The Founder's Day Parade took place on a beautiful spring day in October. The Shepherd University marching band led a procession of students and faculty down the streets in celebration of the men who founded the University of Shepherdstown.
The Founder's Day Parade itself was very short, only spanning a few blocks down the main road of the campus. The real meat of the parade came at the end as the parade wrapped itself around the auditorium and the speakers began their presentations.
Professor Emeritus Dr. John Stealey was the first speaker and told the history of Shepherdstown, back when it was still called Mecklenberg before the town and university named itself after John Shepherd. Stealey mentioned a recently discovered founder who tried to save the university when the government wanted to close down the school. The man didn't succeed but the government eventually allowed the school to continue its business.
The next speaker, Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley said that even though there are tensions between the college and town, we still have one of the best relationships among college towns. Such tensions arise during homecoming games and other events and can include "our parking, our parking, and even our parking." She admired the town's patience with the University's construction projects.
Holly Frye, a coincidental descendant of the recently discovered founder, spoke of her own personal experiences working as the director of community services and service learning at Shepherd University. She admired the spirit that Shepherd students display when they are helping the community, raising money for numerous charities and cleaning up parks and highways. For her the founder's were the people that allowed such a great work to happen.
The theme of the Founder's Day Parade is unity and love for Shepherd University and Shepherdstown, and the speakers and parade demonstrated that harmony clearly. In a small college town collaboration is important and we're lucky to share founders and a town name.