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Shepherd University student memorialized with named fund

ISSUED: 15 June 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd University student memorialized with named fund)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Shepherd University Foundation has announced the creation of the Elizabeth J. Snyder Memorial Scholarship. Funds will be used to provide financial assistance to students pursuing studies in the area of history.

The fund was created by Clarence and Dolores Burdette of Charleston in memory of their late granddaughter Elizabeth J. Snyder. A national merit finalist, Elizabeth attended both the University of Virginia School of Architecture and Marshall University, before returning to her home in Martinsburg and enrolling at Shepherd University. As a student at Shepherd, she was a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honorary society, and planned to pursue a degree and eventually a Ph.D. in history.

"Elizabeth was a brilliant girl," said Clarence Burdette.

During her time at Marshall, Elizabeth resided with her grandparents, with whom she was extremely close. "There was a perfect relationship between us," said Burdette. "When she lived here, I would spend hours with her. She was especially close with her grandmother."

Elizabeth passed away in 2009 at the age of 28. Knowing how much she had grown to love Shepherd during her time as a student, the Burdettes chose to endow a named fund in her memory. Since they funded their gift with a bequest in their will, they also joined the exclusive Joseph P. McMurran Society, comprised of alumni and friends who have let Shepherd know they wish to provide for the future of the University with a planned gift.

Prior to retiring as deputy state superintendent of schools, Burdette taught high school math and acted as the assistant state superintendent. His wife, Dolores, was an elementary school teacher for many years. Their daughter, Jean, Elizabeth's mother, teaches for Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools.

"We love young people and want to see those in need have opportunities at Shepherd that they might not have had," said Burdette. "That's always been our life and we are extremely dedicated to it."

For more information about how to honor or memorialize someone by establishing a named fund through the Shepherd University Foundation, please contact Monica Lingenfelter, Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443-5000, 304-876-5397, or visit


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Foundation President Ramon A. Alvarez '62 welcomes Clarence Burdette into the Joseph P. McMurran Society after he and his wife, Dolores, used a bequest in their will to endow a scholarship in memory of their late granddaughter, Elizabeth J. Snyder.

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