The Success Story of Neil Williams '61 (1939-2009)
"When I was at MacMurray the times were different, the girls had a ten o'clock curfew, drinking was not allowed and residential students were not permitted to have cars. But my time at MacMurray taught me how to study, when to study, how to manage time and to make lists. I never made a list before I came to MacMurray, but these things proved to be valuable in time. Bill Wall, the basketball coach, and Vic Shepherd, a professor and advisor at the onset of the men's college, left a lasting impression on me. Meeting my wife, Joan, is important to my success, but the thing I remember most about MacMurray is that if you ever had trouble in any class, there was always someone there to sit down with you and explain things to you, no matter how long it took. You just can't find that in a larger school."
Neil Williams graduated from MacMurray College in 1961 with a bachelor of science degree in physical education. While a student in the first class of men at MacMurray, Williams played soccer, basketball and baseball; was honored as a member of the Hall of Fame, was president of the Varsity "M" Club and captain of the baseball team, in which he lettered four times. Williams continued his interest in physical education by receiving a master of science degree at Ohio University in 1962. He also took a fellowship to pursue a doctoral degree at Ohio University and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 1963 to 1966.
Williams spent 12 years in education as a high school principal in Kansas City, the academic dean of a community college in Kansas City, and dean of students at Huntington College in Huntington, Indiana. After leaving education, he owned two companies: a manufacturing company, J.M. & W. Co., Inc. and a company of manufacturing representatives, Williams and Associates, from 1972 to 1993. After turning these companies over to his cousin, Williams retired from the manufacturing business and became the executive director of the Four Seasons Racquet and Fitness Club from 1995 to 1999. He also served more than 10 years as a member of the Village of Four Seasons Board of Trustees, as mayor and vice-mayor.
Williams was also a member of the MacMurray College Board of Trustees until he passed in December 2009. In addition, he has served as a board member of Mark Twain Bank and Empire State Bank, Research Mental Health Association of Kansas City, Rotary International, and Hillcrest Country Club of Kansas City, where he is a past president.
Maintaining his interests in athletics, Williams was a basketball referee for 30 years on the high school, collegiate and international levels, which took him throughout Asia and Europe. He was also a collegiate soccer official for 25 years.
He and his wife, Joan Shaw Williams '58, have one son, Tim.
A fund has been established in Neil's honor. If you would like more information, please contact the Office of Institutional Advancement at 217-479-7024.