2002 Distinguished Alumni Award

William Epperly

The outstanding accomplishments of William Epperly were recognized Saturday, May 11 when he was presented the Western Illinois University Distinguished Alumni Award. 

The Distinguished Alumni Award, given since 1973, recognizes alumni who have reached the pinnacle of their careers and have brought credit to the University and themselves through their professional accomplishments or community service at local, state, or national levels and extended meritorious service for the advancement and continued excellence of WIU.

Epperly, a 1968 graduate in marketing, is the vice president of the State Farm Mutual Insurance Company's Hauppauge, NY agency. Headquartered in Bloomington, IL, State Farm includes 76,500 employees and more than 16,000 agents servicing 66.2 million policies in the United States and Canada. In just over 75 years, State Farm Insurance has grown from a small farm mutual auto insurer to one of the world's largest financial institutions. Epperly has been the Hauppauge, NY vice president since 1998. He is the hands-on senior manager accountable for the planning, implementation and evaluation of business operations that support three agency field offices with annual revenues of more than $570 million.

Prior to this appointment, the Sherrard native served as a State Farm agency field executive and agency manager in Lake County. Following his graduation from WIU, Epperly joined State Farm as a sales agent in Milan, where he worked until 1992. At State Farm, Epperly has earned virtually every sales award possible and established a regional life sales record during his tenure as an agent. His leadership through customer satisfaction initiatives increased sales dramatically and resulted in his group being recognized three times as "Best Insurance Company" in Lake County, IL, and recently as "Best of Long Island."

He served as president of the Milan Chamber of Commerce, the Milan Economic Development Board, and was campaign chairperson for Illinois State Rep. Joel Brunsvold for 10 years. Epperly was a charter member and officer of the Milan Rotary Club and was past president of Western's Alumni Association. He has been named the Milan Jaycee of the Year and was the Milan Chamber of Commerce's Community Service Award recipient. Epperly has been involved with Delta Sigma Phi fraternity since 1968.