South Rowan hosts ‘Wild Bill’ Corriher Night

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2023

Members of the South Rowan community joined together recently to celebrate “Wild Bill” Corriher’s commitment to academic pursuits with a night in his honor.

The South Rowan High School JROTC program hosted “Wild Bill” Corriher Night, sponsored by American Legion Post 185, on Feb. 14.

The event was attended by friends and family of “Wild Bill,” JROTC parents and American Legion members, along with local and school dignitaries, to recognize his four decades of service to the JROTC cadet battalion.

“It was a real honor to be able to get together,” Corriher said. “It makes you feel mighty proud to have so many good people supporting the Wild Bill JROTC Fund.”

In 1995, “Wild Bill” established his JROTC Scholarship Fund as the Wild Bill Irrevocable Trust, intended to provide scholarship money to college-bound cadets for their first year of studies.

Corriher is proud of his fund’s impact and the cadets it has propelled to post-secondary education, but he is quick to acknowledge that he does not deserve all the credit.

“Thank you to everybody for every donation, from a penny all the way up,” Corriher said. “We could never have done it without the community helping. I thank God for them helping me make it what it is today.”

Funded over the years by donations from the Corriher family and hundreds of people from the South Rowan and American Legion communities, scholarship contributions to date exceed more than $100,000. More than two dozen graduates have benefited from the scholarships.

“I think we have made a lot of difference,” Corriher said.

This total reflects credit on the South Rowan community, the North Carolina American Legion and the consistent, singular efforts of “Wild Bill.”

During “Wild Bill” Night, Corriher shared advice he has echoed for years.

“No drugs, no alcohol and no tobacco,” Corriher said. “The cemetery is very patient. It will wait on you. Don’t rush it.”

He offered some family planning advice too.

“Have fun and date but don’t start your family til you are married,” Corriher said.

South Rowan JROTC instructor Ret. Major William Lowe described “Wild Bill” as the last of a bygone era and indicated that his program would not be where it is today without Corriher.

“He really latched on when JROTC was started there at South Rowan,” Lowe said. “He has thrown his entire efforts into helping these kids and has truly adopted JROTC as his cause.”

Corriher plans to leave the scholarship fund in the hands of his daughter, Rose, upon his death.