2012 Baylor Alumnus / Young Alumnus of the Year
John Eddie Williams Jr., BBA '76, JD '78
Jay Brown, BBA '95
Awarded annually to a graduate over age 40 and age 40 or under who have demonstrated remarkable achievement in the previous year.
John Eddie Williams Jr.
Alumnus of the Year
"It is important to set and pursue your goals" – John Eddie Williams first learned these words from his father and grandfather, both hard working longshoremen. They are words he would hear again as one of the first football recruits to join Grant Teaff at Baylor University. And they are words he has applied over and over throughout his exceptional legal career. First among his class at Baylor Law School and editor-in-chief of the Baylor Law Review, John Eddie found his calling in the practice of law. He clerked at several larger corporate firms, but was drawn to advocacy on behalf of those for whom the law may be their only protection. Fighting for justice is what motivates him and what he finds most rewarding. John Eddie and his wife Sheridan also have a profound passion for giving back to Baylor – providing a lead gift to the Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law School, establishing scholarships for Baylor athletes and most recently becoming Baylor Stadium Founders, providing generous support to help launch construction of the new on-campus stadium.
Thank you John Eddie, for your enduring commitment to your university. As the Baylor Bears enter John Eddie Williams Field at Baylor Stadium in fall of 2014, Baylor Nation will know that your generosity is fueling Baylor's bright future.
Young Alumnus of the Year
Jay Brown chose Baylor because he believed Baylor's low teacher-student ratio and emphasis on teaching would ensure a great education. Jay received that education and much more. As an accounting major, Jay had a number of classes under master teacher Bill Thomas. Dr. Thomas took a personal interest in the young student - challenging him, mentoring him, and hosting Jay and other students for meals in his home. Dr. Thomas was an example to Jay of a true servant leader. And Jay vowed that he would live a life of service to others. Today, Jay is senior vice president and chief financial officer for Crown Castle International, an S&P 500 telecommunications company. Jay and wife Ashley, also a Baylor Bear, have 6 children, 2 of whom they adopted from Ethiopia. Jay and Ashley are active advocates for the rescue of orphans and believe this work is a reflection of what God has done for each person who believes in Him. Jay also has committed his time to the provision of clean water in the world's most impoverished areas and serves on the advisory board for Living Water, a Houston-based nonprofit that drills wells and provides other clean-water solutions. Jay continues to stay connected to Baylor University and enthusiastically follows Baylor athletics and generously supports student scholarships.
Jay, we are grateful you found your academic home and shaped your future at Baylor. Thank you for setting an example for young alumni by living your life in service to the world and your university.