Dr. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams

UA announces the Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College

Naming celebrates couple’s longtime support, continued growth of Honors College

The University of Akron President Scott L. Scarborough, Ph.D., today announced the naming of the University’s Honors College as the Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams Honors College, in recognition of two of the University’s distinguished alumni, generous donors to their alma mater since 1969, and beloved community advocates, known for their extraordinary commitment to helping others. The couple’s cumulative commitment of more than $10 million in giving will help advance the continued growth and expansion of the College, under the leadership of Dean Lakeesha Ransom, Ph.D.

Williams Honors College logoUA Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathan T. Pavloff said, “The University of Akron is fortunate to receive ongoing generous support from alumni, friends and others. But occasionally the size and scope of a donation can transform part of the University and with it the academic experience and lives of students. That is what the Williamses are making possible through their philanthropy, and we thank them on behalf of the University and those students who will benefit from their devotion to their alma mater.”

Scarborough said, “We are enormously grateful that the Williamses are demonstrating their belief in and support of the University and the Honors College in this manner. Their generosity will help ensure the continued growth and development of the Honors College as a leading destination for highly academically-qualified students, making The University of Akron an even more attractive choice for them.”

The Williams Honors College

Drs. Gary B. and Pamela S. Williams, second and third from left, are recognized for their generous lifetime support to the University during an event Feb. 3 in the Williams Honors College, which was renamed in their honor. With them, from left, are Dean Lakeesha Ransom of the Williams Honors College, the Williamses, UA President Scott Scarborough and Board of Trustees Chairman Jonathan Pavloff.

 “We have talked at length with Dr. Scarborough and Dean Ransom and we are very excited about their vision for the Honors College,” said the Williamses. “The University of Akron has been and remains an important part of our lives. We appreciate the opportunity to provide this support and look forward to the great successes that we know participating students will achieve in the years ahead.”

Enrollment in the Honors College has grown significantly during the past five years, increasing nearly 30% during that time, from 1,509 in 2010 to 1,937 in 2015. Students must have a minimum high school GPA of 3.75 and a minimum ACT score of 25 or a 3.5 GPA and an ACT score of 27.

Dean Ransom said, “This extremely generous donation will help us advance several different initiatives that are part of our new strategic plan. That plan focuses on developing a rigorous, transformative learning experience to produce citizen-leaders with a global mindset, a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and exceptional interpersonal skills across cultures. At the heart of our proposed curricula are design-thinking principles, which combine technology and the social sciences to better understand what people need and develop tailored solutions to real challenges in today’s world.”

Vice President of Advancement Lawrence J. Burns said, “It is very gratifying to see this type of support for our students – current and future – as it underscores the high quality educational experience that UA offers. The Williams’ gift will help ensure a bright future for students, the Honors College and the University.”



The importance of giving back

Reflections on The University of Akron

On contributing to UA

On contributing to the Honors College

On connecting with students

The Williams Honors College

Enrollment in the Williams Honors College has grown dramatically. For fall 2015, college enrollment was 1,937 students. That’s an increase of 12 percent increase over the prior year and 39 percent since 2008.