Dixie and Willis B. Wood, Jr. - Chapman Legacy Society
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Gifts Established:

  • Bill and Dixie Wood Presidential Scholarship | Est. 2000
brick engraved with name Dixie and Willis B. Wood, Jr.

Dixie and Willis B. Wood, Jr.

Willis B. “Bill” Wood, Jr.’s list of achievements, honors, and leadership roles is lengthy, perhaps surpassed only by the extent to which he and his wife, Dixie, seek to give back to their communities. The University of Tulsa is one fortunate recipient of the Woods’ generosity. The couple’s philanthropy has touched many areas at TU, including significant funding for student scholarships, TU Athletics, and Gilcrease Museum.

Bill and Dixie married in 1955, and they are the parents of three sons. Bill graduated in 1957 from TU with a BS degree in petroleum engineering. He earned an additional degree from Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, in the Advanced Management Program in 1983. He received an honorary Doctor of Law from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, in 1996.

Wood’s career includes an extended list of impressive accomplishments, from his early days at the Pan American Petroleum Corporation in Odessa, Texas, through his progressively more responsible roles from 1960 to 1980 at the Southern California Gas Company in Los Angeles, California. Bill served as the president and CEO of the Pacific Lighting Gas Supply Company from 1981 to 1983. He served Pacific Enterprises as a Senior Vice President, beginning in 1984, ultimately becoming CEO in 1991, a position he held before retiring from the company in 1998. These entities, all based in Los Angeles, California, are subsidiaries of Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based electric and natural gas infrastructure company.

Bill’s many industry and service roles include serving as the Director of the California Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Business Advisors, and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, and as the Chairman of the Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future. He is a Life Trustee of the University of Southern California and a Trustee Emeritus of Harvey Mudd College. He also is past Chairman and Director of the American Automobile Association and past Chairman and Director of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Wood’s professional successes earned him recognition as a TU Distinguished Alumnus in 1995 and a place in The University of Tulsa’s College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Hall of Fame. Bill and Dixie also are members of the esteemed Chapman Legacy Society and the Circle Society at TU.

In 2000, the Woods established the Bill and Dixie Wood Presidential Scholarship at TU, a significant endowment that supports outstanding students. The university is grateful to this philanthropic couple, knowing that TU students are benefiting greatly from the Woods’ support and involvement in the life of Bill’s alma mater.