In Memoriam: McDonald Williams, 1917-2019

McDonald Williams, the first director of the University Honors Program at Tennessee State University, passed away on August 11, 2019. He was 101 years old.

Dr. Williams served as director of the Honors Program at Tennessee State University for 23 years before his retirement in 1988. He also spent 30 years at the university serving as a professor of English. Along with his wife, Dr. Jayme Coleman Williams, he co-edited The Negro Speaks: The Rhetoric of Contemporary Black Leaders (Noble & Noble, 1970). The couple also won the Joe Kraft Humanitarian Award from the Community Foundation in 2002.

“The TSU family is saddened at the passing of Dr. McDonald Williams, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Dr. Jamye Williams and the rest of the family,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. “Many of our outstanding alumni attribute their success to the Williams’, and especially Dr. Williams as the director of the University Honors Program for 23 years. His contributions to TSU will never be forgotten, and his legacy will always resonate throughout our institution.”

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  1. What an extraordinary life well lived in the service of others. Praise God from whom all blessings flow for this remarkable human being and his equally gracious wife as well.

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