New Scholarship Created for Shepherd University Education Majors | Journal-news


SHEPHERDSTOWN – The Shepherd University Foundation announces a scholarship to support secondary education majors at Shepherd University. The Preston Elliott and June Oland Best Memorial Scholarship was established by Preston E. Best, Jr. in honor and memory of his parents.

Preston Best, Sr. was a World War II veteran who landed at Utah Beach in Normandy on D-Day as part of the US Army Signal Corps. A native of Frederick, Maryland, he returned home after the war and met June Oland in late 1945 on a blind date. They married three months later.

“My dad always said as soon as he saw her, he knew he was going to marry her,” recalls Preston Best, Jr.

The couple had been married for 61 years when Best, Sr. died in 2007. June Oland Best died in 2015 at age 90. Best, Sr. was employed by the telephone company, where he rose through the ranks to foreman and eventually supervisor. After their children started school, June Oland Best began working as a sales clerk for Parsons, a family-owned department store in downtown Frederick. It was in this role that she discovered a talent for merchandising.

“My mother was very good at math and had a photographic memory for numbers,” Best, Jr. said. “Eventually she became an informal shopper for the store. She really had a talent for it. »

Despite her career success, June Oland Best wished she could go to college.

“She always said she wanted the best for her kids,” said Best, Jr., a former high school swimmer who was recruited to join Shepherd’s state championship swim team under the guidance of the trainer Erwin Fieger. Although money was tight, his mother said she would find a way to pay the tuition and, with his father’s agreement, took out additional loans to help pay for her son’s college education.

Best, Jr. graduated from Shepherd in 1970 with a BA in math and then worked as a math teacher for 15 years in Berkeley and Jefferson counties. When computers were introduced to the classroom in the early 1980s, he discovered a proclivity for computer application, which led to him earning a second undergraduate degree from the University Extension Office from Southern California to Arlington.

From there he left the classroom to join the private sector, working for a small company that created flight simulators. The company was later acquired by Lockheed Martin, where Best, Jr. spent the rest of his career until his retirement in 2013. He now resides in Clearwater, Florida.

“My parents wanted what was best for me and they found a way to make it happen,” he said, reflecting on how his college experience influenced his life path. “Shepherd provided me with the education and degree needed to fulfill my ninth grade dream [of becoming an educator]. These same teamwork and leadership skills later helped me succeed in the private sector. Honoring my parents with this memorial scholarship will hopefully help make a difference for others as well.

The Preston Elliott and June Oland Best Memorial Scholarship is for high school education majors from Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia and Frederick County, Maryland.

To learn more about creating a named fund through the Shepherd University Foundation, contact Monica Lingenfelter, Executive Vice President, Shepherd University Foundation, PO Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443-5000, 304-876- 5397,, or Sherri Janelle, Executive Director of Development, 304-876-5043,, or visit the Foundation online at


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