David Williams II
Artist: Simmie Knox
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. 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 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.