Shepherd University will install its 16th president, Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix on Friday, April 8, during a ceremony at 3 p.m. in the Butcher Center. The installation will be part of a two-day inauguration that will include a Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble concert presented by the Shepherd University Department of Music that same Friday evening at 8 p.m. in the Frank Center Theater. The concert is free and open to the public.
Dr. Scott Hippensteel, director of bands and instrumental music, adjunct music professor Dr. Charles Reader, and Shepherd music graduate student Wendy Zepeda, will conduct the Inauguration Concert program.
For the first time in its 144-year history, Shepherd University will be led by a Shepherd graduate. Hendrix, a 1974 alumna of Shepherd, was president and chief scientific officer of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
A native of Shepherdstown, Hendrix is a nationally recognized leader in cancer research and has been a member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Council of Councils, the National Human Genome Research Institute Council, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Board of Scientific Advisors. Her many honors include a MERIT Award from NCI, a University of Iowa Award for Excellence and Achievement Among Women, and the Distinguished Woman Faculty Award from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Hendrix said she is excited about returning to West Virginia and Shepherd. “I am deeply honored to accept the presidential leadership position and return home to my alma mater in Shepherdstown,” she said. “I am grateful to Shepherd for the strong, multidisciplinary education provided to me with valuable contributions from the faculty, staff, and members of the community, and now I am very appreciative for the opportunity to work with all stakeholders in advancing the institution to the next level of preeminence. “
After graduating from Shepherd with a B.S. degree in pre-med/biology and a minor in English, Hendrix received her Ph.D. from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and then was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship to train at Harvard Medical School. Her decorated career in higher education and academic medical centers also includes faculty and leadership positions at the University of Arizona, University of California San Francisco, St. Louis University, and the University of Iowa. Hendrix is credited with more than 270 research publications.
For Dr. Hendrix’s inauguration concert, Dr Hippensteel said, “It’s very exciting to put it all to together and try to find a variety of styles—things that I think the audience will enjoy, as well as the performers.”
“The concert will offer a wide variety—from a march called “Colossus of Columbia” by an American composer, it’s kind of a circus march, to a chorale from a 15th century Spaniard that’s been reset from keyboard for band, to a piece by Howard Hanson called “Chorale and Alleluia,” Hippensteel said.
“The piece we’re going to end the concert with, which is really exciting, is a piece called ‘Jazz Schizms,’” he said. “It’s a collection of different jazz styles and it’s going to feature some of our jazz faculty with the Wind Ensemble that is very upbeat and celebratory, a really interesting piece that’s only just been done a couple of times.”
“Jazz Schizms” will include performances by Shepherd faculty Dr. Kurtis Adams on tenor saxophone, and Dr. Mark Andrew Cook on piano, guest artist David Detwiler on trumpet, and Shepherd music students Dan Dunn on bass and Sawyer Gaydon on drums.
For more information about this event or other events in the Shepherd University Department of Music, call 304-876-5555.