THOMAS – William Wray of Las Vegas is among the top attorneys in America dealing with construction law. He has advised clients regarding all aspects of many of that city’s casino properties.
Wray grew up in rural Bingham County and is a proud graduate of Snake River High School.
“1981 was Year of the Cat,” he said of his graduation year. “We had an extraordinarily successful class both in athletics and in academics.”
His ancestry features “deep early Idaho Mormon roots.” His parents were Bob, a farmer and farm consultant, and Gertrude, a homemaker. His grandparents were Willard and Janet (Clark) Wray and Cornelius and Gertrude (Van Orden) Williams. Willard was a farmer, county commissioner and prominent LDS Church leader. Cornelius was also a farmer.
When Bill Wray graduated from Snake River High School, he had already set some specific goals.
“I always vainly wanted to say I went to an Ivy League school,” Wray said. And so I did.
Wray graduated from Pace University in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in international finance. He then earned a law degree from St. John’s, which is also in New York City.
And, he studied Asian Studies at Columbia.
Wray served an LDS Church mission in Seoul, Korea.
“About halfway though I was transferred to the New York, New York mission to work with the new Korean-speaking missionary program,” he recalled.
Accepting that transfer enabled Wray to meet his wife Myung “Kim,” who was a graduate student in New York after earning a bachelor’s in botany from Korea University.
“I taught and baptized her into the LDS Church,” he recalled. “We were married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple eight months after my mission.”
He and Kim have three children and four grandchildren.
“Kim and I hope our children represent our greatest success,” he said. “We have tried to support them in every opportunity that they wanted to pursue.”
Of his decision to leave Idaho for his education, Wray said, “I believe that leaving Idaho and seeking my education at more prestigious and competitive East Coast schools was the right choice for me.”
But, he emphasized, it is not the right choice for everyone. The Wrays’ sons graduated from UNLV, which is a local state university, and their daughter is a student at BYU.
He credits his teachers at Snake River with building a good educational foundation.
“For being a small country school, Snake River has amazingly good teachers,” he said. “I thank them all!”
To students at Snake River and around Idaho, he offered, “work hard and learn all you can. Recreation and relaxation is important, too, but I think hard work and education should have a higher priority.
“With the ongoing rapid advances in communication, transportation and informational technologies, we are living in an increasingly global community.
“Who we consider as our neighbors and the scope and borders of community are ever-expanding,” he said. “We need to open our minds to that end and reach as far as we can.”
All of Wray’s siblings still live in Idaho. Rob and LaRee live in Moreland as do Debra (Gardner) and Dwight as well as Brenda (Wood) and Russ. Julia (Nilsson) and Mike live in Blackfoot and Matt and Lesli live in Malad.
Editor’s note: “Where are they now?” is an occasional feature celebrating the successes of graduates from Bingham County high schools. Readers are encouraged to provide names and contact information for people who have been successful in whatever aspects of life they chose to report. Contact Bob Hudson at 785-1100.