The Dave and Jo Wiant Endowed Scholarship Fund was created in 2006 by their children with birthday gifts in celebration of their father’s 80th birthday.
Dave Wiant joined the staff of Illinois State University in March 1958 as the University’s first Director of Personnel. He had been serving in several different positions in Personnel at the University of Illinois Medical Center, the Chicago Undergraduate Division, and the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois since 1953.
Dave and his wife Jo have four children. Education was important to them and all participated in the University training school program, completing their college work in various Illinois higher education institutions. Jo, busy raising the children, was also meeting many University obligations with Dave, as well as taking an active role in PTA and other community activities. After the children left home, she and a friend started a very successful estate sale business, the first venture of its kind in Bloomington-Normal.
In 1967, Dave was asked to join the staff of the Board of Governors where he served as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer. In this capacity, he served as the Board Legislative Liaison to the General Assembly and also had Administrative responsibility for Labor Relations for the five Universities under the Board of Governors.
In 1974, President Gene Budig asked Dave to return to the ISU Campus where in 1984 he became Assistant VP for Administrative Services. On August 31, 1986, he retired after spending thirty-three years in Illinois higher education.
After retirement Dave served as Legislative Liaison for the State Universities Retirement System for several years. In July 1997, he was asked to serve as the facilitator for discussions with the trustees of the Mennonite College of Nursing and the BroMenn Hospital. The Trustees were considering the future of the College of Nursing. During these discussions, Dave was instrumental in guiding the Trustees to their ultimate recommendation that Illinois State University be asked to consider the incorporation of the Mennonite College of Nursing as a new College at Illinois State University.
This recommendation was ultimately approved by the Board of Regents and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The Mennonite College of Nursing officially became the sixth college at the Illinois State University in July of 1998.
In addition to the Mennonite project, Dave and Jo have also continued to be active in The Redbird Club and in many other University activities at Illinois State University.