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Shepherd alumni couple endows scholarship after a lifetime of enriching young lives

ISSUED: 29 May 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd alumni couple endows scholarship after a lifetime of enriching young lives)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Shepherd University Foundation announces the creation of the James and Sharon Devol Brown Scholarship. The endowed gift will provide financial assistance in perpetuity to student athletes majoring in education with a preference for those who play basketball.

Both education majors at Shepherd, Jim and Sharon Brown have made a career out of enriching young lives. Married 54 years, the couple began their post-college careers teaching and coaching at Hancock High School in Maryland.

Born in Philadelphia to a military family, Sharon moved with them to the Far East after graduating from high school in Alexandria, Virginia. She lived there for a year, taking extension courses through the University of Maryland, before returning to attend Shepherd. Only weeks into her freshman year, Sharon was introduced to Jim, a senior, and they were married six months later. Delaying her degree for marriage and motherhood, Sharon returned to Shepherd years later, driving more than 100 miles round trip each day while raising the couple's two sons James and Barry. After earning her bachelor's degree from Shepherd and her master's degree from Shippensburg University, Sharon went on to have a 34-year career with the Washington County Public Schools in Maryland, teaching third through 12th grades, as well as physical education at Hancock High School.

Jim, who holds a master's degree from Frostburg State University, began his career in education at Hancock High School, teaching history and physical education, as well as coaching baseball, football, and basketball. When the couple moved to Williamsport, Maryland, Jim took a job teaching physical education at North Hagerstown High School, where he coached football and basketball, winning the state basketball championship in 1972. Jim's basketball career record was 747 wins and he was honored as Young Educator of the Year in the 1960s.

Jim went on to develop a model program for the President's Council for Fitness before taking on the roles of head basketball coach, athletic director, and administrator of the Athletic Recreation Community Center (ARCC) at Hagerstown Community College (HCC) where he spent the last 23 years of his career. In March, in recognition of his significant contributions, the HCC trustees named the ARCC arena and basketball court the Coach Jim Brown Court and Basketball Arena.

Jim took on the role of raising private gifts and acquiring public funds to build the ARCC at Hagerstown Community College, and he led the effort to raise funds for the stadium at North Hagerstown High School. He and Sharon also worked with the Mason Dixon Council to raise money for the Sinoquipe Scout Reservation in Fort Littleton, Pennsylvania, as the Boy Scouts of America have held a place in their hearts since Jim served as a camp director after college for the Baltimore Area Boy Scouts of America.

"I like taking on projects that people think are impossible to do," said Jim of his career as a fundraiser.

Having endowed three scholarships at HCC, the Jim and Sharon decided to return to their roots by establishing one at their alma mater, as well.

"We started together at Shepherd," they said. "It's been good to us. We felt it was time to put some energy into this program and want to appreciate the positive effect it will have on Shepherd students."

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


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Sharon and James Brown

Shepherd University | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, West Virginia | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5000 | 800-344-5231 | FAX 304-876-3101
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