Alumni Spotlight: Douglass Williams (’77) Enters the Distinguished Hall of Fame


ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: DOUGLAS WILLIAMS (’77) ENTERS THE DISTINGUISHED HALL OF FAME — Dr. Williams gives the class of 2021 advice on things to remember in life after graduation.

Haroun Ghazi, Staff Writer

Friday, May 14, 2021 Class Night was held in Central’s gym. During the award’s ceremony, 7 distinguished Alumni were inducted into the Distinguished Hall of Fame of Central Alumni and Supporters: Dr. Douglas Williams was among them.  Even after his graduation, Williams credits many of his teachers and peers for pushing him to be the best version of himself. 

Dr. Williams began attending Central during his sophomore year, and graduated in the Class of ‘77. Dr. Williams has been involved with Central High through his high school years and even after graduation.  Williams was a part of the Central Digest, and he served as C0-Editor in Chief alongside Butch Baxter. He also wrestled for the three years for the Pounders; he then became co-captain and district champion. In addition to these endeavors, he spent his sophomore and junior years serving class president.

“I have very fond memories of my time at Central, part of that fondness, as you might imagine, is experiences with my classmates,” remarked Williams. ”I also had a very important set of faculty mentors who encouraged and supported me along the way, including my coaches Steve Highlander and John Crawford, Principal Stan Farmer, Digest Sponsor and English Teacher Sarah Faires, History Teacher Dorothy Stone, and Priscilla Stone, the Senior Play advisor.”

Williams comes from a long line of Central graduates. Both of Williams’ parents attend Central High at the Dodds Avenue location, and his sister Cheryl Williams was the salutatorian of the Class of ‘76. His brother, Dave Williams, who also excelled academically, earned the title of Valedictorian of the Class of ‘84.

“I really loved being a part of the Central Digest staff and working together toward the goal of being an award winning newspaper. My classmates were very talented and fun,” recalled Williams. 

Many of Dr. William’s fondest memories have been at Central. He shared many exciting experiences about his extra curricular activities. Williams reminisced on the fun times he had with the wrestling team, and especially the times he shared with the Digest and his classmates. 

After graduating from Central, Williams attended Sewanee.  Before going to graduate school to earn his Ph.D at Northwestern in Chicago in economics, he worked in the family printing business.  Throughout his college career, he was able to start a family and raise two children. 

For most of his career, Dr. Williams has been a professor in economics, specializing in labor economics. However, his career took a detour when serving at Carleton College in Northfield, MN and in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as City Economist. He came back to Sewanee in 1999 as an economics professor, and he later served as Chair of the Economics Department. For the last six years, he has served at the University of the South as Chief Financial Officer.

Williams has a shared feeling which can be seen across all students of Central: he has countless fond memories of his Alma mater . One of the core values of the Digest is not only producing quality work but also enjoying oneself every single day. Williams exhibited this during his time on the Digest.  Williams reflected the business experience and personal relationships he built while selling ads for the Central Digest.

Williams continues to represent the very best of Central every day. Everyone here at the Digest wishes the best to one of our own!