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Birthday bash for J.C. planned for March 20

ISSUED: 28 February 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University will celebrate the second birthday of its mascot, J.C. the ram, on Wednesday, March 20, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the lawn between the Robert C. Byrd Science and Technology Center and the Scarborough Library. J.C.’s birthday bash is free and open to the public.

The festivities will include a choir of Shepherd students singing Shepherd’s Alma Mater and Happy Birthday at 12:05 p.m. President Mary J.C. Hendrix will present a granola birthday cake to the ram, whose name is derived from her middle initials. Free refreshments of cupcakes, popcorn, cookies, and water will be served, and ram-related items will be raffled to raise money for J.C.’s care. Dr. Deborah Rochefort, director of educational programs at the Peter Burr house, will demonstrate how to spin sheep’s wool into yarn. The Peter Burr house, which is located in Jefferson County, is the oldest standing wood frame structure in West Virginia.

J.C., a horned Dorset ram, was purchased two years ago with donations from alumni Al and Sara Lueck; Holly Morgan Frye, assistant vice president for student success and director of community and congressional relations, and her husband Jim Frye; and Dr. Ben Martz, dean of the College of Business. J.C. attends Shepherd football games and a variety of other events on campus throughout the year.

The tradition of having a live ram mascot named in honor of the current president goes back to the presidency of Dr. Oliver S. Ikenberry, with Ike the ram. Dr. James A. Butcher had Butch, Dr. Michael P. Riccards had Mike, Dr. David L. Dunlop had Livingston, and Dr. Suzanne Shipley had Zan.

For more information about the birthday celebration, contact Michelle Lawson at

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