Alumni Profiles     

W. Wilford "Pete" Kale, Jr., '71
      Distinguished Alumnus,  2011

Pete Kale’s journalistic career in his home state of Virginia has been rigorous and exceptional. During his twenty-five year tenure with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, he advanced from Williamsburg Bureau Chief to Senior Writer in the Business-News department where he covered Virginia’s manufacturing companies and statewide agricultural issues. He specialized in reporting on Fortune 500 businesses, including Philip Morris, Reynolds Metals Co., Chesapeake Corps and James River Corp. His work has been recognized by the Society of Collegiate Journalists, Virginia Press Association, and Virginia Farm Bureau Federation among others. He was named “Journalist of the Year, 1993,” by the Virginia Agri-Business Council.

According to a news clipping in his file, in 1994 Kale was “…selected from a pool of more than 300 persons to establish the first ever Office of Public Affairs and Communications for the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC).” He held the positions of Senior Staff Advisor and Senior Policy Analyst until he retired from the VMRC in 2007.

Kale is the author of several books, on subjects ranging from biography to history. He currently is the managing editor of Botetourt Press (KHK Publishing Company), which specializes in regional Virginia books. Hark Upon the Gale---An Illustrated History of the College of William and Mary, Hampton in the Bygone Days, and Jamestown’s Story—Act One of the American Dream are some of the books listed on his resume. Kale is currently working on a book telling the story of the Rockefeller family in Williamsburg.

Kale is an active member of his community, as evidenced by a long list of civic engagement, leadership and professional associations and recognitions for his accomplishments. Presently he is active with the Royal Society of St. George (Gloucestershire, England Chapter), is a knight of the Order of Saint Joachim (European-born service organization), a colonel in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (Kentucky recognition group), and lieutenant colonel and Virginia Media Liaison with the Corps of Saint Lazare International (Vienna-based service organization). He served two elected 4-year terms on the James City County Planning Committee as well as on the local historical society and adult healthcare boards. Since 1975, Kale has been an elder in the Williamsburg Presbyterian Church. He sings in the Chancel Choir and has served in a variety of leadership roles and committees.
For the past 30 years, Kale has served as president of the Virginia SPJ/SDX Educational Foundation, which raises money for journalism scholarships for university students. Thus far, more than $125,000 has been raised for two $2,000 annual scholarships.

Although Kale began his undergraduate work at the College of William and Mary, he has made it no secret that after his service in Vietnam (U.S. Army from 1969 to 1970), the Park College Military Degree Completion Program gave him the “second chance” he needed to earn his degree and he has never forgotten it. While a student he served as associate editor of the Stylus and honed his writing skills as Park’s Assistant to the Director of Public Relations, writing news releases, developing brochures for the Athletics Department and assisting with campus reporting with the Kansas City daily newspapers and broadcast media. Today he still wears his Class of 1971 Park College ring.

Since graduating with a degree in history, Kale has continued to stay engaged with his alma mater. Between 1981 and 1984, Kale assisted with the acquisition by the library of the Ganter Collection, a collection of 15,000 rare and old books, most of which are still available for use by students today. From 1985 to 1990, Kale served the Park University Alumni Association as an Executive Council member, Alumni Association President and Board of Trustee member—traveling from Virginia to Parkville in the days before conference calls to fulfill his obligations. He took his responsibilities seriously, working diligently to represent Park Alumni and to convey their concerns to the trustees and administrators of the institution. He has been a participating member of the Friends of the Park University Library since 1971 and is a charter member of the Howard Bailey McAfee Heritage Society, founded in 1996. In 1985, Kale received the Outstanding Service Award (now the Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award) from the Alumni Association in recognition his contributions.
Kale is a true advocate of Park University’s philosophy of lifelong learning. His professional outreach activities as lecturer, advisor (to the Society of Professional Journalists) and journalist-in-residence (Evangel College, Radford College, Franklin College and twice at Eastern Illinois University) demonstrate his dedication to mentoring and sharing his expertise with peers and building journalists. This April, Kale successfully defended his thesis to earn a masters degree in history from the University of Leicester in Leicester, England.

Kale resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, with his wife, Kelly, and two sons, Walker, 15 years old, and Carter, 13 years old. His daughter, Anne-Evan, lives in Dayton, Ohio, with husband, Jeremiah, and son (Kale’s grandson), Franklin Douglas Williams, IV, age six. Kale’s wife is the principal pharmacist of her own independent pharmacy in Williamsburg.

The Alumni Association is proud to recognize W. Wilford Kale, Jr. for his outstanding career accomplishments with the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus award, the highest honor they can bestow on one of their own.





W. Wilford "Pete" Kale, Jr.
Class of 1971