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Stepping into the Future

County family’s 3rd generation graduates Shepherd University

May 12, 2017
Toni Milbourne - Shepherdstown Chronicle , Shepherdstown Chronicle

Christopher Andrew Grove was just one of the nearly 650 Shepherd University students to walk across the stage last Saturday-but to his family he marked the continuation of a long-standing tradition.

Andrew, as he is called by family and friends, was the third generation to gain his diploma from Shepherd's institute of higher learning. Celebrating proudly were his grandfather, Jack Coulter, who walked the stage in 1971 and mother, Patricia Coulter Grove, who also received her education in the halls of then Shepherd College.

Shepherd was founded in the Reconstruction era when the county seat of Jefferson was moved to Charles Town in 1865. According to historical records, "Eager to make use of the former courthouse, Shepherdstown residents secured a lease from Shepherd's heir, obtained a charter for "a classical and scientific institute," and opened the doors of Shepherd College in September 1871. In 1872, the legislature designated Shepherd as one of the six state normal schools whose main purpose was the education of teachers."

Article Photos

Photo courtesy of Jackie Milburn
Andrew Grove steps into his future after receiving his degree at Shepherd University.

By 1874, the school had 160 students and was coeducational from the beginning. Through many years of struggle to remain open and thriving, the school finally gained its designation in 1930 as a four-year teachers college with the name changed in 1931 to Shepherd State Teachers College. In 1943, the school's name was returned to Shepherd College, as it offered more liberal arts degrees. Again struggling through the depression years, Shepherd began to thrive through benefits of the GI Bill following World War II. Growth and expansion continued and the college was renamed Shepherd University in 2004.

The population of the senior class of 2017 far exceeded that 161 total student body from 1874; however, the graduates of today were no less excited about completing their education and moving into their future than those students of old.

Andrew, who received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in general business and a minor in marketing, worked hard to achieve the diploma handed him last Saturday. Carrying on a family tradition made the effort all the better.

"My mom and my Granddaddy, both, are graduates of this institution, and how cool to be the third generation graduate," Andrew said. He went on to say that choosing Shepherd for his education in business was an easy one.

Andrew follows grandfather Jack Coulter, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in double majors Comprehensive Social Studies and Physical Education in 1971, at then Shepherd College.

"I felt that based on the cost and quality of education Shepherd presented the best opportunity for me," Coulter shared. "We are very fortunate to have such a high quality institution of higher education located here in Jefferson County."

A tight-knit family, the Coulters are Jefferson County natives for many generations. Choosing Shepherd and remaining close to home was, and continues to be, a positive option.

Andrew's mother, Patricia Coulter Grove, who earned her Associates Degree in Secretarial Science from Shepherd College in 1989, called her family "home bodies" which made Shepherd a logical choice.

That choice proved a good one for Tricia, who , following graduation from the college, accepted an administrative position for a contractor at the National Cancer Institute at Fort Derrick Campus in Frederick, Maryland.

"I will be completing my 27th year there this year," she said.

The move into the workforce has been made for Andrew as well, as with his degree from Shepherd, he has garnered a position with Kogok Corporation, an HVAC sheet metal company, as an assistant project manager.

"My education from SU, I feel, has given me a solid foundation to begin a career in business administration and I am glad I made the decision to go to school there," Andrew shared.



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