On May 21st, 2019 Oelwein Alumnus from the class of 2000 Bill Stark came to speak at the Oelwein Middle School. Bill gave a great talk about how he parlayed his love of competition, reading and computers to a career at Wizards of the Coast, a division of Hasbro Games, one of the top gaming companies in the world. Bill learned to play a strategic competitive card game called Magic the Gathering (the world’s most complex game) in middle school and from 2005-2007 played on the professional circuit in over a dozen countries and on four continents. Bill garnered the attention of gaming industry executives and now works as a Production Manager at Wizards of the Coast in Renton, WA.
Bill spoke for about 45 minutes on his high school activities, which included arts, academics and sports, and earning a degree in English at Cornell University in Mt. Vernon. All the while writing about and working within the game he was playing. Bill found success in playing on the Magic the Gathering Professional Tour, but after traveling, settled down to start a family. Bill and his wife are expecting their second child in August.
Husky Adventures – Magic the Gathering Club Co-Sponsor Chet Reagan said, “Bill, a long time associate, has really been an asset to our club. Between his generosity and the outreach program for clubs like ours from Wizards of the Coast, they gave our dream of teaching this form of gaming to a whole new generation reality.”
Bill also spoke to students about how they can take their passion and try to make a career out of it. He spoke about his success and gave advice on what pitfalls to avoid. This project was provided by Bill’s willingness to make a difference at his alma mater and by the Husky Adventures 21st Century Grant.