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Ed Wile and President Samhat

‘Mean to Meaningful’ follows life from anger to prosperity

Wile donates book profits to scholarships for student-athletes

They called him “Mean Wile” in school, and Ed Wile ’73 liked it that way.

As a young man being raised in a poor household by a workaholic, single mother, anger raged inside him. Despite that anger, and his bullying reputation, Wile was a star athlete whose high school coach convinced him that attending college on a football scholarship was his best way out.

That college was Wofford College. Wile now is in the Wofford Athletic Hall of Fame and is a member of the college’s Top 40 All-Time Football Team. He also was named to Outstanding College Athletes of America.

A member of the Wofford Board of Trustees and retired as senior vice president of UBS Financial Services Inc., Wile's has written a book about his journey through his days as an angry young man turned exceptional, albeit still angry, college athlete to a husband whose alcoholism and violence nearly ruined his marriage and his career prospects. “Mean to Meaningful” follows Wile’s path as he overcame his demons and other obstacles to succeed as a businessman, a family man, a mentor and a philanthropist.

Wile is donating all of the proceeds from the sale of the book to Wofford to assist student-athletes. “I’m doing this for them, because someone did it for me and it changed my life,” he says. The first-time author describes his book, which took him more than a decade to write, as an “uplifting memoir (that) chronicles the metamorphosis of an angry, violence-prone teenager into a successful businessman. Along the way, it movingly describes how a beautiful young woman (his wife, Vickey) and a few priceless ‘God winks’ helped him become a respectable husband, father and leader.”

Harold Chandler ’71, former chairman of the college’s board of trustees, was a teammate of Wiles at Wofford, but became much more. “He was a defensive back, and I was a quarterback. We should have been opponents; instead, over many years, we grew to be loving brothers, through service to Wofford by raising student scholarships, to memorable family fellowships including his wife, Vickey, and my wife, Delores. So, you may understand that reading his book was painful for me. Learning so late the pain he endured so early. Friends should ask, how could I have done more? In the end, you ultimately realize that Ed and Vickey built a beautiful life through extraordinary love for each other, being resilient, never giving up on themselves or each other. So, for me, this is a book about heroes. Ed and Vickey are my heroes and will be forever.

“‘Mean to Meaningful’ defines hope and outcomes in ways that all readers ultimately can relate,” Chandler continues. “In that regard, it is, for sure, a textbook on life.”

“Mean to Meaningful” may be purchased on Amazon or CreateSpace, with proceeds benefiting scholarships for student-athletes at Wofford. 

By Laura Hendrix Corbin