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Former community college trustee dies

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Emory Williams, long-time teacher at Evanston Township High School and former chair of the Oakton Community College Board of Trustees, has died.

Williams, 91, worked from 1967 to 1994 at ETHS, including as head of the school's vocational education programs, and then served on the OCC board from 2003 to 2009. He died on Monday, April 25.

From 2011 to 2015, he sponsored the Kenny Jackson Williams Memorial Scholarship at Oakton to support a full- or part-time minority student attending the school.

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“Emory understood in his bones what it meant to be a trustee and to hold the college in trust for the community it serves,” said Oakton President Emerita Margaret B. Lee, Ph.D., who retired last year. “He believed in the power of education to transform lives and was a passionate advocate for access and opportunity for all. Also, Emory inspired so many students, faculty, staff and administrators at the college. His words, work and life were a beacon of leadership and a promise of possibility for so many. Emory championed Oakton’s commitment to diversity and we are all beneficiaries of his vision for the college.”

“I think there are many youngsters in our district who could or should look into Oakton for their training and education,” Williams said in a 2003 article in the college newspaper. “They can get one or two years of college-transfer-type programs for little or no money. There are also many people who could take advantage of training programs and within one or two years could end up with a decent paying job.”

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