Bill Wilson, 84, may be retired, but he stays busy. For the past four years, Wilson has worked as volunteer coordinator for Lights Volunteers, a service program that matches community members’ interests with campus needs. Though his run as coordinator has come to an end, Wilson will continue volunteering for the program, working even closer with the students at Southern.
After retiring from a position at Florida Hospital, Wilson moved back to his original home of Tennessee in 2006. He wanted to be closer to his son and sister, and look for opportunities to work with Southern students.
“After I unpacked I went to see Gordon [Bietz] and said, ‘I need something to do,’” says Wilson.
That’s when he learned about Lights Volunteers. After visiting with Joy McKee, corporate/foundation relations and volunteer liaison in Advancement, Wilson was asked to become the program’s coordinator. In the past four years, Wilson has recruited more than 80 volunteers and overseen their work in data collection for campus departments, maintaining the Lincoln Library Room and the Lynn H. Wood Archeological museum, offering students transportation, serving in the Dining Hall, and more.
In addition to recruiting, interviewing, and placing volunteers, Wilson has done a lot of the volunteering himself.
“Bill’s love is totally with the students,” says McKee. “He loves working in the cafeteria and transporting students. He’s about as young at heart as you can get.”
After four years, Wilson has decided to step down from the volunteer coordinator position, but that doesn’t mean he won’t volunteer for Southern anymore. Now, he’ll be able to work more closely with the students he’s developed a heart for by serving food in the Dining Hall and transporting students on a regular basis.
“God didn’t put us on an island alone, we’re here to touch people’s lives,” he says. “Volunteering puts me in contact with people and that’s what the good Lord wants.”
Click here to learn more about Lights Volunteers.