African Heritage Room Committee Scholarship - Graduate

This scholarship supports graduate students for study abroad in Africa in summer.

African Heritage Room Graduate Scholarship in Remembrance of Florence Williams

Florence Williams received her Bachelor's degree from Fisk University, and her graduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education in 1947.  She was employed by the Pittsburgh Public School System for over 30 years.

She was one of the founding members of the African Heritage Classroom Committee (AHCC), whose charter was to raise funds for the creation of the African Heritage Room.  She never sought the spotlight, but worked closely with a multitude of committee chairs to provide students and the community-at-large with programming related to Africa.  Throughout her life she traveled all over the world and loved to share her adventures with all who would listen.

Florence had a beautiful soul and a wonderful personality.  She found no task to be beneath her.  She would do everything from stuffing envelopes during AHCC’s membership drives, to setting tables and assisting with the clean up when AHCC hosted the Nationality Rooms Program Decoration Day Luncheon.  During a heated debate about whether the committee should invest in the development of a website, she brought it to an abrupt end by presenting a check for $1500 to cover half of the cost.  Her disappointment with us not moving forward with the project never dampened her generosity when funding was required for other endeavors.

Upon her death, she bequeathed over $100,000 to the African Heritage Room Endowment Fund for students seeking to travel to, and engage in educational experiences, in Africa.  Her singular gift doubled an Endowment that took the committee almost 30 years to achieve.  Her kindness, charity, and life well-lived has been an inspiration to us all.