University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard was severely beaten and left tied to a fence outside Laramie the night of Oct. 6, 1998. He was found the next day and died Oct. 12 at a Colorado hospital. 

His death shocked the university community, his hometown of Casper and the nation as a whole. It also became a turning point in the LGBTQ rights movement, and Shepard's name now adorns a federal hate crimes prevention act. 

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