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Alumna Roxanne French creates nursing scholarship

ISSUED: 18 October 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Foundation announces a deferred gift that will provide scholarship support for Shepherd nursing students into perpetuity. The Roxanne R. French Nursing Scholarship was established by alumna Roxanne French.

French is a registered nurse whose 25-year career has included work in long-term care, dialysis, the hospital, and home health. As a former nurse at the Martinsburg Correctional Center, she oversaw the care of 150 inmates. Most recently French was employed as a floor nurse in Berkeley Medical Center’s behavioral health unit.

“When I started out, I just wanted to try everything to find out what my niche was,” French said. “I found that to be psychiatric nursing.”

French was inspired to pursue a career in nursing by her mother, who worked as a health technician at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center. A native of Martinsburg, French chose to attend Shepherd because it allowed her to commute while living at home, and she was impressed by its nursing education program.

“I knew Shepherd to have a good reputation for producing strong, capable nurses,” she said. “My experience there was very positive. My instructors were knowledgeable and would go the extra mile to be supportive.”

French chose to create a named scholarship in support of Shepherd nursing students as a result of her positive experience at the university. The gift was made through a bequest, qualifying French for the Joseph P. McMurran Society, a special group of donors who have chosen to share their lifelong financial achievements with Shepherd through estate and other planned gifts.

“Shepherd was good to me,” she said. “This is my way of giving back.”

In early 2019, French was forced to resign from her position at Berkeley Medical Center following complications from pulmonary sarcoidosis, an autoimmune lung disease first diagnosed in 2000. Though it was difficult to walk away from a career she loved, French hopes to return to work in the field of private care at some point, acknowledging that nursing is her calling.

“I continue to grow and learn as a registered nurse,” French said. “I’ve made that commitment.”

To learn more about creating a named fund through the Shepherd University Foundation or how to qualify for membership in the Joseph P. McMurran Society, contact Monica Lingenfelter, Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443-5000; 304-876-5397; mlingenf@shepherd.edu; or visit https://shepherduniversityfoundation.org.

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