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Shepherd University junior receives nursing scholarship

ISSUED: 4 February 2009
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd University junior receives nursing scholarship)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University junior Elizabeth Stotler has been awarded the La Societe Des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux, Voiture Locale 1356, Charles Town, Nursing Scholarship. The local chapter of the Societe provides funds annually to support the scholarship.

"When we started the scholarship in 1953," said Charles Printz, charter member of Voiture 1356, "the nursing program at Shepherd had just started and needed some support. We were happy to be able to provide some help to needy students."

"As a nontraditional student returning to the university," said Stotler, "I could not afford to attend school without the financial help I receive from grants and scholarships. This scholarship contributes to my education and has allowed me to pursue a degree in nursing."

Stotler, a 1994 graduate of Jefferson High School, is a Jefferson County native. She lives in Martinsburg with her husband and three daughters.

"We are delighted to have this connection with Shepherd students," said Michael Austin, Chef de Gare of the local chapter. "As an organization, we like to support young people who see their careers as more than just a job, but as a higher mission to benefit others."

Translated as the Society of 40 Men and Eight Horses, the organization's titles and symbols reflect its World War I origins. American servicemen in France were transported to the battlefront on narrow-gauge French railroads (chemin de fer) inside boxcars (voitures) that were half the size of American boxcars. Each French boxcar was stenciled with a "40/8," denoting its capacity to hold either 40 men or eight horses. This uncomfortable mode of transportation provided a common bond for the soldiers. The "40/8" cargo capacity sign emblazoned on each French boxcar and the "French horizon blue" color became symbols of the Society.

The local chapter has 37 members. Membership is by invitation only and includes veterans with special dedication to veterans' interests.

For further information about this scholarship or how to create a scholarship fund, please contact the Shepherd University Foundation, 304-876-5397.


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From left to right: Charles Printz, charter member; scholarship recipient Elizabeth Stotler; and Michael Austin, Chef de Gare of La Societe Des 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux, Voiture 1356.

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