In 1961 the faculty created the award of McMurran Scholar, which is the highest academic honor awarded at Shepherd University.
Joseph McMurran Scholars are individuals who are enrolled in a major program leading to the four-year baccalaureate degree and who meet the following criteria:
- Have been presented by the provost to the Scholarship and Awards Committee as being eligible as a scholar, having amassed:
- A minimum of 90 semester hours for which a traditional grade has been given, with the exception of Advanced Placement credits awarded by Shepherd University, which shall be included (Pass-Fail, CLEP, special examination grades and veteran’s credit do not count).
- A minimum 3.86 quality point average.
- Have maintained full-time status (a minimum of 12 earned credits in a semester) for two consecutive semesters of study at Shepherd University, exclusive of summer work.
- Have been nominated by a minimum of three faculty members who have sufficient knowledge of them for demonstrating the capacity and inclination to pursue scholarly inquiry. At least two of these faculty members should come from the nominee’s major department, and the third should come either from this department or from a closely allied discipline.
- Have subsequently been approved by the faculty at large (a listing of all nominees along with the names of the three faculty in support of each nominee will be distributed to the faculty at large). Any faculty member feeling he or she has just cause may challenge the nomination by submitting a statement of position to the Scholarship and Awards Committee chair. All challenges shall be returned to the originating department for consideration and action.
The elected scholars are recognized at the McMurran Scholars award ceremony and the commencement exercise.