Shepherd grads end one adventure, head to another

May 19, 2007|By TAMELA BAKER

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Nearly 600 Shepherd University students marked the end of one chapter of their lives Saturday, and headed off to the next adventure.

School officials recognized more than 560 candidates for bachelor's degrees and 30 candidates for graduate degrees on Saturday during Shepherd's 134th commencement ceremony at the school's Butcher Center.

Christopher Charles Scott, a graduating senior from Winchester, Va., welcomed guests to the ceremony, and quipped that he wanted "to thank our parents for their support, and most of all their money" for the duration of the class of 2007's college careers.

It was the end of an era at Shepherd as well, as outgoing President David L. Dunlop was recognized for his 11 years at the school. John P. Sherwood, chairman of the Shepherd Board of Governors, noted the school had achieved university status and increased enrollment by 35 percent during Dunlop's tenure.


Suzanne Shipley, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, will become Shepherd's first female president when Dunlop retires this summer. Shipley attended Saturday's commencement.

But Saturday also was a day to step back, take a breath and reflect.

"Today is a a day to look back on the things of your life that have shaped you," said commencement speaker Brian Noland, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. It also was a day to dream, he said - and "a day to exhale."

"Your dreams are in each of your hands," he said.

While the new graduates had come of age during a time of unrest, tragedy and uncertainty, Noland said, theirs was a "generation active in giving of their time to public service," attempting to improve themselves and their communities.

Noland took the opportunity to stress the importance of education, particularly in West Virginia.

"Educated individuals are the key to a healthy and self-improving society," he said. "There are two kinds of education - education that teaches us how to make a living, and education that teaches us how to live."

Noting a number of public service projects that Shepherd students had spearheaded, Student Government Association President Nicole Marie Wolf Krause said her class "is committed to strengthening ourselves and others ... Our class has a lot to offer the global society."

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