- School of Dentistry Honorary Member Award (1974)
- National Academies (1954)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
William G. Shafer was a professor emeritus of IUSD. Shafer was a professor of oral histopathology for thirty-five years, and was appointed chairman of the Department of Oral Pathology in 1959. He retired from the IU School of Dentistry in 1985. Shafer is well known for having co-authored the Textbook of Oral Pathology. His chief interests in research included studies on salivary gland pathophysiology, and investigations of odontogenic tumors and oral cancer.
In addition to his academic career, he was a national civilian consultant in oral pathology to the surgeon general of the Air Force, serving from 1960 to 1981. During this time, Shafer was a visiting professor and an educational consultant at the University of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. He was a member of the American Dental Association, the International Association of Dental Research and the New York Academy of Sciences. Also, Shafer was a fellow and past president of the American Academy of Oral Pathology and diplomate and former secretary and treasurer of the American Board of Oral Pathology. A graduate of Toledo University, Shafer received his doctorate from Ohio State Dental School and his master's degree from the University of Rochester, N.Y.