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Who was Ronald Williams?


The Library is named for Ronald Williams, the third president of Northeastern Illinois University. Ronald Williams was a respected scholar in the fields of speech-language pathology and sociolinguistics; author of numerous short stories, plays, and poetry; and a concerned educator and humanist. During his tenure (1976-1985), Dr. Williams held the respect of the university community and maintained smooth working relationships with professional and government institutions. Highlights of his administration include the clarification of the NEIU mission as a comprehensive university, the institution of a new General Education program, the establishment of the College of Business and Management, and the construction of a new physical education facility. An advocate of social justice, Dr. Williams led an anti-apartheid demonstration from his wheelchair in October of 1985, just two months before losing his battle to cancer. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and hearing and his Master of Arts degree in speech pathology from Western Reserve University. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in phonetics and psycholinguistics at The Ohio State University.

For more information on Dr. Williams' astounding life, contact the University Archives.