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New Planned Gift in Support of Legal Studies

A member of Shepherd University’s Class of 1991, Melinda Merk is giving back to future generations of students through the Melinda Merk Law Scholarship. This endowed fund will support female students majoring in political science to further their pursuit of legal studies. The scholarship award will be funded with a deferred gift through a trust.

During her time as a Shepherd student, Merk majored in political science and received the Dr. Ruth Scarborough Scholarship, which was established to honor Dr. Ruth Scarborough who taught and advised many students as a History professor at Shepherd from 1936-1966.  In addition to her studies, Merk was active in the campus community. She served as Vice President of the Student Government Association, President of the Shepherd College Republicans, and Vice President of Kappa Tau Epsilon sorority.

“Being that Shepherd is a smaller school, I think it really offers opportunity for students who want to be leaders of various campus organizations,” explained Merk. “I think that sort of environment really allowed me to excel and succeed with the goal of wanting to go on to law school.”

Merk’s passion for involvement has persisted into her career. After completing her undergraduate degree at Shepherd, Merk earned her J.D. at Duquesne University School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation at Georgetown University Law Center. Merk’s almost 27-year career as a tax and estates and trusts attorney has been highlighted by the opportunities she has found to become involved with various professional and volunteer organizations within her community. She has served on several boards, and is currently a member of the board of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Having moved to the D.C. area in 1995 after completing law school, Merk’s commitment to giving back to her community perseveres. The Melinda Merk Law Scholarship will have a lasting impact at Shepherd University.

“I like the idea of leaving a legacy and endowment to support Shepherd students interested in studying the law, which will hopefully have a lasting impact and help them the way the Dr. Ruth Scarborough Scholarship helped me,” said Merk.

The impact of the Shepherd community and the Dr. Ruth Scarborough Scholarship, on Merk’s education has remained throughout the years. The Melinda Merk Law Scholarship fund is an opportunity for future students to excel in their academic endeavors and reminisce on their undergraduate careers for years to come.

To learn more about creating a named fund through the Shepherd University Foundation, please contact the Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443-5000, 304-876-5397 or visit