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New scholarship encourages academic excellence

The new George and Barbara Stilwell Scholarship for Academic Excellence will support students enrolled in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences or pursuing a degree in elementary education. It is designated for graduates of a high school in the West Virginia counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Morgan, and Hampshire. The endowed award was established by Shepherd University graduate George “G.W.” ’77 and Barbara Stilwell, who attended Shepherd (post graduate) from ‘80 – ‘81 to obtain her teaching certificate.

G.W. was familiar with the University long before completing his degree. G.W.’s mother grew up in Shepherdstown, and as a child they visited almost every weekend. Where Stutzman-Slonaker now stands once stood his mother’s elementary school, a large, yellow building. Years later, G.W. had classes in that same building, and after that, he witnessed its demolition. He still has a yellow brick from the building as a keepsake.

With close ties to the Shepherd community, G.W. has experienced changes and growth throughout the years. When he was eight years old, he met with a reading specialist at Shepherd, and following his lessons, they would explore the Little House. His family also had a strong connection to the campus. Both his great aunt and grandmother ran boarding houses serving the college, housing faculty and students.

“My Shepherd experience, like that of many who live close to the school, started long before my classes did and are immersed in the community,” explained G.W.

During his time as a student, G.W. served four years on the Student Senate, became a McMurran Scholar, and was chosen as the outstanding political science student during his senior year. He also has fond memories of spending time in the library, playing pinball in the Rams Den, and spending time with friends after football games. He received academic scholarships which helped pay for his books.

“I have always appreciated the financial help I received from Shepherd and have always wanted to repay it somehow,” G.W. said. “This scholarship fund is a start.”

Through the George and Barbara Stilwell Scholarship for Academic Excellence, G.W. and Barbara will help to support future generations of Rams while celebrating the legacy of community throughout Shepherd’s campus.

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