Woodwards create ASU scholarship


William "Bill" and the late Linda Woodward established the Woodward Scholarship through a planned gift to the Adams State University Foundation. It will benefit graduates of Centauri High School. Lori Laske, executive director of Adams State Alumni and Donor Relations, said they are two of the most generous people she knows. Bill graduated from Adams State in 1961. Linda passed away October 29.

Because they created the scholarship through a planned gift, the Woodwards were inducted into Adams State's Legacy Society. Others interested in making a planned gift to the ASU Foundation may contact Laske at 719-587-7867.

Lori Laske (center) presents the legacy plate to Bill and Linda Woodward.

Bill, a retired US Navy Commander, worked part-time jobs while attending classes. "I hope this scholarship will allow students to attend college and only work part-time."

Bill and Linda recognized the significance of helping others. "It is important," Bill said. "I don't see how one wouldn't want to help. I have always been that way, ready to help someone and not stingy. Adams State was good to me in so many ways. We would like to help someone else who truly needs it." A native of La Jara, CO, he graduated high school in 1953 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent four years aboard two Pearl Harbor- based destroyers: USS Silverstein and USS Whitehurst. He was released from active duty in 1957 as a Radarman Second Class, then enrolled at Adams State.

Bill graduated with three majors: business, secondary education, and physical education. "I loved it here. I appreciated the small school and liked all the instructors, who were always so good about showing each student personal attention." He had planned to become a teacher and coach. However, toward the end of his junior year, his plan for the future changed. "One day I went over to the SUB before heading for work and met with a Navy recruiter. The rest is history."

He was accepted into the Navy's Flight Program and commissioned an Ensign in October of 1961. He received his Navy Wings of Gold in March of 1962 and completed the remainder of his flight training in1963.

Commander Woodward's assignments included Heavy Attack Squadron Thirteen aboard the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, Heavy Attack Photographic Squadron Sixty-Two at Jacksonville, FL; Defense Atomic Support Agency in Albuquerque, NM; Attack Squadron Fifty-Two aboard USS Kitty Hawk with Air Wing Eleven; Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility in Albuquerque, NM; and on the Staff of the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii.

Bill spent three tours of duty in Viet Nam, where he flew 294 combat missions. His many decorations include 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 28 Air Medals, 3 Navy Commendation Medals with the combat device, China Service Medal, Vietnam Service and Campaign Medal, and the Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry. Bill retired from the U.S. Navy with 22 years of service. He then spent 16 years as a Naval Science Instructor in the Navy's JROTC program at Santa Fe High School and Socorro High School in El Paso, TX.