College Welcomes Two New Board Members

This past month, the Board of Directors of Wyoming Catholic College welcomed a pair of new members: Mr. Bill Sniffin a longtime Lander newspaper man and Wyoming chronicler, and Mr. Paul Powers, a well-known Denver real estate developer.

A friend of the College since its early days (when he met Father Bob Cook through the Denver branch of Legatus), Mr. Powers received his BA in Business from the University of Iowa, after which, he served in the United States Army and Iowa National Guard. He has served two terms in the Colorado State Senate (1979–1982 and 1985–1988). Mr. Powers owned and operated multiple construction, homebuilding, and real estate companies—in addition to serving as chairmen to several Colorado banks during their reorganization and resale—before partnering with Mr. William Pauls in 1995. Together, they purchased a 1,200 acre lot in Denver, now known as Gateway Park. As a result of this partnership, Mr. Powers joined PAULS Corporation, William Pauls’ capital management and real estate development firm based in Denver, Colorado. He has since become an integral part of the company’s domestic and international success, even serving as President. Mr. Powers is currently a Principal and the Director of PAULS.

Mr. Powers will bring his extensive business experience to the College’s future development, and while he focuses primarily on downtown and industrial real estate development, his influence is present even in Lander, Wyoming: his group constructed Wyoming Catholic’s original student dorms, next to Holy Rosary Catholic Church, and he continues to take a lively interest in student housing.

Bill Sniffin grew up in northeast Iowa, the second oldest in a family of eleven children. His love for journalism and tourism began in high school, when he began writing for the school newspaper and collecting travel magazines; he furthered his love for the craft by studying journalism at Iowa State University before eventually receiving his master’s in journalism from the Centre of Journalism Studies in Cardiff, Wales.

In 1966, Bill became one of the country’s youngest editors at age twenty, and married his wife, Nancy. Four years later, he moved to Wyoming to publish the Lander Wyoming State Journal. Under his editorial eye, Lander’s newspaper won over two hundred state and fifty national awards, and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of lung cancer in uranium miners. Bill himself was awarded the Bevinetto Friend of Tourism award in 1997 and the BIG WYO award in 1999 for his work with the Wyoming Travel Commission, the Wyoming Travel Industry Coalition, and various visitor councils. Bill also created LEADER Corporation to boast Lander’s economy, Rocky Mountain International to develop tourism in the Rockies, and the Wyoming Visitor statewide tourist guides.

Bill and Nancy have four children, thirteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. They have been active members of Holy Rosary Catholic Church for over fifty years, and Bill is currently the chairman of the Parish Finance Council. As a member of the early Cornerstone Group, Bill was instrumental in bringing Wyoming Catholic to Lander, and in the College’s early days, he leased the original College House to WCC as its office building. The Sniffins have been extremely hospitable in welcoming the College to their hometown, opening their home to faculty, staff, and students—once even inviting the entire student body to celebrate the opening of a new semester by building an enormous bonfire in their backyard.

Bill says of our students, “My wife Nancy and I know these are the finest young people. Incredibly smart and pure of heart, they are almost impossibly optimistic. When you deal with these future leaders, you know the future is in good hands.”

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