Elouise Williams, a longtime supporter of and scholarship-raiser for Samford University, died Aug. 25.
A native of Pell City, Williams attended Judson College in Marion and graduated from the University of Alabama. She earned her master’s from Columbia University in New York. Before moving to Birmingham in the late 1970s, she taught school in Pell City, the hometown of her husband, Harold. In the fall of 2008, a new school there was named after them — the Elouise and Harold Williams Intermediate School.
Over the years, Williamses also developed deep ties to Samford University in Birmingham. Her two children, Richard and Anna, both graduated from Samford in the 1980s. From 1986 to 1990, Williams served as president of Samford Auxiliary — now called Legacy League — and in 1990 started an 18-year tenure as its coordinator.
In 2008, the Elouise Wilkins Williams Scholarship was officially established to coincide with her retirement from the organization. Legacy League now has a growing scholarship endowment due in large part to the Williamses’ generosity. Williams helped grow the volunteer organization from offering one $300 scholarship to sponsoring a $1 million endowment fund which enabled it to award $1,500 scholarships to 36 students at the time she stepped down. Today, Legacy League has 38 named scholarships.
In 2004, the Samford Alumni Association recognized the couple’s service by naming them the university’s first honorary alumni. Williams was a founding member of Samford’s board of overseers and a member of the executive council for Friends of Samford Arts. She and her husband were longtime members of Mountain Brook Baptist Church.
Williams is preceded in death by her husband and son. She is survived by her daughter.