William “Bill” Cheek was a decorated Korean War veteran and one of the few U.S. Marines who survived the 1950 battle of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. The Marines who fought in this campaign are often referred to as the “Frozen Chosin,” because the battle was fought in sub-zero temperatures during the coldest winter North Korea had experienced in 100 years.
“Bill was one of my heroes,” says Richard Bloom, chief academic officer at the Prescott Campus in Arizona. “I had many a long talk with him about Korea, his very productive life, and his courage and persistence to withstand the unimaginable.”
After earning a law degree, Cheek practiced law in New Mexico and spent 20 years working as chief legal counsel for Alaska Airlines in Seattle, before coming to the Prescott Campus in 1988. At Embry-Riddle he held a number of positions including Aviation Business Administration (ABA) faculty, ABA department chair and campus grants coordinator. He was also the founder and managing partner of William V. Cheek & Associates, a consulting firm. He retired from Embry-Riddle in February 2009.
“Bill Cheek was well-respected and loved by his business students and the entire campus community,” says Bill Thompson (’87, PC), executive director of alumni relations.