Xavier Magazine

Sea to Shining Sea

Bill King, S.J., has dedicated 30 years of his life to Xavier, but that doesn’t mean he’s spent them confined to campus. Between teaching theology and working for the national alumni association, he’s managed to sneak in side-trips to another state or two—or 49. This summer, King packed his windbreaker and flew off to serve as a chaplain on an Alaskan cruise, marking his 50th state visited.

“I was the son of a railroad man, and I did a fair amount of travel when I was a boy,” he says. Later, it was his love for art that led him to visit museums across the country, and his work for the University that sent him to help found alumni chapters nationwide.

It wasn’t long before completing the full 50-state roster became King’s goal. But it was the goal of his brother, James King, S.J., to serve as a chaplain on a cruise ship that led King to plan a similar journey to Alaska. The two found themselves on ships that literally passed in the night.

King also marked another milestone this summer—retirement. He officially retired, but like all priests, his work isn’t so much a vocation as a lifestyle. So, he’s continuing to volunteer as chaplain emeritus for the national alumni association.

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