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Establishment of the J. Lewis & Louise Williams Trustee Matching Scholarship

UNIONTOWN, PA - Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus recently announced the establishment of the J.Lewis Williams and Louise Williams Trustee Matching Scholarship.

The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State Fayette, who have a demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses. First preference shall be given to students who are enrolled in the College of Agriculture Sciences at Penn State Fayette. Since the scholarship is a Trustees Scholarship fund, The Pennsylvania State University is committed to matching funds at a percentage of the donor’s contributions. The principal of the fund has been pledged by Louise Williams.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship program is an ongoing initiative to raise $100 million in private support for new undergraduate scholarships across the University. To underscore its commitment to this effort, Penn State's Board of Trustees agreed to match five percent of each gift with University funds, and to make these matching funds available to assist students as soon as the donor completes scholarship pledge forms and guidelines. These matching funds will continue in perpetuity in combination with income from the endowment. Additional contributions may be made by interested persons or organizations who wish to designate their contribution specifically for the J. Lewis Williams and Louise Williams Trustee Matching Scholarship.

Trustee Matching Scholarships assisted approximately 4,100 Penn State undergraduates in 2005-06, and more than 300 donors have created Trustee Matching Scholarship endowments since the program began in mid-2002. A minimum gift of $50,000 is required.  

"The Williams family has long had a close association with our campus, and their service has been exemplary," said Chancellor Dr. Emmanuel Osagie. "We are delighted that this scholarship fund will carry their name in perpetuity."

The late J. Lewis Williams was a former Penn State University Trustee, Fayette County Commissioner, businessman, farmer and civic leader, whose service to and support of Penn State Fayette was exemplary.  The J. Lewis Williams Building at Penn State Fayette is named in his honor. Mr. Williams, a 1927 graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, served the University as a Trustee (1955-1979), served on the Executive Committee from 1960 through 1979, became Vice Chairman of the Board in 1976, and held the distinction of being the first Ag Society Trustee to achieve the position of Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was a co-founder of the Penn State Fayette campus, working with then University President Eric Walker and Vice President Kenneth Holderman in reviewing possible sites and addressing the state application for permission to open  a commonwealth campus, an application that included requirements of community interest and local financial support. Mr. Williams was a charter member of the Penn State Fayette Advisory Board, and one of his many services to the University was his chairmanship of the Physical Plant Committee. Mr. Williams was the 1970 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest award presented at The Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Williams was also a member of the PSU Century Club.  He served on the Search Committee to select Dr. John Oswald as the President of the University.

In 1952, J. Lewis Williams was named Superior Farmer by the Uniontown Chamber of Commerce, and in 1955, he was awarded Master Farmer by the Pennsylvania Farmer.  Mr. Williams was an honorary member of the Pennsylvania County Agents Association and served 19 years as secretary/treasurer of the Pennsylvania Association of Artificial Breeding Co-op.  Of particular note was the fact that he was chairman of the state’s Brucellosis Eradication Committee. Mr. Williams was appointed to The Pennsylvania State University’s Agricultural Advisory Council.  In service to the community, Mr. Williams was one of the original members elected to the Board of Gallatin National Bank in 1958, serving for a period on the Executive Committee. After serving the board for 25 years, he became a Director Emeritus.  

Penn State Fayette Advisory Board member Ms. Louise Williams, the daughter of the late J. Lewis Williams and the late Grace Wood Williams, has continued her father’s commitment of service to and support of Penn State Fayette. Since 1986, Ms. Williams has been the owner and operator of Wood Farms, which is a “Century Plus” farm, registered with the State of Pennsylvania Archives and operating as a continuous agricultural endeavor by the same family for over 100 years. Ms. Williams is currently breeding and raising registered Red Angus and Gelbvieh cattle for replacement and feeder stock with an approximate herd size of 100-150. She has worked as a landman doing oil and gas leasing and doing records search for major natural gas production companies in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York. During the late sixties, Ms. Williams was Chairman of the History Department of the Brentwood Military Academy in Brentwood, California, where she developed the history and social studies curriculum for Brentwood for the California State Accreditation Committee for secondary private schools.

Ms. Williams entered the motion picture industry in front of the camera as a stuntwoman in various television westerns and the original episodes of Star Trek. She then went on to serve as Assistant to the Producer on several major motion pictures as well as corporate account commercials including Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Honeysuckle Brand Products. While working for Henderson Associates, Ms. Williams represented the New Zealand Import/Export  Board promoting Granny Smith apples and kiwi fruit, in addition to other accounts. In this capacity new recipes, lead food ads and point of purchase materials were developed as well as radio and television spots, which earned her a seat on the Southern California Fresh Produce Council Board.

Ms. Williams is a 1961 graduate of Waynesburg College, majoring in psychology and education with a minor in English, history and economics. In 1969, she completed academic courses for a Masters in Philosophy at California State, Northridge, CA. Ms. Williams was named to the Penn State Fayette Advisory Board in May 1993, and was named the 1996 Outstanding Fellow of the Fayette Campus. She was instrumental in the renovation of the first floor of the University House, was the chairperson of the J.L. Williams Building Renovation project, and was chairperson of the Fayette House Committee.  

For more information, contact 724-430-4190.

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