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David Williams II

Posted by on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 in Uncategorized.

David Williams II

Portrait Details:

Artist: Simmie Knox

Year: 2019

Location: Kirkland Hall



Born and raised in Detroit, David Williams II was Vanderbilt University’s first African American vice chancellor and the first African American athletics director in the Southeastern Conference. He also served as general counsel and secretary of the university. As athletics director, Williams focused on elevating the student-athlete experience and highlighting the intersection of sports and society. The Commodores won four national championships under Williams’ leadership, including in bowling, baseball and women’s tennis. Williams emphasized the need to recognize Vanderbilt’s history during the civil rights movement, helping the university to reconcile with the first African American basketball players at Vanderbilt, Perry Wallace and Godfrey Dillard. He was also active in the Nashville community; he served on the boards and councils of numerous organizations, including the Nashville Sports Council, the Nashville Symphony and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, where he chaired the Sports Fund Advisory Board. He died on Feb. 8, 2019, at age 71, one week after stepping down from his role as vice chancellor and athletics director to return to teaching full time as a professor of law at Vanderbilt Law School. The university’s David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center was named after Williams in 2019.

Additional recognitions, awards and news

Remarkable Life of David Williams II celebrated

David Williams II, trailblazer and former Vanderbilt University vice chancellor and athletics director has died

What’s on My Mind: David Williams

Athletics hosts MLK Day visit to civil rights movement sites; annual trip to be named for David Williams

David Williams receives inaugural legacy award from AVBA

Sports and Society Initiative launches new series examining Olympics from diverse angles

Photos and videos of David Williams II

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