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Contact:  Kirsten Nelson
(804) 225-2627
For Immediate Release

March 22, 2007

SCHEV Sponsors Celebration of W&L’s Shepherd Poverty Program

RICHMOND — The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) concludes a yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary by sponsoring a program honoring Washington and Lee University’s renowned Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability. The Shepherd Program, founded at Washington and Lee in 1997, integrates academic study and service learning to inform students of all disciplines about poverty.

The program, which is open to the public, will take place Friday, March 23 at 4:00 p.m. in the Elrod Commons’ Stackhouse Theater on the Washington and Lee University campus in Lexington, Virginia. Speakers include David Bradley, executive director of the National Community Action Foundation, as well as Washington and Lee administrators, faculty, and students. A reception will follow the afternoon program to welcome Sen. Warner, a 1949 graduate of Washington and Lee, back to his alma mater and to honor his commitment to unique higher education programs. Both events are open to the public.

“I am honored to share the stage with President Ruscio to highlight this extraordinary program as part of the agency’s yearlong efforts to celebrate the successes of the Commonwealth’s public and private higher education institutions,” says Daniel J. LaVista, SCHEV Executive Director. “Perhaps no other curriculum embodies the ideals of access and quality in quite the same way as the academic and practical experience of the Shepherd Program.”

The Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability was established with support from Nancy and Tom Shepherd (Washington and Lee Class of 1952), who will also attend the event. The program offers a sustained combination of academic studies and service focusing on fostering human development to alleviate poverty. The Shepherd Alliance joins students from Berea College, Bonner Scholar Schools, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Washington and Lee University in summer work with agencies that seek to benefit impoverished members of society.

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency was created in 1956 as an advisory agency to the Governor and General Assembly. Today, SCHEV provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues.

For more information, contact Kirsten Nelson, Director of Government Relations and Communications, at or (804)225-2627.