The Library is commemorating October 10th as Ronald Williams Day in recognition of one of our most beloved and visionary University presidents.
October 10th, 1985 was designated as Ronald Williams Day by late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in honor of Dr. Williams, his work and legacy.
Dr. Ronald Williams’ served as president of Northeastern Illinois University from 1976 till his untimely death in 1985. During his tenure, Dr. Williams made significant efforts to improve the quality and accessibility to educational opportunities for First Generation College educated students. As he so well pointed out, “I want to stay here because my job represents an opportunity to develop a model of what an urban public university can be…they provide the vehicle for upward mobility”. It is a tribute to Dr. Williams that Northeastern Illinois University continues that tradition and commitment.
To commemorate the day this year, the Library Foundation has purchased a book in memory of Dr. Williams entitled “Death of a Suburban Dream: Race and Schools in Compton, California” by Emily E. Straus. The book, along with other documents and photos of Dr. Williams are currently on display in the lobby of the Library.
For more information and/or resources on the life of Ronald Williams, please contact the University Archives.