MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Amidst the pomp and circumstance of 330 graduating seniors from Albany State University, one Marine officer was honored for his tireless efforts to increase the pool of business logistics professionals Saturday.
Lt. Gen. Willie J. Williams, director, Marine Corps Staff, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree for his pivotal role in establishing a bachelor’s degree in logistics and supply chain management at ASU.
“Lieutenant General Williams is unique among armed services personnel and among individuals connected to the academic community because he fully grasps the interconnection between higher education and military affairs,” said Dr. Everette Freeman, president, ASU. “It was my honor and pleasure to award him the honorary doctorate because he truly epitomizes the Marine Corps slogan, ‘Earned, never given.’”
An excerpt from the citation reads: “You have a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Marine Corps. From June 2005 - 2009, you served as the commanding general of Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Ga. During this time, you played a vital role in the betterment of southwest Georgia through educational opportunities, economic development and community service. Your expertise in logistics management was pivotal in the establishment of logistics degrees and the establishment of the Center for Advanced Logistics at Albany State University.”
The commencement speaker, Dr. Esther Brimmer, assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, was warmly welcomed by the more than 7,000 graduates, family members and friends gathered at the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center, Albany, Ga.
Brimmer was appointed to her current position by President Barack Obama in March 2009 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in April 2009.
Paraphrasing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she told the graduates, “The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” she said. “We believe in you because you believe in yourselves.You have the opportunity to create the changes you seek to create your own arc of history.”
Dr. Anthony Parker, president, Albany Technical College, said, “Lieutenant General Williams cares very much about the Marines in his charge and the civilians who fabricate the equipment that keeps them safe. He has encouraged Marines and civilians in his command to enhance their potential and expand horizons. I can think of no one more deserving of the friend of the college designation from Albany Technical College or and honorary doctorate of philosophy from Albany State University. It has been my privilege to work with him.”
“I am extremely honored, yet humbled, to be recognized in this manner by Doctor Freeman and Albany State University. I accept this Honorary Doctorate Degree in a grateful spirit of respect, and will continue doing my best to achieve excellence in service to God, country and Corps, while building on the fine tradition and legacy we have come to expect of faculty and students of the university.”
Williams was also awarded an honorary doctorate May 25, 2001, from his alma mater, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala.