required and may be made online at

Reservations may also be made by emailing or calling (304) 384-6311.

For additional information about the breakfast including payment options contact the Concord University Office of Advancement at (304) 384-6311 or

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