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Wampler to deliver Commencement address at UVa-Wise

William Wampler, former Virginia senator and senior lecturer in military science at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, will deliver the keynote address during Commencement exercises at UVa-Wise on Saturday, May 19.

Wampler joins the ranks of those who have been invited to speak at Commencement as part of the “Distinguished Virginians Series.” Delegate Clarence E. Phillips ’74, Governor Timothy M. Kaine, Senator John H. Chichester, Leonard W. Sandridge, Thomas F. Farrell II and Marcia A. Gilliam ’82 have been featured in the series.

Wampler photoThe public is invited to attend the Commencement ceremony, which begins at 11 a.m. on the Lawn by the Lake on the UVa-Wise campus. 

The Bristol native was named executive director of New College Institute in January 2012. 

Prior to coming to NCI, he served 24 years as a Virginia State Senator.  As the senior ranking member of his party and member of the Budget Conference Committee, he played a key role in crafting the state budget. He also was a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Education sub-committee, along with other appointments. 

As a member of the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, he headed a special panel that helps attract business and industry to Southwest Virginia and Southside Virginia. More recently, he served on Governor McDonnell's Commission on Higher Education.


He received his BA in political science from the University of Tennessee.  He actively served in the military and retired as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves.  His last assignment was as Commander of the 2nd Brigade, headquartered in Salem, Virginia.

Wampler and his wife, Mary, reside in Martinsville.  They have two children, Mary Katherine and Will, both college students.