William Edward Hershey, Jr., was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 3, 1942. He graduated from Peabody High School in 1961 and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1962 and in 1966, applied for and was accepted into Officer Candidate School, where he graduated and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in January 1967. Immediately upon graduation, he was deployed to Vietnam where he served with the 196th Light Infantry Brigade. Subsequent to his Vietnam tour of duty, he served in a number of both Command and Staff positions. After 23 ½ years of military service, he retired in May 1986 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is the recipient of numerous military decorations including the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit. Upon retirement from the military, he began a second career in the field of Information Technology and Information Assurance, initially employed by the Quest Research Corporation where he was served as a Program Manager. He later joined CACI in 1998 as a Program Manager, where he worked until January 2008 when he retired.
Brother Hershey was raised a Master Mason in Hay Market Lodge No. 313 on January 30, 1976 and served as its Worshipful Master in 1986 and as Secretary from 2003 to 2010, and is also a Life Member in Perpetuity, honorary member and Secretary Emeritus. He holds membership in Edward H. Cann Daylight Lodge No. 1752, where he has served as Secretary since 2012. He was District Deputy Grand Master for Masonic District 58 in 1991, when he was honored with the Outstanding District Deputy Award. He served as Masonic Home Ambassador from 1987 to 1989 and again in 1994. He was Administrative Assistant to the Grand Master in 1999 and is currently the Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of India, near Virginia. He was appointed to the Grand Lodge Committee on Jurisprudence in 1992, the Grand Lodge Committee on Membership in 2008 as its Chairman, and the Grand Lodge Committee on Strategic Planning and Implementation in 2014 as its Chairman. He was elected Grand Junior Deacon in 2014.
Right Worshipful Brother Hershey is a member of the Valley of Alexandria, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and was invested Knight Commander Court of Honour in 2009 and is active in the Blue Ridge Scottish Rite Club . He is a member of Walter Reed Chapter No. 303 and James Monroe Chapter No. 549, National Sojourners and Light Horse Harry Lee Camp, Heroes of '76. He holds membership in Acca Shrine Center, where he is a member of the Directors Staff; and previously was active in Kena Shrine Center as President and Secretary of the Oriental Band, Chief of the Kena Aide Corporation and Trustee. Brother Hershey received the John Blair, Jr. Medal from the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 2008.
Brother Hershey is married to former Margaret Michele Arlof. They are the proud parents of three daughters, Margaret Louise Petrizza, Michele Rene Hershey, and Theresa Lynne Lewis. They have two grandsons, three granddaughters and one great-granddaughter. They make their home in North Chesterfield, Virginia.