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DAR scholarships recently awarded to local students

By Staff | Jan 27, 2017

Shepherdstown Pack Horse Ford Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) is honored to award two Shepherd University scholarships in memory of one of the group’s most honored members, Ruth Power Thacher. The two students selected by Shepherd University Foundation were Hannah French and Jacob Younker.

A graduate of Jefferson High School, Hannah French is a junior Elementary Education major with an endorsement in Mathematics Education for grades 5-9. She is a Shepherd University Foundation Scholar and part of the Honors Program. During her time at Shepherd University, Hannah has been a member of Scene Stealers, Ram Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Delta Pi. She hopes to become a middle school math teacher upon graduating from Shepherd University in the spring of 2018.

Having grown up in Berkeley County, WV, and a graduate of Hedgesville High School, Jacob Younker is a Historic Preservation major at Shepherd University. Jacob plans to graduate in the Spring of 2018. One of his major accomplishments was working with the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. His work involved tracking down hometown newspapers for five Union regiments stationed in Harpers Ferry during the Battle of Harpers Ferry, fought Sept. 12-15, 1862. Last fall, Jacob interned in the archives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at the National Conservation Training Center outside of Shepherdstown and helped with their oral history program. Jacob is an avid reader and writer. After graduation from Shepherd, Jacob plans to attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree in Archaeology.

The two scholarships in memory of Ruth Thacher were made because Ruth made a difference in the lives of countless numbers of diverse people. She was a member of the Pack Horse Ford Chapter for over 50 years and served honorably in the role of Regent. In recognition of her 50 years of service to the Chapter, Ruth was named Honorary Regent.

Ruth had many accomplishments in her life. She was a member of the National Honor Society when she graduated from Martinsburg High School. She attended Shepherd University and received her degree from West Virginia University. In 1963, she received her master’s degree from George Washington University.

In 1939, Ruth married William R. Thacher, professor of Economics and Sociology at Shepherd University for 38 years. Thacher Hall was named in his honor.

Ruth’s 38 years in education began at John Street School in Martinsburg. During her career as an educator, she served as a principal in Washington County, Maryland, at Dargan, Fairplay, Broadway and Bester elementary schools.

Ruth was a leader in the American Association of University Women (AAUW), having served as state president of the West Virginia Division. During her term as state president, the International Study Program was established as a means of promoting goodwill in other countries. The first AAUW International Study Grant from West Virginia was named in her honor.

At Shepherd University, Ruth served as vice-president of the Shepherd University Foundation for 15 years. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Shepherd University in 1991 and the Shepherd University President’s Medal in 1997. In 2001, she was made an honorary director of the University Foundation. She served as a member of the Board of Advisors of Shepherd University as alumnae advisor to the Beta Delta Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.

Ruth passed away on May 6, 2008, but her legacy lives on in the hearts of those she touched with her outgoing personality, her gentle smile and her passion for education.

Those who would like to learn more about the Pack Horse Ford Chapter should contact Regent Kathy Sholl at 304-876-1250. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org.