William Shendow '59 | Handley 100th Notable
William Shendow ’59

Bill Shendow was vice president of his class, an excellent student and a Hall of Fame athlete in football and track. He earned a football scholarship to Wake Forest where he was a co-captain his senior year. He was named to the All ACC Football Team and All ACC Academic Football Team. As the Commander of the ROTC Corps of Cadets, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army in 1963.

Bill started graduate school at Georgetown University but was called to active duty in 1964. He performed a two-year tour of duty that included a year as an Intelligence Officer in Vietnam for which he was awarded a Bronze Star. Honorably discharged in December 1966, he completed his work at Georgetown the following year and received a master’s degree in International Relations.

In 1967, Bill returned to Winchester and entered his family’s retail apparel business. He was vice president of Bell Clothes, Inc. from 1967 to 1986 and became president of the Winchester Retail Merchants Association.

He served as a member of the Winchester City Council from 1976 – 1983. He began instructing government courses at Shenandoah University on a part-time basis in 1983.

In March 1986, he was selected to be President of the Winchester-Frederick County Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Secretary of the Industrial Development Corporation. He established the Business-Education Council through the Chamber as a forum for business leaders to meet with leading educators in the region.

He was a co-founder of the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters and was instrumental in starting Kids Voting of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Bill earned his doctorate in public administration from the Center of Public Administration Policy at Virginia Tech in August 1991. He was named the Director of the John O. Marsh Institute for Government and Public Policy at Shenandoah University in 1997.

Through the Marsh Institute and as Chair of the Political Science Department, he established Shenandoah University as a regional educational and public policy resource center for public sector managers and students of government. Bill retired from Shenandoah University on August 15, 2015 and was awarded the designation of Professor Emeritus.

Bill described himself as a promoter of better public administration and services. He believed public service, civility, and participation in the political process were key functions in today’s world and that teaching young people about those attributes was vitally important. Recognizing that civility was a missing element in modern political discourse, he worked with Shenandoah University President James Davis to encourage those in government to focus on good behavior, quality discussion and helpful interactions.

Bill received the Winchester-Frederick County Chamber of Commerce’s Outstanding Citizen award in 2002. Lions Club International recognized him with the Melvin Jones Fellowship for Humanitarian Services in 2017.

During his retirement, he enjoyed travelling with his wife, Kitty (Class of 1957), and rooting for his beloved Handley Judges and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

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