Plaques on wall

Another donor is being honored at WOUB

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A plaque for Ed Williams was recently hung on the wall honoring major donors

ATHENS, OH – A second plaque has gone up on the wall of the third floor of the Radio and Television Building outside the WOUB newsroom. The newest plaque honors former WOUB Engineer Ed Williams’ recent donation to his endowed fund supporting WOUB students. The donation increased the award amount for the Edmund A. Williams Technology Oriented Leadership Award, which is given to at least one WOUB student annually, from $500 to $2000. WOUB students apply for the award and the winner is selected by WOUB professional staff members.

“I’m humbled, of course, but also gratified and pleased that students will see these two awards and realize there is something important to work toward and receive recognition while getting their education at Ohio University and WOUB,” said Williams. “It also allows students to see that grads and former staff care enough to give back to keep the integrity and competency of the WOUB experience going.”

Williams’ plaque is located right next to one honoring Doug Drew ‘78. The two are the first to make six-figure donations which exclusively support students at WOUB. Drew’s donation established the Doug Drew WOUB Student Professional Development Fund which is used to provide general support for professional development experiences for students involved with WOUB to prepare them for careers in media.

Williams worked at WOUB from 1961 – 1974. He went on to work for PBS, where he was part of the team that developed captioning for the deaf and helped build the PBS Satellite Interconnection System for 50 stations nationwide. Williams also worked for the National Association of Broadcasters and the Advanced Television Test Center, before returning to PBS in 1992 to work on the implementation of digital television. He retired from PBS in 2005. In 2007, he moved to The Villages, an active adult community in central Florida.

During his time at WOUB, Williams worked with and trained students in the installation and maintenance of radio and television equipment. Through that work, Williams was able to see how much students benefited from the hands-on experience they gained working at a professional PBS and NPR member station.

Williams hopes to see many other plaques on the wall alongside his and Drew’s very soon.

“Mainly, I believe, it shows current students that past graduates have achieved goals and launched careers because the school and staff and former students cared about them and made it possible to do so. Giving back is a way to say ‘thank you’ for the opportunity to achieve those goals in broadcasting and related media techniques and make an exciting career. Just look at the roster of grads and what they are doing in life,” said Williams. “If a graduate, after achieving career goals, and maybe retiring, has a few resources left over that might otherwise go to a lesser cause, they should contact WOUB and they will find out how easy it is to establish a student award. I did and I’m a much happier person for having done it. Now I like the idea that there are only a few award plaques currently on the wall. But I would love for mine to be lost among dozens of plaques. How cool would that be?”