The Columns

Shepherd Program Celebrates 20 Years Here’s a look back at important milestones that shaped the program through the years.

— by on November 7th, 2017

In the fall of 1997, Professor Harlan Beckley, with the financial support of Nancy and Tom Shepherd ’52, established the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability. Along with coursework, students engaged in community service and volunteer work.

The 1997 Fall Alumni Magazine made note of this novel approach to the study of poverty. “Washington and Lee ushers in a bold and innovative new initiative that seeks to promote two important aspects of the University’s mission: to cultivate in its students ‘the responsibility to serve society through the productive use of talent and training’ and a capacity ‘for self-sacrifice in behalf of their fellow citizens.’ ”

Over the last 20 years, the Shepherd Poverty Program has dramatically expanded to include a capstone course, summer internships, the Nabors Service League, The Bonner Scholars Program, Campus Kitchen and more.

It’s difficult to capture the depth and breadth of the Shepherd Program, but here’s a look back at important milestones that shaped it.