Wilkison Family Memorial Endowed Scholarship
The Wilkison Family Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established in support of the continuing mission of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation and in honor of a family of education, scientist and artisan graduates of Southeast Missouri State University, and the State University system of Missouri.
Though not a graduate of Southeast, William Wilkison, Sr., (“Dub” as he was fondly known) graduated from Central Missouri State (Warrensburg, circa 1937) with a B.S. in Music and minor in Physics. He later earned a Master’s in Education from Washington University, St. Louis, and enjoyed a 40-plus-year career as a dedicated classroom instructor in the Sikeston Public Schools system, retiring as the Coordinator of Math and Science Curriculum for the School System.
Mary Wilkison, wife of “Dub”, graduated from Southeast in 1964 with a B.S. in Elementary Education. This was followed by a 25 plus year career as a 4th and 5th grade elementary teacher in Sikeston. After her retirement, Mary was visited and recognized by many of her former students who remembered her as a significant mentor who helped launch them toward a wide variety of successful careers.
Mary (Ellen) Wilkison Miller, though not a graduate of Southeast, went on to a career in nursing (R.N. in Nursing, Methodist School of Nursing, Memphis, B.A. in Art History, Southwestern University, Memphis). In partnership with her husband Dr. Jordan Miller, she had a 40 plus year career in their plastics and reconstructive surgery practice in Seattle, Washington.
Bill Wilkison (“Jr.”), graduated from Southeast in 1965 with a B.S. in Chemistry and Math (minor in Physics). While at Southeast, Bill enjoyed a wide variety of activities (College Chorus, ACS Chapter officer, a PRF assistant to Dr. Donald Froemsdorf) and graduated as a member of the Men’s Honor Fraternity, Cardinal Key. Following graduate school at the University of Kansas, Bill went on to a successful 30-plus-year career with Celanese Chemical Company in numerous locations in Texas. This was followed by a partnership with friends to establish a private company (TriQuest) that, through a series of acquisitions and mergers across another 10 years, became a business unit in DuPont. Bill was president of that business until full retirement in 2005.
Though dedicated to the sciences and education in careers, the family has also enjoyed a vigorous “life outside work” with pursuits in music, the arts, gardening, beekeeping, backpacking, and sports. The Wilkison’s also serve in volunteer capacities with church choirs, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), American Red Cross, soup kitchens, community choirs, choruses and orchestras with a general sense of volunteerism to give back to the community.
International travel and adventure has also contributed significantly to the rich life this family has enjoyed. The rich and varied life afforded this family through their educational roots has been passed on to their children who have had their own rewarding careers in science, education and medicine.
It is our hope that the our annual scholarship grant from the Southeast Missouri University Foundation will in some small way help future students achieve and enjoy this same career and life success.