Shepherd University hosted the 140th Commencement exercise on Saturday, May 4, at 1:50 p.m. in the Butcher Center.
Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient was David K. Hendrickson, chair, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. Receiving the President's Award were Bill and Jo Ann Knode, Shepherdstown residents and Shepherd alumni, Class of 1958.
The chair of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, David K. Hendrickson, Esq., began his service on the HEPC in late 2006. During his tenure on the commission, Hendrickson has engaged in and promoted all facets of higher education in order to provide greater opportunities to current and future students and, ultimately, the state of West Virginia. He served as the commission's vice chair for two years and as the commission's chair for the past four years.
Nationally, Hendrickson has represented West Virginia and the state's higher education system as a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council of Board Chairs. The national group meets annually to advise and counsel AGB officials regarding programs, services, and public policy issues for 36,000 individual members representing trustees and regents; presidents and chancellors; public university and college foundation CEOs; and senior-level administrators.
As a leader of the state's higher education system and a resident of the Kanawha Valley, Hendrickson served as a driving force in the state's acceptance and ownership of the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, formerly the South Charleston Technology Park, from the Dow Chemical Company. He currently serves as a member of the West Virginia Regional Technology Park Corporation board of directors.
Most recently, he served as chair of the Chancellor Search Committee and chair of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology Revitalization Committee. Previously, he served as a member of the Adult Learner Task Force, a member of the PROMISE Scholarship Board of Control, and a member of the West Virginia College Completion Task Force.
Hendrickson is the founding managing partner of Hendrickson and Long, P.L.L.C., and is an inductee into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has also been recognized by several national publications including Chambers, USA, Best Lawyers in America and Litigation Magazine in the area of corporate litigation. He served as the legal correspondent to the Charleston ABC affiliate WCHS-TV and conducted a news segment titled "The Legal Pad."
He graduated from West Virginia University in 1979 with a bachelor of arts degree and a juris doctorate from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1982. While at West Virginia University, he served as the student body president and was the second-ever student voting member on the West Virginia Board of Regents. He is a past national president of the West Virginia University Alumni Association and was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year in 2004.
Hendrickson is a veteran, leaving active duty after completing a four-year tour of service as a captain in the U.S. Army. He currently serves on the boards of several charitable, civic and social organizations.
William E. (Bill) Knode, Jr. and Jo Ann Jackson Knode, of Shepherdstown, are the recipients of the President's Award for their exemplary service to Shepherd University and the community.
The Knodes are alumni, both members of the Class of 1958. Mr. Knode earned a B.S. in business administration with an accounting concentration and a minor in economics. Mrs. Knode earned a B.S. in home economics and a B.A. in secondary education. The Knodes met at Shepherd while building a float for homecoming. Mr. Knode, a coronet player in the Shepherd Band, was enlisted to join the group by his music appreciation professor, Dr. Guy Frank. Mrs. Knode was a member of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority.
A member of the board of directors of Jefferson Security Bank for more than 50 years, Mr. Knode currently serves as the chairman of the board and has served as secretary and president. The owner of W.H. Knode's Sons, a Southern States affiliate in Shepherdstown, he worked at the family-owned business from 1942 until its closing in 2010.
Mr. Knode is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Shepherd University Foundation and serves on the investment committee. A charter member of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, Mr. Knode has served on the Shepherd University Alumni Association board of directors. The Alumni Association honored him in 2002 when he was awarded the Alumni Service Award. In 1976, he was named a trustee of McMurran-Reynolds Hall and continues in that capacity today. Mr. Knode is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army, 1961 to 1962.
Mr. Knode was instrumental in facilitating the gift of the Conrad Shindler House from actress Mary Tyler Moore to the Shepherd University Foundation. The Shindler House serves as the home of Shepherd's George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War.
After her graduation from Shepherd, Mrs. Knode worked for the West Virginia Board of Education School Lunch Program. Based in Martinsburg and Charleston, she oversaw a 14-county region for the program. Mrs. Knode later worked for the Washington County, Md., Board of Education, teaching art at North Hagerstown Junior High School.
Mrs. Knode is a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church Thrift Shop committee, a charity that donates funds raised back to the community. A member of the Jefferson County Historical Society, Mrs. Knode has served as a National Park Service volunteer at the C&O Canal headquarters; a member of the Shepherdstown Beautification Committee, Shepherdstown National Bicentennial Community committee, and the Historic Shepherdstown Museum committee; and a member of the Shenandoah-Potomac Garden Council and the Potomac-Mecklenburg Garden Club.
Attending Shepherd is a family tradition. Mrs. Knode's sister, Eleanor Jackson Shanklin, is a member of the Class of 1952, and Mr. Knode counts three family members in the alumni ranks-his late mother Zula Park Knode '31, late sister Dorothy Knode Holcombe '55, and late brother-in-law Stanley W. Holcombe '54.
Mr. and Mrs. Knode have established two scholarships with the Shepherd University Foundation: the William E. and Jo Ann Jackson Knode Scholarship to support general academic students and the Holcombe English Scholarship in memory of his sister and brother-in-law.