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Shepherd's McMurran Scholars Association awards new scholarship

ISSUED: 18 November 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd's McMurran Scholars Association awards new scholarship)

Shepherdstown, WV--The McMurran Scholars Association has awarded its new scholarship, established through the Shepherd University Foundation, to graduate student Laura Gilpin of Martinsburg. The McMurran Scholars Association Scholarship is an annual award designated for McMurran Scholars attending Shepherd as full- or part-time graduate students.

Gilpin is pursuing a master of arts in education and hopes to teach in Berkeley or Jefferson County. "This scholarship helps ease the financial burden associated with graduate studies," Gilpin said. "It enables me to focus clearly on my classes and worry less about how to pay for them."

Gilpin's love of teaching is evident as she works toward her goal. Currently substitute teaching and volunteering at the school her children attend, she said, "I eagerly anticipate the day when I have a classroom and students of my own."

The McMurran Scholars Association, sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, promotes and honors scholarly inquiry and academic excellence among those students who have received Shepherd University's most prestigious honor, the McMurran Scholar award. The organization seeks to model applications of scholarly work both on campus and in the wider community, provide networking opportunities among its members, and mentor current Shepherd students. Visit the association's Facebook page at

The McMurran Scholar award was established in 1961 by Professor Kenneth Riley, who served on the first Honors Committee. McMurran Scholars must complete a minimum of 92 semester hours, maintain at least a 3.8 grade point average, and complete two consecutive semesters at Shepherd University. Each scholar is nominated by a minimum of three faculty members and approved by the faculty at large.

The McMurran Scholars Association welcomes all McMurran Scholars interested in donating their time and talent to the organization. A resource directory is being compiled and all interested McMurran Scholars are asked to complete an information form.

The directory will allow Shepherd faculty to utilize scholars in the classroom and for other student mentoring activities currently in development. In addition to mentoring, members can help by attending quarterly meetings, planning events such as the annual McMurran Scholars Convocation each spring, or making a charitable donation to support the annual McMurran Scholars Association Scholarship for deserving Shepherd students like Laura Gilpin.

For more information about the McMurran Scholars Association and to complete a resource directory form, please contact Robert Shaw at the Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443, 304-876-5195,, or visit


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McMurran Scholars Association members Cathy Baker (second row); Jennifer Pownell; Laura Gilpin, scholarship recipient; Garland Ott; and Bernice Collis.

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