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Foundation board of directors appoints new directors and officers

ISSUED: 13 October 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Foundation has added six new members to its board of directors. Alfred K. Young and Mary Kathryn Robinson were elected onto the board at the Foundation’s annual meeting on September 28. Shepherd University President Mary J.C. Hendrix appointed Dr. Carol Plautz and Tammy Gill as the organization’s faculty and classified employee representatives, respectively. Darren B. Iden joined the board as the Shepherd University Alumni Association’s appointed representative while E.G. Moreland, chair of Shepherd University’s Classified Employees Council, joined the organization as a director-at-large.

The Foundation bid farewell to five former board members. Kenneth E. Harbaugh, Jerry P. Kerr, Elizabeth S. Lowe, Allen L. Lueck, and Dr. David Wing received commemorative gifts along with acknowledgment for their service. Harbaugh, Kerr, Lueck, and Lowe were also elected as directors emeriti, along with former directors Susan Mentzer-Blair, and Ramon A. Alvarez. Alvarez previously served as the board’s president and vice president.

The foundation elected three new officers to its board. Former vice president Christopher S. Colbert was elected president, while former president Michael A. Smith assumed the role of vice president. Director Karl L. Wolf assumed the role of secretary, and Julia M. Connell will continue in her role as the organization’s treasurer.

“I am honored to have been elected president of the Shepherd University Foundation by my fellow directors,” said Colbert. “Furthermore, I’m pleased to have welcomed to the board new leaders who possess the skills necessary to aid the Foundation in its mission of providing valuable support to Shepherd University.”

A teak bench was dedicated in honor of Mike Smith’s five-year service in the role of Foundation president. Prior to that, he served as the organization’s vice president. The bench joined four others flanking the front walk of McMurran Hall in honor of each of the Foundation’s four previous presidents: William “Pappy” Thacher, James M. Moler, James M. Davis, and Ramon A. Alvarez. Each bench bears a bronze plaque in recognition of their impact throughout the Foundation’s 56-year history.

“I was honored to take part in the dedication of the presidential bench to our outgoing president, Mike Smith,” said Alvarez, who directly preceded Smith in the role of Foundation president. “During his tenure, he gave leadership to a number of programs to further the value of the Foundation’s service to Shepherd University, including facilitating the financing and construction of Shepherd’s newest residence hall, Potomac Place, and the funding and creation of the new College of Business at Shepherd University. Without Mike’s support and leadership, these endeavors would not have become reality. It is therefore our privilege to add Mike’s bench to the McMurran Hall landscape to be enjoyed by students and visitors alike.”

The Shepherd University Foundation is a nonprofit organization that advances the mission of Shepherd University by overseeing funds established for support of the university and its students, faculty, and programs. For more information about the Foundation, visit or call 304-876-5397.

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