Former long-time Champaign County Common Pleas Court Judge Roger Wilson was honored Thursday night at the Urbana University/West Liberty University basketball game for his 50 years of service as UU’s sports public address announcer.
Printed below is the text of the tribute to Wilson that was read aloud:
Fans, tonight we would like to recognize a very special person and one of the most loyal and faithful supporters of Urbana University Blue Knight athletics. His wit and professionalism are well documented. His ability to cook up a pun or two is legendary.
Everybody please rise and welcome to mid-court … the honorable Judge Roger Wilson, who tonight completes his 50th season as PA announcer at UU basketball games!
Roger Wilson has actually been a member of the Urbana University athletic family for over 50 years. He first became active as one of the chief founders of the Esquire Club on May 11, 1967.
Then, in 1968, Judge Wilson became the school’s regular announcer at all home basketball games, while adding football upon that sport’s reinstatement in 1985 … with both of those sports he has combined to work nearly 800 Blue Knight athletic contests. Judge was inducted into the Blue Knight Hall of Fame as a member of the 1988 class.
A native of southern Illinois, Judge Wilson received a degree in history and government in 1958 from Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He earned his Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1961. After serving as a captain in the United States Air Force, he entered private practice in Urbana for six years. In 1970, he was elected judge in the Court of Common Pleas.
Here are some thoughts about Judge Wilson from some UU insiders:
UU Alum and Hall of Fame member Dave Ross – “If I weren’t in Arizona at spring training, I’d be there with everyone to recognize my good friend since 1975, Judge Roger Wilson, original and enduring voice of the Blue Knights. He was already a legend back then. It was my honor to sit in for him one night back in 1976. We inducted Judge to our second Hall of Fame class back in 1988. Consider that he was deserving then and has worked almost another 30 years thereafter. I’ve met some great people through Urbana University, and Judge Roger Wilson heads that list.
Judge … Milo would be proud of you.
Best always … Dave Ross, UU 1976.”
UU Executive Director of Athletics Larry Cox – “It’s truly remarkable in this day and age to have one individual so invested that they stay with an organization for 50 years. Through numerous changes in administrators, coaches and student-athletes, Judge Wilson has been the one constant of Blue Knights athletics. We are truly blessed, here at Urbana, to have had the privilege of enjoying his presence, wit and professionalism all these years! Thank you Judge!”
UU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Rob Summers – “Since my first day here at Urbana University, Judge Wilson has been extremely supportive of the men’s basketball program and myself. His passion for the university is unparalleled and I am truly appreciative of all the backing that he has given us. Thank you Judge.”
UU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Haley Ducey – “Judge, where do I begin? From the moment I stepped on this campus in 2007, I knew there was something special about you! Whether it was your witty introductions for the officials, your care and concern for student-athletes, the countless hugs you have given me or always telling me everything is going to be all right … I realized that’s just who you are and I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to know you! The countless hours, loyalty, generosity and endless support you have given this institution reflects how great of a man you are.
“You have been such a blessing. Thank you for everything throughout all these years!”
In closing, Judge Wilson exemplifies the core values and beliefs that Urbana University stands for, including excellence, service and integrity. His impact on the Blue Knight family is immeasurable and Judge will always be at the forefront of Urbana University’s long and proud athletics history.