Viola Wilson, Overland Park, Kansas
Iowa State in the 1940s was full of big band music, dances, picnics, and parties. Yet looming over all of it was WWII, and the knowledge that service awaited every man following graduation.
Such was the case for Viola Wilson, who studied home economics. She fondly remembers picnics by College Creek, her connections with fellow Pi Phis and being nominated as a military queen by her soon-to-be husband
Robert Wilson (’42 animal science) who served four years in the war following graduation.
“I wasn’t particularly bookish,” she admits. “There was so much going on.”
While she didn’t end up finishing her degree, she has maintained a strong connection to Cyclone nation.
“I was only at Iowa State a short time, but Iowa State gave me lifelong friends.”
Wilson turned 100 earlier this year and considers her health and “lovely homelife” her greatest successes. She and Robert have five children, 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.