Indiana Wesleyan University will hold a special chapel service on Monday, March 27 at 10 a.m. honoring the retirement of long-time professor Dr. Wilbur Williams. The service will include an interview with Williams, an address from IWU President Dr. David Wright and recognition from Marion Mayor Jess Alumbaugh. The celebration is open to the public and will be held in the Chapel Auditorium on IWU’s residential campus.
After 50 years of teaching at IWU, Williams will be retiring at the end of the Spring 2017 semester. As a professor of biblical literature and archaeology, he has become one of the most well-known and beloved professors in IWU history. He has taught over 17,250 students throughout his career and has been elected Professor of the Year eight times. For the past 22 years, he has donated his time being compensated only $1.00 a year for his teaching.
Wilbur is also known for his 40-year involvement in archeological excavations in Israel and North Africa. He often took groups of people with him to do archaeological work or tour various Bible lands throughout Israel. Altogether, he has been to Israel 156 times and was honored by the Ministry of Tourism in Israel for his many trips to the Holy Land.
The Williams’ Prayer Chapel is a tangible legacy Wilbur and his wife, Ardelia, have left on the IWU campus. The chapel came from the Williams’ vision to create a place for students to experience solitude with the Lord. The building now stands amongst the academic buildings as a quiet place for students to grow in their faith.
“Dr. Williams has been a pillar of the IWU community for the last 50 years,” said Dr. Keith Newman, chancellor, IWU – Marion. “His faith in Christ, love for this institution and passion for his students has brought a component to this University that will be truly irreplaceable. We are honored to call him one of our own.”