ISSUED: 11 November 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
Shepherd University alumna Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix named 16th president
EDITOR–PLEASE NOTE: A photo is available online at
SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV–For the first time in its 144-year history, Shepherd University will be led by a Shepherd graduate. The Shepherd University Board of Governors today announced the selection of Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix as the 16th president of Shepherd.
Hendrix, a 1974 alumna of Shepherd, is president and chief scientific officer of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
A native of Shepherdstown, Hendrix is a nationally recognized leader in cancer research and has been a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the National Human Genome Research Institute Council, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors. Her many honors include a MERIT Award from NCI, a University of Iowa Award for Excellence and Achievement Among Women, and the Distinguished Woman Faculty Award from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
“We are pleased that Dr. Hendrix has accepted our offer to serve as Shepherd’s next president,” said Dr. Marcia Brand, chair of the Board of Governors and presidential search committee. “We are confident that she can leverage her diverse academic experiences in the liberal arts, science and technology, administration, fund raising, community outreach, and national advocacy to advance Shepherd University as a center of excellence, innovation, and opportunity.”
“Dr. Hendrix has a passion for this institution that is immediately obvious to all when she talks about Shepherd,” added Brand. “She will provide us with leadership to support our mission as a premier, public liberal arts university and will reinforce our core values of learning, engagement, integrity, accessibility, and community.”
Brand also thanked Shepherd’s presidential search committee for their work in the selection process, in which they considered a large number of highly qualified candidates.
Hendrix said she is excited about returning to West Virginia and Shepherd. “I am deeply honored to accept the presidential leadership position and return home to my alma mater in Shepherdstown,” she said. “I am grateful to Shepherd for the strong, multidisciplinary education provided to me with valuable contributions from the faculty, staff, and members of the community, and now I am very appreciative for the opportunity to work with all stakeholders in advancing the institution to the next level of preeminence.”
After graduating from Shepherd with a B.S. degree in pre-med/biology and a minor in English, Hendrix received her Ph.D. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and then was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to train at Harvard Medical School. Her decorated career in higher education and academic medical centers also includes faculty and leadership positions at the University of Arizona, University of California San Francisco, St. Louis University, and the University of Iowa. Hendrix is credited with more than 270 research publications.
Shepherd’s selection of Hendrix is subject to confirmation by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC) on November 20. Hendrix is expected to assume her new position at Shepherd in late February 2016.
Founded in 1871, Shepherd is located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, about one hour from Washington, D.C. Its 4,000 students are enrolled in 75 undergraduate and five graduate programs, including a new Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.). Shepherd is one of 29 members of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). Its 12 athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference.