Remembering Dr. Carolyn G. Williams: 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, soon becoming actively involved in our National Center for Educational Alliances.
In addition to her demanding domestic duties, Carolyn sometimes traveled with our teams to South Africa, ran workshops and shared in the collaborative programs that Barbara and I —and later Andy Rowan and Gene Adams — were overseeing.
A highlight and point of pride for Carolyn and all of us was her honorary doctorate, awarded by the University of Kwazulu-Natal.
She stole moments to visit local art galleries, and bold paintings by South African artists subsequently transformed her beautiful presidential offices at BCC into a tribute to Black heritage.
Carolyn was an intelligent, knowing and compassionate leader and friend. She will be deeply missed.