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New Shepherd University president officially takes reins

October 27, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA. - The 15th president of Shepherd University wanted the people who attended her inauguration Friday to leave the academic tradition-drenched ceremony with "a burst of energy."

The recessional ? an unannounced jazzy performance of "When the Saints Go Marching In" by the Shepherd University Brass Quintet ? seemed to accomplish just what Suzanne Shipley had in mind.

The band's deft transition from staidly chords to the well-known hymn prompted clapping and a little swaying to the music among well-wishers at Shipley's formal installation at the Frank Center Theater.

For the former vice president and dean at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, the job she started in Shepherdstown, W.Va., in July is a dream come true.

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"Our energies match," Shipley said while making her way to a public reception in the Butcher Center.

"We're going to go places together. I'm ready to go."

Her installation as the University's first female president was a point of emphasis in Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito's greeting on behalf of the 2nd Congressional District she represents.

Capito shared her own personal connection to the liberal arts school, noting that her husband's great-grandfather, Thomas C. Miller, was the college's ninth president.

"I'm very proud of that," Capito told the crowd of close to 400.

Capito was joined at the ceremony by state lawmakers John Unger, John Yoder, Clark Barnes, John Doyle, Locke Wysong, Walter Duke and John Overington. State trial court judges Gina Groh and Christopher C. Wilkes also attended.

In remarks given on behalf of Shepherdstown, Mayor Lance Dom said he had met with Shipley three times and was optimistic about addressing the community's challenges, such as parking. "I feel I have a partner in furthering town-gown relations," Dom said.

Student Government Association President Adin J. Ray said he believes Shipley truly cares about the students. "I wasn't just another number to her," Ray said of a discussion he had with the president.

In her remarks, Shipley said she was grateful to be faced with the challenge of growth.

"How can we continue to effectively serve the growing number of students who want a Shepherd education and a close place to park?" Shipley said, causing a ripple of laughter. "We must anticipate the needs of traditional students who want to make this idyllic campus their home and enjoy our residential experiences, as well as nontraditional and commuting students."

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