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University Mourns Passing of Billy Williams

January 28, 2016
Former football letterwinner, successful businessman and generous benefactor of the University, Billy Williams, BBA ’63, died Dec. 14 at the age of 74.

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Billy Williams, a cherished member of our Baylor family,” said Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr. “Billy was a remarkably generous man whose enthusiastic spirit and deep love for the University enriched the lives of so many in the Baylor community.”

Williams lettered in football in 1962 on a John Bridgers-coached team that included star quarterback Don Trull, who was Williams’ roommate. After graduating with a degree in finance, Williams joined the First National Bank of Fort Worth’s executive training program and earned an MBA from TCU in 1965.

In 2012, Williams was named by the Baylor “B” Association to its Wall of Honor, which recognizes Baylor letterwinners and graduates whose meritorious accomplishments in public or private life following graduation have brought positive public recognition, credit and honor to Baylor and its athletic department.

Williams and his wife Elaine provided the lead gift for the Williams Family Soccer and Olympic Sports Center in 2013. The center, which opened in fall 2015, houses Baylor’s soccer program and other Olympic sports. In October 2015, Baylor’s Board of Regents announced another multimillion dollar lead gift from the Williams family to name a planned golf practice facility near campus for Baylor’s nationally recognized men’s and women’s golf teams.

The Williams family also established two endowed scholarships at Baylor, the A.J. and Marie Williams Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund in Football and the Bill and Elaine Williams Family Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund, and were generous supporters of the Beauchamp Athletics Nutrition Center, the Baylor “B” Association and the Baylor Bear Foundation.

“Baylor athletics is deeply saddened by the passing of Billy Williams, and we offer our heartfelt condolences to Elaine and his family who remain in our thoughts and prayers during this time,” said Ian McCaw, vice president and director of athletics. “Billy was a loyal friend and kind man who was enthusiastic in his passion and support of Baylor athletics. He made a tremendous impact on current and future student-athletes, and we are deeply indebted to him.”

Williams is survived by his wife, Elaine, of Naples, Florida; three grown and married children, Zachary, Elizabeth and Andrew; and seven grandchildren. “We lift up in prayer Billy’s dear wife, Elaine, and the entire Williams family, to ask that God may comfort and encourage them during this difficult time,” Judge Starr said. “While we grieve the loss of Billy’s friendship and dedication to his alma mater, we celebrate his extraordinary life and his great legacy of generosity to our University – a legacy that will continue to support Baylor’s mission and its students, both now and for years to come.”

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