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Lifelong friendship inspires Shepherd University education scholarship

ISSUED: 9 April 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Foundation announces the creation of a special one-time scholarship award in support of education majors at Shepherd. The Charles A. Tesconi, Jr. Memorial Scholarship was created by William “Bill” Carrigan in honor and memory of his lifelong friend, Charles “Buddy” Tesconi. The award will be made in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Born and raised in an Italian American family in Rutland, Vermont, Tesconi was a well-rounded student and talented athlete who played football, baseball, and basketball throughout high school. He was popular among his classmates, who voted him “Most Outstanding Athlete” his senior year.

“He was our high school All-State quarterback and team captain,” said Carrigan, who played football with Tesconi. The two attended the University of Vermont together but later grew apart when their lives and careers took them in different directions.

Tesconi went on to serve his alma mater as dean of the College of Education and Social Services for 11 years. He was also a faculty member at Ithaca College and the University of Illinois (Chicago), and a visiting professor at the Ohio State University. He later went on to serve as dean of the School of Education at American University, where he retired as professor emeritus. Tesconi was the author, co-author, and co-editor of six books and numerous articles emphasizing the relationship between socioeconomic background and educational opportunity.

“As a lifelong scholar, educator, and mentor, he impacted the lives of all those with whom he came in contact,” said Carrigan. “His passion was to ensure equal educational opportunity for all, and as such, he was constantly encouraging those he met to learn something new.”

Tesconi died in 2020. Carrigan chose to create a scholarship award in support of Shepherd University education majors as a way to honor his friend’s life work, as well as thank the teachers throughout his own life.

“Education was a function of my career,” said Carrigan, a retired therapist. “I wanted to thank the teachers who showed me the joy of learning, how to listen, and the importance of determination. Beyond that, I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to a lifelong friend, classmate, and teammate for being in my life,” he added, noting that he and Tesconi played football together in the days before face guards became mandatory.

“It was a joy to protect him,” said Carrigan.

To learn more about creating a named fund through the Shepherd University Foundation, contact Monica Lingenfelter, Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443-5000, 304-876-5397, mlingenf@shepherd.edu, or visit the Foundation website

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