Alumnus of the Year

Bill “Woody” Woodall (’79)

Bill Woodall

William M. Woodall (more commonly known and liked as “Bill” or “Woody”) is Truman’s 2021 Alumnus of the Year. Bill graduated high school in Monmouth, Illinois in 1974 and entered the U.S. Air Force Academy.  During spring break 1976, while visiting friends at NMSU, he made a casual visit to the Men’s Basketball office to introduce himself, never imagining a 10-minute conversation would prove to change the direction of his life. Later that year, he received a call from Head Basketball Coach Willard Sims.  A scholarship had become available and based upon his conversations with the AFA coaching staff following that initial “casual visit,” the scholarship was offered to Bill.

Entering NMSU with 90 Semester Hours of credit from the Academy and three years of eligibility, his academics were focused on business and economics, resulting in Bachelor of Science degrees in both Business Administration and Economics. With the assistance of academic advisor Werner Sublette (a serious basketball fan and a “gym rat” for decades), Bill graduated in 1979 with 180 Semester Hours of education.  He was a member of the 1979 MIAA Conference Basketball Championship team (later inducted into the Truman Athletics Hall of Fame), received small college Academic All-American accolades and had a very solid foundation for additional education. After graduating from NMSU, he went on to law school at Drake University.

Graduating from Drake University in the spring of 1982 with both a law degree and a Master’s in Business Administration, Bill started his professional career in Lincoln, Nebraska.  After a 20-month stint in Nebraska, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where friends from NMSU and from Drake were experiencing significant success.

While waiting to complete the Texas bar exam, Bill was introduced to the real estate title insurance industry, which has been his occupation henceforth.  Since 1984, he has benefitted from the “in migration” to Dallas (in excess 100,000 people a year), which generates a tremendous amount of real estate activity, all of which require title insurance services.  In 2018, Bill, along with a staff of more than 50, opened Title Partners, LLC – an independent title insurance agency.  Their services are concentrated in Dallas and Houston with clients in all fifty states.

Throughout the more than 40 years since exiting Truman, Bill has maintained close contact with the Men’s Basketball program and been a proud financial supporter. Last year, the 1979 MIAA Conference Championship Basketball teammates initiated a fundraising campaign to support Men’s Basketball, generating current and future commitments totaling more than $100,000.  Bill finds working with Truman’s Administration, the Athletic Department, the Basketball staff and the team very rewarding and hopes this successful effort will be a catalyst to others that fund the future of Truman State University.

Bill believes the current and future success of Truman State University lies not only on the shoulders of the administration, department heads and all personnel but also on the ability of the alumni to actively “pay it forward.” He is grateful Truman doesn’t forget its alumni and encourages alumni to continue their support for Truman.

About the Alumni of the Year Award

The Alumni of the Year distinction recognizes Truman graduates whose life’s work is representative of the core values the University strives to instill in all its students:

  • intellectual integrity and informed ethical values
  • a focus on public service and the betterment of society
  • the willingness to exercise personal and intellectual leadership

Recipients of the Alumni of the Year Award

2019: Terry (’68) & Faye (’68) Whitworth
2018: Dick Erzen (’49) & Edie (Ford) Erzen (’49)
2017:  Kenneth “Ken” Rickli (’65)
2016:  Daniel “Dan” Shepherd (’79) & Janet “Jan” (Kreimeyer) Shepherd (’76)
2015:  Steve Justice (’70, ’81)
2014:  Mike McClaskey (’85) & Janet (Yearns) McClaskey (’84)
2013:  Mary (Rhodes) Russell (’80)
2012:  Jack Magruder (’57) & Sue (Brimer) Magruder (’55, ’77)
2011:   Steve Rose (’69)
2010:  Larry Quisenberry (’66, ’75) & Sharron (Bailey) Quisenberry (’66)
2009:  Greg A. Gerhardt (’79)
2008:  Lanny Morley (’62, ’64) & Beth (Fisher) Morley (’63)
2007:  Randa Rawlins (’79)
2006:  Guy Burton (’53, ’55) & Betty (McKanna) Burton
2005:  Eugene Croarkin Sr. (’49, ’52)
2004:  Dwain Horn (’50)
2003:  Calvin Roebuck (’57)
2002:  Linda Miller (’70)
2001:  Dean Rosebery (’41) & Amy (Ayres) Rosebery (’43)
2000:  Carole Kennedy (’72)
1999:  Chuck Foudree (’66)
1998:  B.D. “Bud” Hunter (’50)
1997:  Joseph Hasenstab (’60)
1996:  Steve Gaw (’78) & Fannie (Bowdish) Gaw (’84)
1995:  James C.C. Chen (’86)
1994:  Ruth Warner Towne (’39)
1993:  Frederick “Fritz” Lauer (’50)
1992:  Ray Bentele (’60) & Mary (Cox) Bentele (’60)
1991:  Larry Moore (’67)