American Legion Jersey Boys State

American Legion Jersey Boys State
A Week That Shapes the Future

September 2005 Staff Spotlight:
In Memoriam

William T. Wilkins, Esq. - 1951-2005

For our first Staff Spotlight segment, it comes as no surprise that we should honor our former Director Bill Wilkins. For many of the volunteer staff of ALJBS, we only knew one "Director" and one great leader. Below is the news article that appeared on our main page for three weeks as the staff was informed of and greived his passing. From his unique leadership style, to the "ant joke" (which later became "the Director's Salute") numerous stories and images of Bill will live on in each of us. We can all hope to have an impact similar to his through as many dedicated years to ALJBS. And so with our index cards and our laughter, we salute Director Bill Wilkins and his legacy.

The Boys State family is deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Director, William T. Wilkins, Esq. Director of American Legion Jersey Boys State since 1991, Director Wilkins was very dedicated to making ALJBS the best program of its kind in NJ and throughout the US. Bill was a dear friend, mentor and visionary for all of his staff. The Director's passing has left many of us feeling empty, but we are dedicated to keeping his spirit alive for years to come.

Director Wilkins was elected Governor of ALJBS in 1968. A graduate of Moorestown High School, he attended the University of Bath, England, and Fordham College where he was granted an undergraduate degree. His is also a graduate of Fordham University School of Law. He focused on municipal law, and became solicitor for Florence, a position which he served for over twenty years. Later he became solicitor in Palmyra and Riverton. In 1983, he received the Robert W. Criscuolo Award from the Burlington County Bar Association for attorneys who contribute to the profession and the community.

From his appointment in 1991, Director Wilkins was responsible for every aspect of the Boys State program. He had high expectations of his delegates and wanted them to gain a better appreciation of the importance of being involved as well as the knowledge of the operations of our government at the city, county and state levels. Director Wilkins was always very appreciative and grateful of his staff. He was quick to give credit to his staff for innovations to the program and their hard work. Having been only the fifth Director of ALJBS, Director Wilkins had made numerous changes to the Program including upgrading it to a "college level" seminar, improving the quality of the staff and the delegates. Director Wilkins wanted to bring the Program into the 21st century through the use if technology, enhancing the seminar program and improving upon the political aspects of the program.