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Mr. David Garlock and Mr. Arthur Downing

The story of Matthew Shepard begins on December 1, 1976 when he was born prematurely to Judy and Dennis Shepard in the small city of Casper, Wyoming. Matthew attended school in Casper until his junior year of high school when he finished his primary education at The American School in Switzerland. His experience abroad fueled his love for travel. He took the opportunity to explore Europe and learn multiple languages including German and Italian. Matthew was an optimistic and accepting young man. He always put his family and friends first and had a special gift of relating to almost everyone. He was the type of person that was very approachable and always looked to new challenges. Matthew had a great passion for equality and always stood up for the acceptance of people's differences. Throughout his life he expressed his love for acting by becoming very active in community theater both on and off stage. While attending the University of Wyoming in Laramie, he was beat nearly to death and left in the field—an act of hate—until he was found by a cyclist. His entire family was by his side for the last few days of his life. His funeral was attended by friends and family from around the world and gained the appropriate media attention that brought Matthew's story to the forefront of the fight against hate. This tragedy helped the nation wake up to the fact that hate and discrimination still lives in our communities, our schools and our families. Although his life was cut short, the impact of his spirit is great.”
Scholarships associated with Mr. David Garlock and Mr. Arthur Downing
  • Matthew Shepard Memorial Scholarship