John Jay Chapter Chair Carl Williams died unexpectedly August 7, following a short illness. He was 50 years old.
Born in Grenada, Williams migrated to the United States where he pursued his passion for education. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Baruch College, going on to doctoral studies at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Williams joined the John Jay faculty in 1994, where he became a much-loved counselor in the SEEK program.
Dedicated to his students, Williams was known for encouraging them to set high goals and excel. He was also an effective union leader who fought for better working conditions for PSC members at John Jay. “I loved Carl and had great respect for his political courage,” said PSC President Barbara Bowen. “What everyone noticed first was that smile, but Carl also had a backbone of steel.”
“The loss of Carl Williams will be difficult for many members of our community to fathom,” John Jay President Jeremy Travis wrote in an August message to the college. Travis wrote that Williams had “touched hundreds of lives” in his work at John Jay.
Williams is survived by Diane, his wife of 22 years, and his two children, Andre, 16, and Janelle, 20. Those wishing to donate to a college fund established for Williams’s children should contact the John Jay College provost’s office.