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William Henry Sheppard Scholarship Program

The William Henry Sheppard Scholarship was established in 2015 by anonymous donors committed to supporting the participation of Waynesboro High School students (rising 9th graders and beyond) in domestic or international cultural immersion travel experiences, of any duration, organized by WHS or other qualified nonprofit organizations. Cultural immersion travel involves contact and interaction with the culture of a region or country. Culture, in this sense, is defined as the way of life, activities, and traditions of a people, and not merely a country’s historic sites and scenic attractions.

This scholarship honors the life and work of William Henry Sheppard (1865–1927), who was born in Waynesboro (VA) one month before the end of the American Civil War. Mr. Sheppard was one of the earliest African Americans to become a missionary for the Presbyterian Church. He spent 20 years in Africa, primarily in and around the Congo Free State, and is best known for his efforts to publicize the atrocities committed against the Kuba and other Congolese peoples by King Leopold II. Mr. Sheppard’s efforts contributed to the contemporary debate on European colonialism and imperialism in the region, particularly amongst those of the African American community.


Candidates will have demonstrated financial need and academic merit.


The selection process for the William Henry Sheppard Scholarship is competitive. A committee will review all applications and select the most qualified and deserving individuals. Scholarship awards are paid directly to the institution offering the cultural immersion travel program in which the scholarship recipient is enrolled.

Application Deadline