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Encore: Shepherd commemorates provost’s legacy, names interim replacement

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Apr 30, 2021


SHEPHERDSTOWN — The unexpected passing of beloved Shepherd University Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Scott Beard on March 28 left the university and surrounding community in shock. Over the following weeks, various commemorations and virtual concerts were held in honor of the talented and renowned pianist, including by the Salon Series and Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra.

On May 9 at 3 p.m., a final event this school year, “Encore: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Robert Scott Beard (August 24, 1964-March 28, 2021),” will be held in honor of Beard in Shepherd University’s Butcher Center.

“Dr. Beard was also a professor of music at Shepherd and served as the artistic director for the Washington Opera Society,” said a press release from Shepherd University of Beard’s history at the university, mentioning the event would honor his musical legacy. “The event will feature musical performances and tributes by colleagues, alumni and Shepherd students.”

The event may be the only in-person public event held in Beard’s memory, as other event organizers have preferred going the virtual route, due to COVID-19-related social distancing concerns.

According to the press release, the university will expect all attendees — both from the public and the school — to follow recommended safety guidelines at the event.


“All who attend will be required to follow Shepherd University’s temporary COVID-19 policies,” the press release said. “All guests must be in good health with no COVID-19 symptoms, wear a cloth face-covering that covers the nose and mouth at all times indoors and outdoors, socially distance by at least three feet from all others outside the household, refrain from removing the mask and hugging or touching others and register attendance at the link provided in the program for contact tracing purposes. Those who aren’t feeling well are asked to stay home and watch the livestream.”

On Friday afternoon, SU President Mary J.C. Hendrix announced the university’s temporary solution to dealing with the loss of Beard. Ben Martz, the dean of the College of Business and chair of the Department of Business Administration, will serve as interim vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, while the university searches for a candidate to fill the position on a permanent basis. Martz will begin serving in the position on June 1. At that time, College of Business Associate Dean and Department of Economics and Finance Chair Kathleen Reid will begin serving in Martz’s former position.

“The leadership and vision of Dr. Ben Martz and Dr. Kathleen Reid will provide essential stability to advance our institutional mission,” Hendrix said. “I am profoundly grateful for their willingness to accept the additional responsibility and serve in these key leadership roles.”

For more information about “Encore: A Celebration of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Robert Scott Beard (August 24, 1964-March 28, 2021),” visit https://www.shepherd.edu/a-celebration-of-the-life-of-dr-scott-beard/celebration-event.