In 1942 William V. (Bill) Wiist enrolled as a student at Southwestern Junior College, but before the close of the 1942-1943 school year, was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served in the Pacific theater through the end of World War II, reaching the rank of Master Sergeant. At age 21, he was the youngest serviceman to hold the post of sergeant major of a battalion. Bill completed his degree in business administration at Union College in 1949, and that same year became business manager of Sunnydale Academy in Missouri. He married Arlene Thomas in 1951.
Called as secretary-treasurer of the Dominican Conference in 1954, and as treasurer of the Central American Union in 1958 Bill served in the mission field for ten years. In 1959, he was ordained to the ministry. He always considered his missionary service as the most rewarding period of his life.
Returning to the U.S. in 1964, Bill became administrator of Ardmore Adventist Hospital in Oklahoma, developing it from a 25-bed facility to 105 beds. His next assignment was to plan, design, supervise the construction of, and staff the new Huguley Memorial Hospital in south Fort Worth. His last position as a denominational worker was as treasurer of the Texas Conference.
Bill spent 14 years as chairman of the board and president of the Ardmore Institute of Health, the parent corporation of the Lifestyle Center of America, a world-class facility providing preventive health care in Oklahoma.Bill and Arlene had three children, Linda Knutson, Michael Wiist, and Debbie Speyer - all Southwestern graduates -- and four grandchildren. Bill passed away October 7, 1998, just six months after being named to Southwestern’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
The William V. Wiist Scholarship is awarded to a business major based on academic achievement and financial need.