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Scholarship created in memory of former provost Scott Beard

ISSUED: 30 November 2021

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Foundation announces the creation of an endowed scholarship in memory of the late Dr. Scott Beard, who served as Shepherd’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. The Scott Beard and Alan Gibson Endowed Scholarship for Music and Nursing is designated for music majors and students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree program.

Beard’s sudden death in March 2021 shocked and saddened the Shepherd community. His life partner of 31 years, Alan Gibson, led efforts to establish the named fund with contributions from alumni, friends, colleagues, and students.

“Establishing this scholarship was the perfect legacy,” said Gibson. “Scott was known for his music, but his late mother was a nurse and nursing was dear to his heart. He was instrumental in instituting the D.N.P, Shepherd’s first doctoral program, and considered it a crowning achievement. So, I wanted to honor that as well.”

Beard’s responsibilities at Shepherd included the oversight of all undergraduate and graduate programs and institutional and programmatic accreditation, as well as cyclical program reviews, development of new degree program proposals, and campus representation for academic affairs. In addition to the successful implementation of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, his other major accomplishment during his tenure included facilitating Shepherd’s first certificate program at the graduate level in Appalachian studies.

Beard was also a full professor in Shepherd’s School of Music. Recognized for his outstanding teaching abilities, he was named West Virginia Music Teacher of the Year in 2006 and was a finalist for West Virginia Professor of the Year in 2009. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, he also held a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.

“Scott was very much in tune with his students and we both often helped out deserving students in need,” said Gibson. “The endowment is a natural extension of what we did personally for years.”

The first awards of the Scott Beard and Alan Gibson Endowed Scholarship for Music and Nursing were made to five students during the 2021-2022 academic year. Recipients Korinne Myers and Meya Collings are music majors at Shepherd, while Damien Unger, Logan Hassler, and Jaime Day are in the D.N.P. program. Memorial contributions to the fund continue to be accepted in Beard’s honor.

To learn more about creating a named fund through the Shepherd University Foundation, contact Monica Lingenfelter, executive vice president, Shepherd University Foundation, at or 304-876-5397, or Sherri Janelle, executive director of development, at or 304-876-5043, or visit the Foundation online at

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