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Shepherd named 2017 Military Friendly® School

ISSUED: 10 November 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University announced today that it has earned the 2017 Military Friendly® School designation by Victory Media, publisher of G.I. Jobs®, STEM JobsSM, and Military Spouse.

“We are honored to service our military and veteran students,” said William Sommers, vice president for enrollment management. “This designation validates the hard work and commitment of so many members of our university community.”

“We will continually strive to make Shepherd University a welcoming environment for veterans and their families,” said Mary Beth Myers, veterans support services coordinator.

Shepherd was recently commended for meeting the 5 Star Challenge, an initiative that encourages all of West Virginia’s two- and four-year institutions to adopt a set of standards to help veterans achieve an education. The standards include: adopting best practices and standards, working to increase access and affordability of higher education, providing increased academic support, priority registration for classes, enhancing social networks for veterans on campus, and encouraging greater collaboration with community organizations working to meet the needs of military service members.

There are at least 188 students at Shepherd who are veterans, dependents, or active military. The university has a Veterans Center that offers administrative support, computers, and a place to study and meet. Shepherd also hosts a chapter of Team River Runner, which offers therapeutic, recreational, and adaptive paddling programs to veterans and their families.

First published in 2009, Military Friendly® Schools is the most comprehensive, powerful resource for veterans today. Each year, the list of Military Friendly® Schools is provided to service members and their families, helping them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media’s proprietary survey. More than 1,600 schools participated in the 2017 survey; 1,160 were awarded with the designation. Ratings methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly® Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to the majority of colleges gives veterans a comprehensive view of which schools are striving to provide the best opportunities and conditions for our nation’s student veterans,” said Daniel Nichols, a Navy Reserve veteran and chief product officer at Victory Media. “Military Friendly® helps military families make the best use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and other federal benefits while allowing us to further our goal of assisting them in finding success in their chosen career fields.”

Shepherd will be showcased along with other 2017 Military Friendly® Schools in the annual Guide to Military Friendly® Schools, special education issues of G.I. Jobs® and Military Spouse Magazine, and on

Shepherd will honor its veterans during the annual Veterans Day Program sponsored by Veterans Support Services on Friday, November 11, at 11 a.m. in the Student Center Cumberland Room.

For more information about veteran support services at Shepherd, visit To meet some of Shepherd’s student veterans, visit

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