Bill Wantland ’53

Bill Wantland ’53

William C. Wantland was born April 14, 1934, in Edmond, Oklahoma. He grew up in Seminole, and graduated from Seminole High School as Valedictorian in 1952. He also took classes at Seminole Junior College, then located in the High School, and was a member of the 1952 Junior College National Championship Debate Team.

He attended the University of Oklahoma from 1952 until 1954, and was initiated into the Gamma Kappa Chapter of Kappa Sigma in 1953. He had been the Pledge Scholar of Kappa Sigma, a member of the OU Debate Team, and a member of the Pe-et Society as one of the ten outstanding Freshmen at OU. He graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1957, as Valedictorian there, a member of the Debate Team, and All Hawaii Oratorical champion. He was co-editor of the 1957 Yearbook. He later attended Oklahoma City University College of Law, graduating in 1964 with a Juris Doctorate. He was President of the OCU Law School Alumni Association in 1968, and was named as an Outstanding Alumnus of OCU in 1980. In 1976, he earned a Doctorate of Religion from Geneva Theological College in Tennessee.

He was employed by the FBI for 5 1/2 years, then worked for the Insurance Company of North America in the Claim and Legal Department. He then entered private law practice in Seminole as a partner in the firm of Bishop & Wantland. He served for 8 years as Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of Seminole, being chosen President of the State Conference of Municipal Judges. His Court received the Ameri- can Bar Association award for the most advancement in the Administration of Justice of any Court in America in towns of 10,000 or less. He also received the Supreme Court award for Law and Order.

While in the law, he was ordained to the ministry of the Episcopal Church, and served congregations in Seminole, Holdenville, Ada, and finally Oklahoma City. In 1980, he was elected Bishop of the Diocese of Eau Claire, covering Northwest Wis- consin. He served there until his retirement to Seminole in 1999. He taught Probate Law at OU for ten years, and later taught Canon Law at Nashotah House Seminary in Wisconsin for 26 years. He is a Citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and served as Attorney General under 4 Principal Chiefs.

In his retirement, he has been appointed Chief Magistrate of the Court of Indian Offenses for the Seminole Nation, and has been elected President of the City Council of Seminole, and Vice Mayor. He also serves as Assisting Bishop of the Dio- cese of Fort Worth. He and his wife Jan have 8 children, 25 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Members of Kappa Sigma in his family include his grandfather (who was a member of the first Gamma Kappa Pledge Class in 1906), his father, three uncles, his brother, two sons, one son in law and a grandson.