The Evangel University Alumni Association will present Jim Williams, vice president for institutional advancement, with a 2012 Distinguished Service Award on Saturday, Oct. 13, during Evangel’s homecoming banquet. The event will take place at the University Plaza Convention Center.
The 2012 recipients also include Gary Liddle, associate professor of theology, and his wife Faye Liddle, administrative assistant in athletics.
“Distinguished Service Awards are given to recognize faculty, staff and friends of Evangel University for outstanding contributions to the university,” said Chuck Cox, director of alumni relations. “The awards are given at the discretion of the alumni board.”
A history of service
Williams began at Evangel in 1980 as associate professor of mathematics and computer science. For the last 14 years, he has served as vice president for institutional advancement.
“The contribution Jim Williams has made to this university is immeasurable,” said President Robert H. Spence. “He has served Evangel well for 33 years, providing vision and leadership. He has been an innovator for the university in the areas of computers and technology, serving as director of academic computing from 1985 to 1997. Under his direction, the first computer labs were created, the internet was introduced and made accessible, and many subsequent evolutions and improvements were implemented. He truly spearheaded our timely advancement through the computer age.
“Many people may not even know Williams’ history of contribution to this campus,” Spence continued. “When he became vice president of institutional advancement, he officially took on the mantle of advancing the university. His guidance and perseverance through capital campaigns have resulted in the transformation of our campus. Endowments have increased nearly eight-fold. Because of his leadership, our campus has developed, our reputation has been enhanced, and our vision has expanded. We truly owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Williams. He is most deserving of the Distinguished Service Award.”
Cox has worked under Williams’ leadership in the division of institutional advancement.
“Our division has been the beneficiary of Jim’s leadership and deep desire to further the mission of the university,” said Cox. “This you can count on with Jim . . . whatever he does, he will do to perfection, with creativity and attention to detail. He is spiritually sensitive, and his decisions and actions are immersed in prayer.”
A personal commitment
Williams’ commitment to Evangel begins with his time as a student. He attended in the 1960’s, graduating with a B.S. in mathematics in 1963. He was active in student government and played on the basketball team. He also holds an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Arkansas.
From 1963 to 1966, he taught high school math. After obtaining his M.A., he began work for IBM as a computer systems specialist for the IBM Space Systems Center in Huntsville, Ala. He took the position of manager of computer technical services for the Missouri Department of Social Services in Jefferson City, Mo., in 1976 and served in that position four years before joining the faculty of Evangel.
Beginning in 1994, Williams took on the role of grants coordinator at Evangel, in addition to his duties as teacher and director of academic computing. He has written numerous successful grant proposals which have resulted in funding for endowments and capital projects.
In addition to his contributions to Evangel’s progress in technology, Williams also assisted the Assemblies of God in this arena. In 1982, he helped the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary to establish an online registration system. He also helped Berean College (now Global University) bring computers to their operations, and in 1983, he became a consultant for Central Bible College’s computer lab. He taught introduction to computing there for three years.
Williams married his college sweetheart, 1963 Evangel homecoming queen Faye (Thornton,’64). They have three children, all of whom have graduated from Evangel University — Diane (Williams, ’89) Brusherd and her husband, Jon, ’83; David Williams, ’91; and Doug Williams, ’99. They also have seven grandchildren.
Williams enjoys spending time with his family, cooking and singing for church services and events.
For additional information, contact Chuck Cox at (417) 865-2815, ext. 7333.