A Special Tribute Issue in Honor of Former BCC ​President Carolyn G. Williams

April 28, 2021
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BCC Remembers a Leader and Friend – Thomas A. Isekenegbe, President

The Bronx Community College community was deeply saddened to learn of former BCC President Emeritus, Carolyn G. Williams passing in her home city of Detroit, Michigan at the age of 81. Dr. Williams’ dedication and steadfast leadership was unwavering...In this special issue of UPDATE, some of those who worked with Dr. Williams during her transformative years on campus share their moving memories of a beloved BCC leader...Read More
L to R: Dr. Marcia Keizs, Dr. Williams, Mary Faison.
Marcia V. Keizs, President of York College, (Retired)
I became first a colleague, then a friend of Carolyn G. Williams in the mid-1990s when she hired me as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College/CUNY...Read More 
SVP Mary Coleman, Dr. Williams.
Mary E. Coleman, Former Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance
It was easy for some to underestimate Dr. Carolyn Grubbs Williams. She was small in stature, small of ego, small of verbosity. She was however, a giant of spirit. She was large of heart...Read More
L to R: David Taylor, Bernard Gantt, George Sanchez, Carin Savage, Dr. Williams, Alice Fuller, Peter Barbatis, Mary Coleman.
Richard Donovan, Professor Emeritus of English
In 1995, after Nelson Mandela's election as President of South Africa, Bronx Community College became involved with post-apartheid higher education reform in that country. My colleague Barbara Schaier-Peleg and I led the College's charge, and in 1996, newly appointed BCC President Carolyn Williams enthusiastically supported this work...Read More
Presidents Emeritus: Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr., Dr. Carole Berotte-Joseph,
Dr. Williams.
Lt. Mary Faison, Public Safety
I didn’t know when I met President Carolyn Williams over 15 years ago that it would turn into a lifelong friendship. She was my confidante like no other...Read More
Dr. Williams, Dean Alice Fuller.
Dr. Jason Finkelstein, Director of
Freshman Programs (Retired)
From the time I began my position, Dr. Williams was always supportive. Shortly after I started at BCC, an opportunity arose to attend the first Freshman Year Experience Conference at the University of South Carolina...Read More 
Marching in Commencement; Conferring a degree to student/staff Debra Isaacs.
Dean Bernard Gantt
It gives me great pleasure to pay tribute to President Carolyn Williams, who was solely responsible for my career at Bronx Community College. She was more than just a president, mentor and leader extraordinaire, she was my friend...Read More
Receiving a Citation of Merit from Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jrand a Proclamation from Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson.
Dr. Michael C. Gillespie, Associate Dean, (Retired)
Near the end of spring term of 1998, President Carolyn Williams sent for me to come to her office. When I arrived, she gave me a hug and told me she needed my help...Read More
L to R: Dr. Houston Williams, Dr. Carolyn Williams, Sahana Gupta, David Taylor.
Sahana Gupta, Executive Assistant to
President Williams
Among the many memories of Dr. Williams and all she exemplified in her leadership, a special program comes to mind...Read More  
Grand Opening of the Early Childhood Center: Dr. Williams (Center) and Mary Coleman (Far Right) with CUNY Chancellors; Dr. Williams.
Melissa Kirk, Former Director of
Disability Services and Student Life
I cannot think back on my 11 years at Bronx Community College without considering the impact Dr. Williams had on me personally and on my career. She was a trailblazer in so many ways, but I believe her fierce advocacy of the College’s global initiative may have been among her greatest contributions...Read More  
Nikole A. Knight, Paralegal Program Director
Dr. Williams brought joy, happiness and laughter to all who knew her. Her kindness was reflected in all of her interactions with others. I will always be eternally grateful for the impact that she made on my professional career...Read More
Top, L to R: M. Monica Sweeney, MD, MPH, Dean Alice Fuller,
Vice Chancellor Jay Hershenson, Dr. Williams.
Bottom, L to R: Eric Mercado, student Claudette Hetmeyer, Dr. Williams.
Manny Lopez, Ph.D., Associate Dean for
Student Development
During Dr. Williams' 15-year tenure as President of Bronx Community College, I was a student, a faculty member and part of the staff...Read More 
With Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr.; Interview with BronxNet.
Teresa L. McManus, Professor, BCC Library
I shall never forget President Emeritus Carolyn Grubbs Williams. A diminutive person with outsized stature and the spirit of a tiger, her eyes were clear and expressive, her smile genuine and naturally exhibiting grace and charm...Read More
With CUNY Chancellors at the site of North Hall and Library;
The Library under construction.
Sue Moss, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation
I especially appreciated Carolyn Williams because she promoted creativity and innovation on the part of the faculty. Dr. Williams encouraged faculty to initiate original projects for Faculty Development Grants...Read More
Dr. Neal Phillip, Chairperson, Department of Chemistry, Earth Sciences and
Environmental Sciences
I wish to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late BCC President, Dr. Carolyn Williams...Read More
The Early Years, with Faculty and Administrators.
Nancy Ritze, Dean of Institutional Research
When Carolyn Williams became President of BCC in 1996, the College was struggling with many challenges (declining enrollment, limited fiscal resources, poor student outcomes and low morale among faculty and staff). President Williams brought optimism and energy to the College...Read More 
L to R: Michael Seliger, David Taylor, Nancy Ritze, Bernard Gantt, George Sanchez, Carin Savage, Dr. Williams, Alice Fuller, Carol White, Peter Barbatis, Mary Coleman, Sahana Gupta, Mary Rogan.
Prof. Mary Rogan, Department of Economics and Business at Lehman College
When I think of Carolyn Williams, three words come to mind: commitment, caring, and grace. Her commitment was ever evident — to her family, to her wide community and to Bronx Community College...Read More
Clockwise, Top: Dr. Williams and family; Drs. Carolyn and Houston Williams; Hugging a well-wisher.
Andrew Rowan, Lecturer, English Department
Global Education and Study Abroad Coordinator
Dr. Carolyn Williams was a member of the advisory council that created the first faculty/administrator Salzburg Global Seminar program. When I was asked to join her and two other colleagues in the summer of 2004, I was honored and nervous...Read More 
Top: Global Seminar group photo, in Salzburg.
Bottom: Speaking at a conference in South Africa.
Barbara Schaier-Peleg, Director of the National Center for Educational Alliances
BCC Global Initiative (Retired)
As I reflect on Dr. Williams’ life, it is difficult not to initially feel sad that her indomitable spirit is silenced. But then I quickly remember the impact she had on the many people she touched...Read More 
Clockwise, Top: In a Senegalese classroom; University of Zululand;
Senegal University.
David A. Taylor, AVP for Campus Operations
In the Book of the Proverbs, Chapter 31, a wise king recounts the counsel of his mother. This chapter of the Bible goes on to describe what is known as “The Proverbs 31 Woman,” one whose “price is far above rubies...” Read More
L to R: Donovan Thompson, David Taylor, Peter Barbatis, Dr. Williams, Jitinder Walia, Mary Rogan, Mary Coleman.
Jitinder Walia, Director of the Early
Childhood Center
Dr. Carolyn Williams will always be special to me and the families of the Children’s Center for her love, support and passion in the happening of this amazing building that we are so proud of...Read More 
Planting a tree near Language Hall.
Remo Cosentino, Graphic Designer and
Hall of Fame Tour Guide
In 2009, 12 years after my forced retirement, I missed working. Luckily for me, there was a position for a designer in the Communications Department of Bronx Community College. I went to the interview and was accepted...Read More
Run the Bronx Award Ceremony; with Dr. Brown and Congressman José E. Serrano.
Scholarship and Memorial Service
Plans are in the works for the establishment of a scholarship in President Williams’ memory. In the fall, there will be an online memorial service for Dr. Williams where her colleagues, friends and family from across the country will come together to celebrate her remarkable life. Information on both of these tributes will be forthcoming. In the meantime, let all of us at Bronx Community College continue the legacy of President Carolyn G. Williams by recommitting ourselves to the BCC credo of strength through diversity and excellence.
Quote of the Week
"The woman is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent persons and the love of children; who has filled her niche and accomplished her task; who leaves the world better than she found it...who looked for the best in others and gave the best she had."
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) was a Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer.
UPDATE is published by the BCC Office of Communications & Marketing.
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