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Jim Lehrer announced as Shepherd Commencement speaker at Feb. 24 Board of Governors meeting

ISSUED: 24 February 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Jim Lehrer announced as Shepherd Commencement speaker at Feb. 24 Board of Governors meeting)

Shepherdstown, WV--PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer will receive an honorary degree at Shepherd University's 138th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14. The resolution was approved during an executive session of the Shepherd University Board of Governors at its February 24 meeting. Lehrer will also deliver the commencement address.

Lehrer started his journalism career as a newspaper reporter and editor, eventually joining PBS as a public affairs coordinator. In 1975, the "Robert MacNeil Report" premiered with Lehrer serving as the Washington correspondent. The show eventually became "The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour" and continued until 1996 when it became "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," after MacNeil's departure from the program.

Lehrer has served as the moderator of 11 nationally televised presidential debates during the last six presidential elections. The author of 20 novels, two memoirs, and three plays, Lehrer has won two Emmy awards and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame along with MacNeil.

Also honored at Commencement will be Shepherdstown residents Bob and Tia McMillan, who will receive the President's Award for their contributions and commitment to Shepherd University and to the community. Bob McMillan, who is serving as the chair of Shepherd's Create the Future fundraising campaign, also served on the Shepherd Board of Governors from 2001 to 2009, one of the original members of the governing board. He completed a two-term stint as board chair in June 2009. Tia McMillan, after many years of service as a founding member of the board of the Contemporary American Theater Festival, now serves as a member of CATF's honorary board. The McMillans' love of Shepherd and theater was evident when they established the McMillan Family Scholarship for Theater which provides scholarships for theater students at Shepherd.

In other business, the Board of Governors approved an international education outreach program between Shepherd and Middlesex International College in Maypen, Jamaica, to provide the master of arts degree in curriculum and instruction. Twenty-five Jamaican students will take courses in Jamaica and online, with a final semester to take place on Shepherd's campus. The program is slated to begin in the summer of 2011.

Marcia Brand took the oath of office at the beginning of the meeting to become a member of the board. A resident of Martinsburg, Brand is the deputy administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that works to fill in the health care gaps for people who live outside the economic and medical mainstream.


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