Williams Family Legacy
Outstanding Athletes, Dedicated Teachers and Committed Volunteers
When Matthew Williams graduates from UMD this spring, he will add yet another notable accomplishment to the Williams family legacy. Matthew will be the third generation Williams to graduate from UMD following in his father and mother, and grandfather's footsteps. And he also carries on the Williams tradition as outstanding athletes, dedicated teachers and committed volunteers--a family legacy which deeply enriches our community.
Matthew was a stand-out basketball player at UMD, and captain of the team. This year he received the Shjon Podein Award for Community Service from the UMD Athletics Department for his volunteer service with the Special Olympics. A special athlete, whom he has mentored for years, was at his side when he received the award in ceremonies at the DECC. Matthew plans to spend the summer in New Zealand completing his student teaching, and will return to UMD next fall to earn his certification in special education. He will also work as UMD basketball coach Gary Holquist's student assistant coach.
Matthew's proud grandfather is long-time Duluth teacher and community volunteer, Bob Williams. The senior Williams graduated from UMD in 1943--then Minnesota State Teachers College. While in college he earned 10 letters in three different sports, was UMD Student Association president and president of his senior class. Bob taught high school physical education in Duluth for 35 years (17 years at Duluth East and 18 years at Duluth Central). He has a long history of civic volunteer work with a host of organizations, and in 1992 he was presented the Duluth Hall of Fame Award. He still continues his active volunteer work in the community.
Matthew's parents, Tedd Williams and Cassie Olsen Williams met while attending UMD. Excellent athletes, Cassie was named the "Outstanding Senior Athlete" in her Richfield High School class, and Tedd was an award-winning high school swimmer. Cassie was on the UMD tennis team. Both graduated from UMD in 1980. Tedd later went on to earn his masters degree. Tedd taught school, and is now a master sergeant with the Air National Guard in the field of public health. Cassie is a signer for deaf students in the Duluth public schools. They have four children; Matthew is the oldest.
UMD congratulates these three generations of the Williams family--outstanding athletes, dedicated teachers and committed volunteers--a family legacy truly enriching our community.