| Shep took only one writing course while attending college at Indiana University. It was Elementary Composition, taught by Romola Hicks, a longtime instructor at the school. Shep received a lowly C+ from Ms. Hicks.
Nevertheless, some three decades later one of Shep's short stories was included in an anthology of important Indiana writers published by Indiana University Press, alongside such other notable natives as Theodore Dreiser, Kurt Vonnegut and Geoge P. Elliott. Four years before his death, the university awarded Shep an honorary degree of doctor of humane letters, comparing him to Mark Twain. And since his death, the school has offered the Jean Shepherd Literary Award to recognize an outstanding work of fiction by a graduate student.