Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Bill Wilkins Papers, 1912-2006

Scope and Content Note

The Bill Wilkins Papers consists of materials generated and collected by Economics Professor Bill Wilkins that document his research, teaching, and administrative career at OSU as well as his posts as administrator with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and as a staff economist with the U.S. House of Representatives. The bulk of the materials were assembled by Wilkins in the process of his research and writing and include certificates, conference papers, correspondence, nametags, newspaper clippings, manuscript drafts, meeting minutes, photographs, plaques, posters, publications, speech transcripts, and studies. The Papers also document Wilkins' participation in professional and aviation-oriented organizations and political campaigns. The photographs are primarily portrait images of Wilkins and also include a photograph album documenting Wilkins' visit to Russia in 1980 for the FAA.

An addition to the Wilkins Papers (Accession 2009:099) is made up of books, business cards, certificates, correspondence, a DVD, military medals, name badges, newsletters, newspaper clippings, photographs, plaques, a poster, speeches, and a sign from Wilkins' office at the Federal Aviation Administration. Documenting Wilkins' involvement on the State Aviation Board and other organizations, about half of this transfer pertains to Wilkins' military service in the U.S. Air Force and his work in organizing reunion gatherings of Ellington Air Force Base Navigator Training School graduates (52-09) and book reviews for the Air Force Navigators and Observers Association newsletter. Also reflected in these records is Wilkins' involvement in the OSU Retirement Association and co-sponsorship of the event "Celebrating Three Decades of Enlightened Leadership." The speeches address the 2000 presidential election, classical economic theories, and the book "The Post-American World." The three images depict Wilkins in portrait poses with one that includes his wife Caroline. The DVD contains recordings from retirement seminar presentations.

A second addition to the Wilkins Papers (Accession 2009:094) primarily reflects Wilkins' service in the U.S. Air Force and is made up of correspondence, a doctoral dissertation, DVDs, military records, photographs, and a scrapbook. Documenting Wilkins' service in the Air Force and his family life in Texas, the scrapbook contains photographs, letters, coins, newspaper clippings, event programs, patches, swizzle sticks, a silk painting, receipts, and a map outlining the global routes traveled by Wilkins during his military service. In the correspondence, Wilkins describes his tour of service during the Korean War as a member of the Air Force Tactical Reconnaissance Wing to his parents and sister. In addition to portrait shots, the photographs (numbering 48 prints in total) depict Wilkins in the military and as a young man hanging out with neighborhood friends. The dissertation, "Effects on the Economy of Venezuela of Actions by the International Petroleum Industry and United States Regulating Agencies" reflects Wilkins' doctoral work at the University of Texas. The two DVDs feature Wilkins talking about the Oregon State Flying Club and his own passion for flying.

A third addition to the Wilkins Papers (Accession 2010:012) is made up of two autobiographical narratives, two passports, certificates, diplomas, a transcript of a speech delivered to an aerospace education workshop, and a presentation given by Wilkins on the implications of the 1944 U.S.–Mexico water treaty. Wilkins wrote one of the narratives in response to a request for biographical details from a fellow high school classmate who organized reunions. The certificates honor Wilkins' service in the U.S. Air Force, membership in the Omicron Chi Epsilon Honor Society, support of the National Federation of Democratic Women, and service to OSU (25-Year Club.) The diplomas reflect Wilkins' education from high school through graduate school.

A fourth addition to the Wilkins Papers (Accession 2011:063) is made up of a book review, certificates, identification cards, navigational instruments, an owner's manual, a photograph, and a pilot logbook. These materials pertain to Wilkins' certification and record as an aircraft pilot and includes references to the OSU Flying Club, of which Wilkins was a member and advisor. The photographic print dates from 1955 and depicts an SA-16 rescue plane in flight taken from another plane in mid-air (a MATS C-54 piloted by Wilkins). Wilkins' review of the book "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" was featured in DR Ahead, the newsletter of the Air Force Navigators Association.

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