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William C. Sniffin
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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