Alex Slaughter ’ 56 was anxious to follow his brother, Edward Slaughter’ 49,to Woodberry.But Mr.
Slaughter’s father coached football, golf, and
intramurals at the University of Virginia,
earning a salary that couldn’t cover the full
cost of a Woodberry education.
Scholarships allowed the Slaughter boys
to attend Woodberry. Alex became senior
prefect, developing a close relationship
with Headmaster Joseph Mercer ’ 24. “I’d
go into his office after dinner and we’d talk
about matters,” he recalls. “The faculty
really did listen to us and give us a lot of
Mr. Slaughter went on to Yale University
and then the University of Virginia Law
School. He spent his professional career
at McGuireWoods in Richmond, serving
as a litigator and expert on insurance
as now, children of faculty received free
tuition. But unlike today’s faculty sons, Mr.
Shackelford did not live on dorm; instead, he
went home each night to his parents’ four-room apartment in House C.
In 1954, not long after concluding a stint
in the US Army, Mr. Shackelford was hired
to teach English at Woodberry. Within a
few years he was also serving as assistant
director of admission, helping John Stillwell
’ 45. In the early 1960s Mr. Shackelford
became Woodberry’s first director of
financial aid, a role he would hold until his
retirement in 1995.
“It was a fairly small program then, and
probably just 10 percent of boys were on
aid when I started doing the job,” he says.
“Only in my final year did our aid budget
hit $1 million.” Mr. Shackelford, like J.
Carter Walker before him, administered
a program where a family’s need was the
sole consideration. “The question of merit
scholarships was an issue back then,
too, just as it is now. But we didn’t do it,”
he says. “All of the [five] headmasters I
worked under were very supportive, and
they recognized the contribution need-based boys could make.”
Lilian Shackelford Murray and her father, Corky Shackelford ’ 46, at the dedication of Kenan Hall in 2015
A. COLQUITT SHACKELFORD, JR. ’ 46
“ALL OF THE [FIVE] HEADMASTERS I WORKED UNDER WERE VERY
SUPPORTIVE, AND THEY RECOGNIZED THE CONTRIBUTION NEED-BASED
BOYS COULD MAKE.” CORKY SHACKELFORD ’ 46
I am delighted to tell you
that the Admission committee
has accepted Alex for the
regular session next year.
Alex has also been awarded a
trustee scholarship of $700. I
should prefer that you do not
tell Alex the exact amount of
his scholarship. I want him
to feel that he has no special
obligation to the school
and that he is in the same
position as every other boy.
–Letter from Headmaster Shaun
Kelly, Jr., to Edward Slaughter,
father of Alex Slaughter ’ 54,
ALEX H. SLAUGHTER ’ 56