Williams receives Belk Center ‘Trailblazer Profile’ honor

Published 5:37 pm Friday, May 13, 2022

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AHOSKIE – Dr. Murray J. Williams has been recognized with a Trailblazer Profile by the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research.

“The Belk Center is happy to announce the Trailblazer Profile for Dr. Murray Jean Williams, “states Audrey J. Jaeger, Ph.D, Executive Director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research. “Part of the North Carolina Community College System’s (NCCCS) History Project, the Trailblazer Profiles highlight and celebrate the work of Asian, Black, Indigenous and Latin leaders in the NCCCS focusing on the work of current and former community college presidents and system leaders.”

Dr. Murray J. Williams

Dr. Williams is one of three female women of color currently serving as presidents in the 58-school community college system in North Carolina.

From rural Mississippi, Dr. Williams says her interest in education was influenced by her mother, an early childhood teacher. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Delta State University and her master’s degree in Christian education at Luther Rice College & Seminary. She earned a Master of Divinity in theological studies and a doctorate in educational leadership from Liberty University. She also received a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Liberty University.

Her path to becoming a college president began as director of curriculum and planning at Atlanta Technical College, where she also held additional leadership positions. She served as vice president of adult education at Southern Crescent Technical College in Georgia prior to accepting the position as president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College.

“Foremost, is the idea that students must come first,” says Dr. Williams. “Here at the college, I try to make sure that everything we do focuses on them. I really believe that if we put students first, everything else will follow.”

The Trailblazer Profile located on the Belk Center website states, “there are many great values that guide Dr. Murray Jean Williams, but her philosophy for success in leadership is simple. Put students first, always remain humble, and find your voice. That thinking, paired with the professional lessons she’s learned along the way, has made her the community college president she is today.”

“I don’t see this as a job, I see it as a calling. In my heart of hearts, that’s how I feel about my presidency, even on the hard days,” states Dr. Williams. “I always try to achieve more to be at my best. I’m always working to represent African Americans and women the best that I can.”

The profile is written in conjunction with the collection of an oral Project Archives. The interviews were conducted by members of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership staff in spring, summer, fall 2021 and spring 2022.

To read the full Trailblazer Profile, visit https://belk-center.ced.ncsu.edu/ncccs-history-project-murray-jean-williams/ #BelkNCCCSTrlblzr

For more information about Roanoke-Chowan Community College, visit the website at www.roanokechowan.edu