Bill Beaver ’67 is an ordained Anglican priest on the staff of one of the oldest and loveliest churches in England — the early Norman church of St. Mary the Virgin, Iffley, Oxford.
Previously, Bill served in deprived areas, as well as the Church of England’s governing Archbishops’ Council as its first director of communications. In 2009, he was selected to be an officiating chaplain to the British Army. His first posting was to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, (hence the picture above of Bill at the rehearsal for the royal wedding.) “Ministering to 200 young people and riding beautiful horses 17-hands high is about as good as it gets for a CC boy,” says Bill.
How did a Grand Junction, Colo., native who graduated from Colorado College arrive here?
Scientia et disciplina, pure and simple.
“It all comes back to that unusual combination of confidence, humility, and more than a passing regard for others which CC instills. Perhaps that is why so many CC grads take Holy Orders at some stage of their post-CC careers. In my case, I was active in the commercial and charitable worlds, but wanted to nurture my nascent spirituality and weave that into my life as well,” Bill says.
“I don’t think everyone appreciates the opportunities one garners at CC. Immediately upon graduation I was made responsible for the lives of 40 men. And to that task I was able to bring my understanding of the world (history) and my role as a responsible leader (Freedom and Authority), as well as social skills, all gained at CC.”
Bill served as an Army intelligence officer in Asia and Europe. “On a visit back to the campus, Professors Louis Geiger and Kenneth Burton sat me down and told me that I should apply to the University of Oxford to read history and theology. I was rather taken aback, but it opened up a whole new world for me.” At Oxford, Bill received his doctorate and became the founder and director of the Bodleian Library’s project to collect and preserve the papers and recollections of those involved with the development of Africa, the West Indies, and non-Indian Asia before independence.
Bill then moved into corporate communications, holding senior communications or marketing posts with a number of top commercial and charitable organizations in the U.K., including the National Westminster Bank and Britain’s largest childcare charity. From 2003-10 he was responsible for the face-to-face, worldwide communications of the Lord Mayor of London, including preparing some 800 speeches a year. He is also a Benezet Distinguished Alumnus.
This coming spring will see the U.S. publication of Bill’s book unveiling Britain’s little-known Victorian intelligence organization, entitled “Under Every Leaf: the History of the Intelligence Division of the War Office and its Role in Imperial Policy Making 1856–1909.”
“Because of CC, I gained the confidence to strike out on any career path I chose, not arrogantly but with that combination of a desire to serve and a love of learning which is the hallmark of being from CC.”