After graduating from high school, Billy attended Howard Payne College in Brownwood, TX where he met his future spouse, Joy Goodman. Both were employed as wait staff in the Howard Payne cafeteria. Billy recalls that during every football weekend, the students would paint slogans throughout the intersections of streets. During one of these painting sessions, Billy’s group called the police on visiting students from Abilene Christian College who were intent on disruption. Four of the captured ACC students had their heads shaved and were paraded through the campus. The following week, Billy accompanied HPC president Guy Newman to issue a formal apology to the ACC student body. Billy graduated from Howard Payne in January 1958 with two baccalaureate degrees in history and bible. During his senior year at Howard Payne, Billy was elected president of the student body.