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Civil War Semester program launched by George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War

Dennis Frye ’79 (l.) and Dr. James Broomall

Starting in the fall 2019 semester, undergraduate students from any college or university in the country will have the opportunity to spend a semester at Shepherd University immersing themselves in the study of the Civil War. The Civil War Semester will utilize Shepherd’s relationships with nearby National Park Service, state, and local historic cultural resources to offer a small group of students an experience focusing on the war while earning 15-18 credit hours.

“It will allow students to have practical, hands-on experience at these institutions, all the while having a strong pedagogical framework driving forward a narrative about the military, cultural, and social aspects of the American Civil War,” said Dr. James Broomall, assistant professor of history and director of Shepherd’s George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War.

Broomall said the Civil War Semester is hoping to offer students who have earned about 44 credit hours and who can handle upper-level coursework a unique and impactful program.

“Think boutique—it’s a boutique program. The idea is they will be housed together, form a very tight cohort, and have the ability to interact with me and my colleagues on a daily basis,” Broomall said. “I think that’s what is going to give it a very personal dimension.”

Dennis Frye ’79, Shepherd alumnus and recently retired Harpers Ferry National Historical Park chief historian, is among the professionals who will help with the program. Frye said Shepherd is in a unique position to offer the semester-long intensive on the Civil War because of its geographic location.

“Shepherd is at the epicenter of the Civil War,” Frye said. “You are living the Civil War in Civil War country. You’re close to it. It’s around you all the time. It becomes part of you. It literally seeps into your soul. Most places can’t offer that experience.”

Frye has donated $10,000 to the Dennis E. Frye Scholarship through the Shepherd University Foundation to offer scholarships to Civil War Semester students.

“I hope this will serve as a way to attract top notch and diverse students from all over the country,” Frye said. “I think this will create not only an educational foundation, but memories for them that will last a lifetime.”

For more information about the Civil War Semester, visit or contact Broomall at 304-876-5429.