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Campus sees increase in summer activities

ISSUED: 1 August 2022

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University is quieter and less crowded during the summer months, allowing outside groups to use the campus for a variety of events and activities. Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased, the number of events hosted at the University this year has increased.

Jack Shaw, associate vice president for campus services, estimates that more than 1,200 guests have utilized the University’s conference services this summer, not including the Contemporary American Theater Festival.

“A college tends to operate for nine months out of the year,” Shaw said. “For three months we have these wonderful facilities that if we didn’t have camps and other activities, they would sit unused.”

Shaw said the revenue generated helps the University better its services throughout the year and provides continuity of employment, particularly for dining, housing, and custodial staff who otherwise might not work in the summer.

Members of the Washington High School band horn section practicing on intramural field. Members of the Washington High School band practice on the intramural field.

Among the groups and events on campus this summer include more than 60 Junior ROTC Air Force cadets from West Virginia and Virginia; 39 Upward Bound students taking an immersive six-week program; teachers attending a Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities West Virginia Humanities Council teacher institute; strings and jazz students attending music camps; the Washington High School marching band camp; training for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Eastern Panhandle; and Chesterbrook United Methodist Church from McLean, Virginia.

Athletics offered sports camps throughout the summer for basketball, volleyball, and soccer. There were also four sessions of football camp attended by more than 700 students from 17 teams from West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.

High school football players working out in Ram Stadium.High school football players work out in Ram Stadium during summer camp.

Chauncey Winbush, vice president for athletics, said it’s fortunate the University has been able to host a full slate of camps on campus this summer. He said they help raise money to support scholarships and generate revenue through facility rentals.

“Another critical opportunity gained through the summer camp process is the marketing of our university,” Winbush said. “Any opportunity to produce traffic on campus is a chance to share the beauty of our school and the surrounding area is a good thing.”

“It without a doubt is a recruiting tool,” Shaw said. “I think having the Washington High School band’s 109 students here on campus to enjoy our residence halls and dining services and get that collegiate feel is certainly going to affect their college decisions. I hope we’ll see many of those students back in the future.”

Summer sports camps are run by Shepherd University Athletics and the School of Music offers the music camps. For more information about having a conference, workshop, meeting, or other event at Shepherd, visit the Conference Services webpage.

Listen to an interview with Jack Shaw here.

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