Bill Hoover, former president of AIB, dies at 82

by Josh Sosland
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COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — William J. Hoover, the retired president of AIB International, died July 6 in Colorado Springs following a brief illness. He was 82.

A native of Champaign, Ill., Dr. Hoover spent most of his career in Manhattan, Kas., first at Kansas State University and then at AIB.

Dr. Hoover attended the University of Illinois and was awarded B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, majoring in food technology with minors in business administration and mathematical statistics.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Hoover was director of technical services and administrative vice-president for the Corn Industries Research Foundation in Washington.

He spent several years at Kansas State, first as the director of the Food and Feed Grain Institute and then as head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry.

As president of AIB (then known as the American Institute of Baking), Dr. Hoover helped facilitate the move of the institution in 1977 to Manhattan from Chicago. A new Manhattan facility was opened in 1978. In recognition of his contribution to the organization, the AIB campus was named the William J. Hoover campus in 1995.

The move to Manhattan was credited with creating synergies with K.S.U. as well as the Grain Marketing and Production Research Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Largely for his work at AIB, Dr. Hoover was elected in 2007 to the Baking Hall of Fame.

“He revitalized and made the programs more relevant to the industry,” Paul Klover, AIB executive vice-president of administration said in 2007.

During his 17 years as president of the AIB, Dr. Hoover oversaw many areas of growth. The number of seminars and short courses offered by the institute grew to more than 100 in 1994 from only a handful in 1977.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ellen Louise Kesler Hoover; three children, Mike Hoover, Jane Bartlett, and Laura Thiel; grandchildren Emily Kiefer, K.C. Gillispie, Brian, Clay, and Mike Bartlett and Grace Thiel; four great grandchildren Ashlyn, Clarissa, Adriana and Kamryn; sister Mary Council; and in-laws Bobi Hoover, Bob Bartlett, Dave Thiel, Dustin Kiefer, and Lisa Bartlett.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. July 10 in Manhattan at the First United Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan, Kas. 66502.

A memorial scholarship has been established in Dr. Hoover’s name at AIB International, 1213 Baker’s Way, Manhattan, KS. 66502.

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