Williams, celebrated professor and Arkansas historian, passes away - UALR Now

Williams, celebrated professor and Arkansas historian, passes away

The UALR community is mourning the loss of recently retired, long-time history professor C. Fred Williams, who died Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013.

Williams spent more than 40 years as a teacher, mentor, and advocate, expanding the knowledge of Arkansas far beyond its borders.

His book, A Documentary History of Arkansas, published in collaboration with colleagues of the UALR History Department in 1984, is but one example of his impact on educC. Fred Williamsation beyond the campus. The collection of articles, letters, speeches, and government documents dating back to the 17th century is still in use today at schools across Arkansas.

Williams was a former chair of the History Department, as well as associate dean of the then-College of Liberal Arts, associate vice chancellor for education programs, and president of the University Assembly and Faculty Senate.

During his term as chair, Williams hired 10 faculty members and oversaw the greatest growth in the size of the department, according to Dr. Ed Anson, Williams’ longtime friend and fellow UALR history professor.

Williams helped secure more than $2 million in grant funding for local public schools and held leadership positions in several historical societies. He led the Pulaski County Historical Society in 1974 and 1975, was secretary-treasurer of the Agricultural Historical Society, and also served as president of the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers.

His honors include the Arkansas Historical Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the UALR Faculty Excellence Award for Service, Humanist of the Year by the Arkansas Humanities Council, and the Gladys Baker Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Agricultural History Society.

Williams earned a doctorate in American History from the University of Oklahoma in 1970; a master’s degree at Wichita State University in 1966; and a bachelor’s degree in history from East Central State College in Ada, Okla., in 1965.

An endowed scholarship named for Williams was recently created at UALR in recognition of his wide-ranging achievements.

His visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the Roller Chenal Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27, at Calvary Baptist Church located at 5700 Cantrell Road in Little Rock. Interment will follow at Pinecrest Cemetery at 7401 Hwy. 5 North in Alexander, Ark.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions go to the C. Fred Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund at UALR via the UALR Foundation, 2801 S. University Ave., Little Rock, AR 72204-1099.

Donors may also visit http://ualr.edu/development/give/ and designate their gift to the C. Fred Williams Endowed Fund in the “other” section on that page.

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