Portrait to honor Williams’ service to Elon

Jo Watts Williams, whose many roles at Elon have included serving as vice president for institutional advancement and special assistant to the president, will be honored for 30 years of service to the institution during a portrait unveiling at 11:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 17. The ceremony will be held at Maynard House, home of Elon president Leo M. Lambert. The portrait is a gift from her sons, William L. Williams III of Wilmington, N.C., and Randall W. Williams, M.D., of Raleigh, N.C.

“Jo Watts Williams’ contributions to Elon are legendary,” says Lambert. “As both a faculty member and former vice president for institutional advancement, Jo’s leadership has been a force in strengthening every aspect of the institution. I am grateful for the gift of her beautiful portrait from her sons. It will hang in the Jo Watts Williams Conference Room in Powell Building as reminder to all of us as to what good and faithful service to Elon is all about.”

A 1955 Elon graduate, Williams has served as special assistant to the president since 1996. As vice president for institutional advancement from 1979-1995, Williams provided leadership which resulted in a new planned giving program, the first million dollar gift in Elon’s history and the successful Investing in Excellence Campaign, which raised more than $21 million from 1992-1994.

Williams began her career at Elon in 1969 as a faculty member in the department of psychology and education, after 14 years as a teacher in North Carolina public schools. In 1977, she was named associate dean of academic affairs and director of the LaRose Learning Resources Center. Except for a year spent as a teaching fellow at UNC-Greensboro, where she earned master’s and doctorate degrees, her service to Elon has been continuous since 1969. She received Elon’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995.

Actively involved in the local community, Williams serves on the board of directors of Alamance Regional Medical Center and the Alamance Foundation. She has also served on the boards of the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce, Wachovia Bank and Trust Co., and the Alamance County chapter of Habitat for Humanity. She was recently named chair of the planning board which is developing the Village at Brookwood, a retirement community sponsored by Alamance Regional Medical Center.