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College of Arts and Sciences|Diamond Jubilee -- 75th Anniversary

Vern E. Shelton

Bachelor of Science - 1961 - Journalism

Vern Shelton is known as a man with his finger on UW's pulse. As Assistant to the President for Governmental Relations, he keeps the president and the trustees in tune with campus developments, and works with the state legislature on UW's behalf.

Shelton began a journalistic career in Sheridan after serving in the U.S. Marines. He was a reporter for the Sheridan Press while working toward an associate degree at Sheridan College. He came to UW as a journalism major, and served as Branding Iron editor. He remembers Journalism Department Head Wally Biggs asking him what he expected from the University: "'I want to be a journalist,' I said. 'I want you to teach me to be like Nick Adams, Ernest Hemingway, and Clark Kent.' "'We can give you the basics, but we can't teach you to be anything,' Wally stated. 'What you do and where you go from here is pretty much up to you. The only guarantee I can give you is that if you stay the course, we'll teach you to think.' "I stayed the course." When Shelton graduated in 1961, he went to work for the Laramie Daily Boomerang, moving quickly from reporter to city editor, then managing editor, a position he held until being appointed UW Publications Editor in 1966. In 1968, he was named Director of Communications Services, a large, multi-faceted and critically important UW division. Shortly after, he was appointed Assistant to the President for Information. In these capacities, he worked tirelessly and effectively to benefit the University. From 1968-73, he also served on the Laramie City Council, most of that time as mayor. He says, "I never made it to Nick Adams' front page or to Ernest Hemingway's Spain or even to Clark Kent's phone booth. My career has taken other turns. All along the twisting route, Wally's guarantee has sustained me."

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Diamond Jubilee Outstanding Alumnus

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