Philanthropist and broadcast media owner Armstrong Williams was inducted into South Carolina State University’s prestigious Thomas E. Miller Society. The honor recognizes Williams’ professional achievements and his generosity. Williams, a 1981 S.C. State graduate, has given more money than any alumni since the institution’s founding.
Williams’ financial support is part loyalty to an institution that nurtured his leadership and part good business. While a student, Williams served as president of the student government association for two terms. Founded in 1896 as a land grant college, S.C. State University has launched the careers of the nation’s top business, government and technology leaders.
Many like Williams see the support of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities as a wise investment. The success achieved by HBCU graduates is evidence of the return on that investment.
While HBCUs only represent 3% of all higher-education institutions, they graduate 40% of all Black engineers, 40% of all Black U.S. Congressmen, 50% of all Black lawyers, and 80% of all Black judges.
In his acceptance speech, Williams saluted his parents for instilling in him a moral compass and a work ethic that is the foundation of his success. “I want to be the best representative of my mother and my father, my joy. Even in their sleep, they’re still my inspiration and my guide because what they gave us no one can take away. They were the best department of health, education and welfare when I was growing up.”
On the grounds of S.C. State, Williams has built and dedicated a rose garden to the memory of his mother, Thelma Howard Williams.
1) Armstrong Williams 2) Thomas E. Miller Society 3) Armstrong Williams pictured with his brother South Carolina state representative Kent Williams. 4) Williams at the Thelma Howard Williams Rose Garden on S.C. State's campus.