The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.
Issue link: http://louisville.epubxp.com/i/189594
McConnell Scholars: Evan Shepherd BACKGROUND: The McConnell Scholars program was developed through the McConnell Center, which seeks to identify, recruit and nurture Kentucky's next generation of leaders. It was formed in 1991 by the university and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, 64A, and the university, based on his belief that Kentucky's future depends on inspiring talented, motivated leaders. Ten McConnell Scholars are chosen each year for a program that includes up to full-tuition scholarships, study-abroad opportunities, meetings with top local and national leaders, extracurricular seminars and leadership development opportunities. GIVING THANKS: If Evan Shepherd, 21, could pull McConnell aside in a Senate hallway, what would he tell him? "I'd say, I will never be able to explain the effect you have had on my life," Shepherd said. "My only hope is that I will one day change lives the way you changed mine." Shepherd grew up in Madisonville, Ky., and graduated from Hopkins County Central High School in 2010. In addition to being a McConnell Scholar at UofL, he also received the Woodford R. Porter Scholarship, Gates Millennium Scholarship, Elks National Scholarship and, recently, the very prestigious Truman Scholarship for graduate studies. He is grateful for all the opportunities. "It goes far beyond monetary assistance," he said. "Scholarship programs like these give students the opportunity to learn and compete with the brightest minds our nation has to offer, consequently making us better students, people and leaders." Shepherd, a political science major with a concentration in law and public policy and a minor in economics, credits the scholarship programs with developing his leadership and deep-thinking skills. He's also enjoyed the opportunity to travel to England, Western Europe and China with the McConnell Scholars. "When I graduated from high school, I could not have fathomed my experiences in my wildest dreams," he marveled. "More than anything, it has been a humbling ride that I think truly shows where education can take you if you work hard." Inset photo: Evan Shepherd greets Sen. Mitch McConnell at the 2013 McConnell Scholars year-end banquet. FA L L UO F L M A G A Z I N E | 3 9