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The Scarborough Society partners with Shepherdstown 250th Celebration to host author Jim Lehrer

ISSUED: 31 May 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(The Scarborough Society partners with Shepherdstown 250th Celebration to host author Jim Lehrer)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Scarborough Society was pleased to partner with Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer and area book clubs to host a lecture by author and journalist Jim Lehrer on Tuesday, May 22, at Shepherd University. Lehrer's 2002 novel No Certain Rest has been selected as the official book of the Shepherdstown 250th Celebration taking place throughout the year.

At least 18 book clubs in the Shepherdstown area, and several more connected with nearby libraries, took part in the celebration by hosting a tea in the Shepherd Room of McMurran Hall prior to the lecture. Book club members had the chance to meet Lehrer and have him sign their books. The reception committee consisted of Suzy Yates, Mina Goodrich, Wendy Mopsik, and Marie Dewalt with assistance from Shepherd University's Office of Advancement and the Shepherd University Foundation.

Following the tea, Lehrer gave a lecture in Reynolds Hall. All proceeds from the lecture went toward the Friends of Shepherdstown Library (FOSL). Four Seasons Book Store in Shepherdstown was on hand at both events to sell a selection of Lehrer's books.

Lehrer is the author of 20 novels, two memoirs, and three plays. In his address, he spoke about his love of Shepherdstown, in which several of his novels are set, and shared the origins of No Certain Rest, a fictional mystery surrounding the Battle of Antietam. He also addressed his newest book, Tension City, a non-fiction work about presidential debates throughout the years. Lehrer has moderated 11 of the nationally televised debates during the last six presidential elections. Lehrer also spoke about his longstanding career as a print and broadcast journalist. Best known for his work on what was at first called the "MacNeil/Lehrer Report" on PBS television, and is now simply known as the "PBS Newshour," Lehrer retired last year and now appears occasionally on Fridays.

Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, and began his reporting career in Dallas, Texas. He came to Washington, D.C., to work for PBS, where he subsequently teamed up with Robert MacNeil to begin their award-winning news show in 1975. The show has won numerous awards for journalism, including the 1999 National Humanities Medal, presented by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Speaking for the Shepherdstown 250 Committee, Edwinna Bernat said, "We couldn't be happier to have Lehrer visit Shepherdstown and serve as our S250 Celebration author. Having been given an honorary doctorate from Shepherd University last year, and now named as our S250 Author, we feel he is truly part of our community."

No Certain Rest was selected as the official Shepherdstown 250 book due to its and its author's connection with Shepherdstown. Not only do Lehrer and his wife, author Kate Lehrer, own a home in Jefferson County, No Certain Rest is a fictionalized story of the Battle of Antietam, which is commemorating its 150th anniversary this year. One of the characters in the book is also a retired colonel who was "found in the Shepherd College Library."

Partnering with the Shepherdstown 250th Celebration on this community event, the Scarborough Society, sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, is a friends-of-the-library organization that serves to support and strengthen the Shepherd University library system. Funds raised by the society increase the bound collections and assist in acquiring, maintaining, and updating the technology necessary to operate a 21st-century library and provide a scholarship for a student library intern.

Memberships in the organization are available on an annual basis and members' names are engraved on a Wall of Honor located in the new addition to the Scarborough Library. Members receive library cards with special privileges and are placed on invitation lists for library lectures, book signings, musical events, seminars, and receptions. Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Scarborough Society is encouraged to call the Shepherd University Foundation Office at 304-876-5397 or 800-344-5231, extension 5397.

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Jim Lehrer with Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer and Shepherdstown 250th Chair Meredith Wait

Jim Lehrer signed books and chatted with community members at a reception prior to his lecture.

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