Board Of Directors
Meet William E. Wrang III, '75, Chair
Bill Wrang says he was like a lot of kids in middle school, a bit mischievous, certainly not thinking all that much about his future.
And then he landed at Xavier High School, and those four years would shape his life.
“The Xavier experience and the impact of the Xaverian Brothers were unbelievable for me,” Wrang said. “It really changed me in terms of the type of person I was and my focus … I guess I grew up quickly in a short period of time.”
And now, more than 40 years later, the 1975 Xavier graduate and executive at Webster Bank is Chairman of the Board of Directors at the school. He has gone full circle, from student to board chair, with a lot of other community involvement in between.
Wrang said his biggest priorities for Xavier are increasing enrollment and making sure the school operates on a balanced budget.
“We want to continue the mission of the school and the viability of school so it’s around for young boys for many years to come,” Wrang said.
Being community-minded comes as no surprise. While he goes by Bill, he officially is William E. Wrang III. And the Wrang name carries with it longtime ties to the Middletown community.
Bill’s grandfather was a doctor in Middletown who at one time was a part owner of the Boston Braves. He died when Bill was seven, but Bill remembers his grandfather’s raccoon coat and top hat and Cadillac convertible. Most stories about his grandfather, a beloved doctor in town, come from others.
Bill’s father, William E. Wrang Jr., was a longtime salesman who sold Cadillacs and Buicks at F.L. Caulkins on Main Street in Middletown and also was a state marshal. He was an exalted ruler of the Elks in Middletown and also involved in politics and civic groups.
“My father instilled in me a strong work ethic, morals, values ... he was a good man, someone I admired and looked up to,” Wrang said.
His father also taught him about taking care of himself and the value of running. William E. Wrang Jr. was a smoker and it was not until a doctor told him that he better start taking care of himself that he turned things around. He started walking in his mid-40s and running in his late 40s.
“Some of my fondest memories are from college on, when he was running and I was running, and we did marathons together,” Wrang said.
Years ago Wrang started a scholarship with his father in memory of his grandfather.
“Initially it went to a junior going into his senior year who had a prowess in the sciences,” Wrang said. “Now we’ve used it to bring an inner-city student from Covenant Prep in Hartford that was started by a good friend of mine. We supplement the boy’s tuition so he can go to Xavier."
There also is a plaque in the music suite that was from Bill and his wife Heidi’s gift for the capital campaign. That is in memory of Bill’s father.
When Bill was young he remembers his father working a lot at the dealership, and that would pay dividends when Bill was old enough to drive. He’d hang out at the dealership, change the oil in the car.
After Xavier, Wrang went to Merrimack College. He was a summer intern at Liberty Bank on Main Street in Middletown and got into a management training program. As he said, he graduated on a Sunday in May of 1979 and started work on that following Monday.
He found out quickly that the lending part of the banking business intrigued him and stayed at Liberty for about 3 ½ years. He then went to Aetna as he was finishing his MBA. At Aetna he got into the real estate lending side, moving up the ladder to a Managing Director–Vice President, but when Aetna changed more into a health care company, he knew he needed to move on because providing commercial real estate loans was his passion.
He almost went to New York City for the next career rung on the ladder but for quality of life issues ended up at Webster Bank, where he is now the executive vice president, heading up the commercial real estate group. Avoiding the rat race of New York, he was able to be home more with his young children. Webster also was community minded and he got involved in many things.
That turned out to be a great move; he’s been at Webster 20 years and has been able to give back.
He has been very active in the Middlesex County United Way, receiving its Community Service Award in 2011, the highest honor to a volunteer. He also has been named the Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce.
Wrang became a New York Giants fan because he’d sit with his father watching those football games on a Sunday. But that New York loyalty does not extend to baseball. Bill’s an avid Red Sox fan, which in part comes from his great aunt Mary. She lived near him and he’d head up there after school [“She always had cookies in the pantry”) and they’d spend time listening to Red Sox games.
Like many a kid of that era, he fell in love with the 1967 Red Sox. The Impossible Dream. Tony C. Yaz.
“I can still recite the starting lineup of that team,” Wrang said.
So you can imagine what 2004, 2007, 2013 meant to him. And now, 2018. The Red Sox beat the Dodgers in five games, only losing the 18-inning game that started Friday night, Oct. 26, and ended about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. Yes, Wrang stayed up for all of it.
The Red Sox then came back from a 4-0 deficit Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead in games and wrapped it up Sunday night, Oct. 28. A special season for all Sox fans.
“What’s most special for me is sharing baseball and the Red Sox with my son,” Wrang said. “After the devastating loss to the Yankees in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS when he was 10 years old (by the way I was 10 years old in 1967 when I fell in love with the Sox), my son finally knew what it meant to be a Red Sox fan – the devastating defeat and heartache. Fortunately, for him, he only had to wait one year to erase the heartache.
“Having taken him to Game 2 of the 2004 World Series and being able to go with him again to Game 1 of the World Series this year, is what makes it so special for me. Father, son, baseball, Red Sox, nothing better. The bond we have going to Red Sox games over the years is extraordinary.”
His son, William E. Wrang IV, 25, a 2011 Xavier graduate, lives and works in Boston. So the name lives on. At first, Heidi did not want her son to be William IV, even if there was pressure from her father-in-law.
Heidi wanted her son to have his own identity, so he was going to be Taylor William Wrang. But when he was born, Heidi turned to Bill and said he looks just like you, he has to be William E. Wrang IV. Bill said sleep on it. Nothing changed overnight.
When their daughter was born, Bill joked to Heidi that she got to name their son, so he’d name their daughter. She is Catharine Taylor Wrang, now a senior at Elms College. Catharine was the name of Bill’s paternal grandmother. And they finally got to use the name Taylor.
Board Of Directors 2018-2019
Mr. William Wrang III ’75, Chair
Atty. Mark Ryan ’81, Vice Chair
Chief J. Edward Brymer (retired)
Atty. Richard Carella ‘84
Rev. David Choquette ‘90
Mrs. Ellen Ciampi
Mr. James Coleman
Dr. Jacob Conca
Mr. James Coughlin ‘84
Mr. Michael D’Aquila ‘83
Mrs. Jeanne Depasse
Mr. Henry Fiore Jr.
Mr. Jack Gastler ‘74
Mr. Scott Jenkins ‘85
Mr. George Keithan Jr. ‘81
Br. Richard Lunny, C.F.X.
Mr. Peter Mondani ‘75
Mr. Jeffrey Muzio ‘84
Mr. William Nadeau Jr. ‘94
Mr. Michael Picard ‘83
Mr. William Rotatori
Mr. William Voelker