Former Trustee Wilbur Billington dead at 94

The college's library is named after Billington. This plaque on its exterior lists several of his accomplishments. Photo by Katie Mazos, The Campus Ledger.

Carina Smith

Reporting Correspondent

Wilbur Billington, a former trustee chairman at the college, died on Aug. 21 at the age of 94. Billington has been a longtime Johnson County leader, from working on the college’s Investment Committee and working as Executive Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Billington was in the Air Force during World War II and the Korean War and had a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. Billington enjoyed being engaged with education which led to him serving as a chairman on the Shawnee Mission school board and was a chairman for the feasibility study to create a community college. He worked tirelessly to create the community college and allow for more to be built in the state of Kansas.

Billington stayed involved with the college, working as a trustee from 1967 to 1975 and was the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees before he worked on the Foundation board. Billington won multiple awards during his involvement in Johnson County here. The campus library is named in his honor.

“Dr. Billington remained active on the Foundation’s Investment Committee up until just a few years ago and attended many Foundation events, such as our spring luncheon and annual dinner,” said Kate Allen, Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “It was also a special treat to have him there.”

Billington retired from the Federal Reserve Bank in 1987 and while he officially resigned from being a chairman and trustee at the college, he stayed as active as possible and attended many events to show his support.

Billington’s passing comes follows his fellow chairman and longtime friend, Ben Craig, who passed away on Aug. 5. He is survived by three children, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and his sister.


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