William A. Atkins

Class of 1949 / Inducted 1976 / Football

William Atkins began his college career at Lees-McRae Junior College, shining in football, boxing, and track, before finding his home in 1940 at Emory & Henry College. He was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 in recognition of his achievements on the Wasps’ football team.

Before coming to Emory & Henry, Atkins won the Golden Glove Boxing Championship in the 168 weight novice class for North and South Carolina at Lees-McRae. After transferring, Atkins lettered in football and baseball in 1940 and 1941 before reporting to the military where he served as staff sergeant in the air corps in Europe during World War II. Atkins returned home to Emory & Henry in 1947 to play halfback in football and baseball once again and graduated with a bachelor of arts in 1949.

Atkins spent his life after service and school as a U.S. Probation Officer, serving 13 counties in Southwest Virginia. He was also active in Sinking Springs Presbyterian Church, V.F.W American Legion, and the U.S. Probation Association.

Atkins passed away at the age of 71 on December 27, 1990.