Shepherd University, a West Virginia public liberal arts university, is a diverse community of learners and a gateway to the world of opportunities and ideas. We are the regional center for academic, cultural, and economic opportunity. Our mission of service succeeds because we are dedicated to our core values: learning, engagement, integrity, accessibility, and community.
Shepherd University began when the county seat of Jefferson County, West Virginia, was moved from Shepherdstown to Charles Town in July 1871. The people of Shepherdstown and vicinity decided to use the vacated courthouse for educational purposes. An article of incorporation for a school to be known as Shepherd University, designed to instruct students ï¿½in languages, arts and sciences,ï¿½ was drawn up and signed by C.W. Andrews, A.R. Boteler, C.T. Butler, G.M. Beltzhoover, David Billmyer, Samuel Knott, and Henry Shepherd. This body of incorporators gave itself power to elect instructors, pay salaries, and prescribe courses of study. Professor Joseph McMurran was appointed first principal of the institution, which opened with 42 students in September 1871, under the authority of the Board of Trustees. On February 27, 1872, the Legislature of West Virginia passed the following act: ï¿½That a branch of the State Normal School be and the same is hereby established at the building known as Shepherd College, in Shepherdstown, in the county of Jefferson.ï¿½ Shepherd became a four-year college for the training of teachers on July 1, 1930, at which time the institution began granting the bachelor of arts degree. Shepherd was authorized to implement liberal arts programs in 1943, and in 1950 the bachelor of science degree was added. Also in 1950 Shepherd was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and in 1951 it became a member of the Association of American Colleges. In the past two decades, Shepherd has added 11 new buildings, including the $9 million Robert C. Byrd Science and Technology Center; the $18 million addition to the Scarborough Library, which also houses the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies; and the $10 million nursing classroom building. The $21.6 million Wellness Center opened on June 11, 2009 and includes a 25-yard, eight-lane pool; two basketball courts, and six basketball hoops; two racquetball courts, indoor elevated 1/10 mile jogging track; two multi-purpose rooms with mirrored wall for group exercise classes; 7,500+ square foot weight and fitness area as well as a dining venue operated by Shepherd's Dining Services. Contemporary Arts Center entrance Phase I Sara Cree Hall, Studio Theater Exterior Frank Center Stage On April 7, 2004, Governor Bob Wise signed legislation allowing Shepherd College to change its name to Shepherd University. Dr. Suzanne Shipley was named the fifteenth president of Shepherd University on February 19, 2007, and began serving on June 29, 2007.