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SU to implement programs for past scholars

By Staff | Jul 1, 2011

Members of the McMurran Scholars Association Committee pose with two of the first three recipients of the Shepherd's highest academic honor (seated, from left, are Garland Ott, Sandra Osbourn, Jennifer Pownell; standing, from left, are Berniece Collis, Cindy Woods, Cathy Baker, Dan Herr and Billie Unger). (Submitted photo)

The McMurran Scholars Association and Shepherd University Foundation are moving ahead with programs designed to draw McMurran Scholars back to campus following the success of the recent 50th McMurran Scholars Convocation. The event was attended by more than 140 guests and 70 McMurran Scholars, including the original recipients of the award Sandra Osbourn, Garland Ott and Nicholas Pappas.

McMurran Scholars who attended the reception were treated to dinner by Chef Scott Anderson of Shepherd University catering and received commemorative pins in recognition of the 50th anniversary. During the preceding convocation, representatives of the McMurran Scholars Association began an annual tradition of presenting the pin to newly inducted scholars. The association will award a scholarship in honor of Osbourn, Ott and Pappas to a McMurran Scholar who wishes to pursue a graduate degree at Shepherd. Other plans include a resource guide for use by Shepherd faculty and students, as the organization seeks to contribute the skills of McMurran Scholars to the community.

The McMurran Scholar Award was conceived in 1961 by Professor Kenneth Riley, who served on the first Honors Committee. McMurran Scholars must complete a minimum of 92 semester hours, maintain at least a 3.8 grade point average, complete two consecutive semesters of study at Shepherd and be nominated by at least three faculty members. Nominees must then be approved by the faculty at large.

The McMurran Scholars Association, sponsored by the Foundation, was created to provide networking opportunities among all scholars, as well as to mentor current Shepherd students and model applications of scholarly work on campus and in the community. An organizational committee led by McMurran Scholars Jennifer Pownell ’95 and Collis has been meeting since June 2010.