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Shepherd U. tops goal for fund drive

campaign ends a year early

September 19, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE | richardb@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — In July 2006, Shepherd University officials “created” an ambitious campaign they hoped would raise $20 million in six years.

On June 30, university officials announced that their “Create the Future” campaign ended a year early and brought in $6 million more their targeted goal.

In the jargon of academia, the campaign will “optimize faculty potential,” “stimulate cultural and economic development,” “inspire student learning” and “build a stronger university.”

In real terms, the money will pay for, among other things, Shepherd’s $2.2 million share of the $10 million second phase of the Center for Contemporary Arts building now under construction on the west campus, upgrades to the football and baseball stadiums, and expansion and enhancement of music, art and drama programs, and the nursing program.

According to Diane E. Melby, vice president for advancement who coordinated the last three years of the campaign, about $8 million of the total will expand the endowed student scholarship fund and add $2 million to the direct scholarships program.

The campaign also will fund five endowed faculty positions in history, theater, art, business and chemistry, “and help us to attract top-notch faculty,” Melby said.

The money also will pay for upgrades and improvement to laboratories and academic facilities.

“With this campaign, the Shepherd University community has accomplished a shared vision and has created a future in which Shepherd emerges as a premier public liberal arts university,” University President Suzanne Shipley said.

The campaign “has never been predominantly about our financial goals,” Shipley said. “It has been about Shepherd University standing next to none. We thank all our donors and loyal alumni who have helped us not only to reach our goal, but to exceed it.”

The campaign committee members reached out to alumni groups and “to people who are close to and love Shepherd,” Melby said.

Included in the effort were mail campaigns, contacts with potential corporate donors, individuals “who wanted to give the biggest gift of their lifetime” and those wishing to leave estates to the university, she said.

Individual donations ranged from $5 to $1 million.

The campaign had the support of the Shepherd University Board of Governors, alumni association, foundation board and the Contemporary American Theater Festival Board.

The 20-member campaign committee was chaired by Robert McMillan with assistance from Jenny Allen and Raymond Alvarez.

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