Perspective Online

UWG Holds Exhibit to Honor Lillian Williams

by Taylor Bryant

The University of West Georgia presents “Lillian Williams: Celebrating Her Life and Legacy,” an exhibit to honor the first African-American student to enroll at West Georgia College. The exhibit will be held on Saturday, Sept. 13, at 3 p.m. in UWG’s Ingram Library. This free and public exhibit will include a documentary video and panel exhibit highlighting Mrs. Williams’ life as an accomplished wife, mother, teacher and student.

UWG Holds Exhibit to Honor Lillian WilliamsMrs. Williams became the first African-American student at then West Georgia College in the summer of 1963. While raising her children, she pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education and was also the first African-American student to graduate from West Georgia College in 1967. After graduating, Mrs. Williams continued her teaching career in the Carroll County School System and later obtained her master’s degree in elementary education from West Georgia College in 1972.

“Lillian Williams courageously pioneered integration at West Georgia and we are proud to honor her,” says UWG President Dr. Kyle Marrero. “Her dedication and determination helped enlighten not only the students of the time, but also Carrollton, the region, and our university. Mrs. Williams has left an extraordinary legacy and she will serve as a role model for generations to come.”

In 1985, West Georgia College presented Mrs. Williams with the Founder’s Award, which is still the highest honor granted by the university today. In June 1995, she retired from Sand Hill Elementary after more than 30 years of teaching and inspiring students.

In addition to the exhibit, the scholarship signing will take place for the Lillian Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship, established by Mrs. Williams’ children, honors her legacy of courage and commitment to education, benefiting students majoring in education who are mothers with at least a 3.0 GPA.

During the 2014 Alumni Weekend, UWG held a tree dedication ceremony in honor of Mrs. Williams. The oak, located on Front Campus Drive, was planted as a reminder of her courage, strength and passion for education. The exhibit will be permanently placed on the first floor of the Ingram Library following the public exhibit dates.

Donations to the Lillian Williams Scholarship Fund may be sent to the UWG Foundation at 1601 Maple Street, Carrollton, Georgia. 30118 or at For more information, call 678-839-5035.


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