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2017 Joseph P. McMurran Society Dinner

Members of the Joseph P. McMurran Society pose for a group photo before dinner.

During a brief program, new member Elizabeth S. “Betty” Lowe ’52 was welcomed into the McMurran Society by President Mary J. C. Hendrix ’74 and Chris Colbert ’95, vice president of the Shepherd University Foundation.

The evening kicked off with a brief program during which President Hendrix commended society members for their optimism and forward-thinking, charitable investment decisions, and inspiring loyalty to Shepherd University.

Monica Lingenfelter, EVP of the Shepherd University Foundation, also commended members and their guests for their ongoing commitment to higher education.

Chris Colbert spoke on behalf of the Foundation and personally recognized those society members in attendance.

Jack and Pat Egle stood with other society members during Chris Colbert’s recognition.

Guests were treated to a performance by Shepherd University music major and Foundation scholar Lucia Valentine, who recently released her debut album featuring ten original songs.

Lucia Valentine is the recipient of the James and Katherine Moler Scholarship, a general academic award for WV residents. Lucia is a native of Shepherdstown and graduated from Jefferson High School, where she was a member of the Pop Singers.

Guests were captivated by the aspiring singer/songwriter’s performance of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On,” as well as an original song called “Magic.” Pictured here is McMurran Society member Carol Durand.

Society members Thomas Banks (front) and Bill Lingenfelter enjoy Lucia’s performance.

During his remarks, Chris Colbert recognized Betty Lowe as the newest member of the McMurran Society and presented her with a commemorative gift.

All society members are presented with a framed McMurran Society medallion as a commemorative gift.

Prior to the program, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception upon arrival. Pictured (l. to r.): Daniele Jackson, Holly Frye, Diana Collins, and MaryAnn Morgan.

Holly Frye, Shepherd’s assistant vice president for Student Affairs, greets guest Daniele Jackson with a hug.

Colleen Nolan, dean of Shepherd University’s School of Science and Mathematics

Betty Lowe attended the dinner with her grandson, Brant McGarry Lowe and his fiance, Brittany Burch. They’re seen here chatting with society member Tom Banks.

Brant Lowe chats with Tom Banks.

Society member Sue Mentzer-Blair greets fellow member Barbara Humes and her guest, Vic Marchand.

President Hendrix chats with Shepherdstown mayaor Jim Auxer prior to the dinner.

President Mary Hendrix and Mayor Jim Auxer

Guests enjoyed a reception prior to the program and meal.

President Mary Hendrix greets Holly Frye and her mother, MaryAnn Morgan.

President Hendrix chats with Betty Lowe and her grandson, Brant, and his fiance, Brittany.

Guests listen to remarks by Monica Lingenfelter during the program.

Held in the beautiful bi-level atrium of Erma Ora Byrd Hall with its stunning views of Shepherd’s east campus, the elegant event featured a four-course dinner exclusively prepared by Shepherd University Catering.

The appetizer featured seared scallops with carrot jus served atop a bed of European cucumber noodles.

A delectable roasted beet salad was followed by a main entree of twin beef medallions in a Cabernet wine sauce served with roasted asparagus and Yukon gold potatoes. Dessert was a poached half pear with marscapone chantilly creme. Yum!

Society members Al and Sara Lueck enjoy socializing with other guests over dinner.

Kim Hutto, Shepherd’s new director of alumni engagement, chats with McMurran Society members Bill Simmons and Jane Cook.

Foundation EVP Monica Lingenfelter (l.) and President Mary Hendrix greet each other upon the president’s arrival.

Chris Colbert listens attentively to Dr. William “Ben” Martz, chair of the Department of Business Administration and dean of Shepherd’s new College of Business.

Society member Karen Cunningham chats with Kim Hutto.

Guests Diana Collins and Daniele Jackson talk while fellow guest and tablemate Diane Steece reviews the event program.

President Hendrix chats with Foundation scholar and guest performer Lucia Valentine and her father, Dominic Valentine, who accompanied his daughter on guitar.

President Hendrix

Lucia Valentine’s album is available on iTunes and Spotify, as well as her website,

Lucia Valentine

Betty Lowe enjoys the aspiring singer-songwriter’s performance.

Society members Bill Simmons and Jane Cook applaud Lucia’s performance.

McMurran Society member Ann Hummer

Society members Anders and Ann Henriksson also applaud Lucia’s performance.

Society member Jack Egle chats with fellow member Tom Miller.

From left: Society members Pat and Jack Egle and Mike Athey

Jack Egle

Pat Egle

Sara Lueck greets guest Richard Harmison.

Bill Lingenfelter chats with tablemate and fellow society member Tom Banks.

Ann Henriksson talks with tablemate Vic Marchand over dinner.

Brittany Burch, fiance of Betty Lowe’s grandson, Brant

Foundation VP Chris Colbert

Holly Frye poses for a cheerful photo op with McMurran Society member Richard Durham.

Bill Simmons socializes over dinner.

Heidi Hanrahan, associate professor in Shepherd’s Department of English and Modern Languages and member of the Foundation’s board of directors, enjoys chatting with her fellow tablemates over dinner.

McMurran Society member Carole Griffith

Society member Karen Cunningham chats with Dow Benedict, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities.

Dr. Ben Martz, chair of the Department of Business Administration and dean of Shepherd’s new College of Business

Lisa Welch, a prominent member of the campus and Shepherdstown community, enjoys socializing over dinner.

Karen Rice, director of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning at Shepherd University, was a first-time attendee of this annual event, along with her husband, Bill.

Society member Dan Starliper (l.), chats with Jason Best, a member of the Foundation’s board of directors and professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Shepherd.

Sherri Janelle, executive director of development: leadership gifts, and prospect management for the Shepherd University Foundation, talks with Shepherd alum Stanley Rote.

Karl Wolf, a McMurran Society member and Foundation board member, catches up with fellow society member Joan Starliper.

Guest Kelly Smith attends the annual event every years with his wife, Christi-Smailes Smith, who sponsors the Amanda Smailes Memorial Scholarship along with the rest of the Smailes family. Designated for nursing students from the state of WV or the county of Frederick, MD, this endowed scholarship was created in memory of Amanda Smailes, a Shepherd student who was killed in 1997 while returning home from her part-time job at Wal-Mart by a drunk driver trying to outrun WV State Police. As a result of this tragedy the West Virginia legislature passed the “Smailes Bill” (H.B. 2221), which deems causing police chases and injury to innocent bystanders a felony.

MaryAnn Morgan pauses in her conversation with Mike Athey to give our photographer a smile. Special thanks to Sam Levitan of Sam Levitan Photography ( for his time and talent in capturing this popular event!