Local Funeral Home Director Receives Honorary Degree from Morris College

June 02, 2021

Since 1945, Williams Funeral Home, Inc. has been serving the Sumter, S.C. community. Although Williams Funeral Home, Inc. is best known for its role in helping family members celebrate the lives of beloved ones, Williams Funeral Home has a deep history of being connected with Morris College. “When I was younger and growing up, students from around the country would stay in the five bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs when they didn’t have money to stay on campus,” said Reverend James E. Williams, vice president of Williams Funeral Home. Rev. Williams, who is a long-time supporter of Morris College credits his love for Morris College to his late parents, Rev. Frank E. Williams, Sr. and Mrs. Magnolia Williams. Reverend James E. Williams and his father are both graduates of Morris College and Reverend James E. Williams and his mother are both presidential citation recipients from Morris College.

When Reverend James E. Williams is not making funeral arrangements, he excitedly participates in community outreach and serves as a mentor to Morris College students. “I attend on-campus events; speak with current students about finances, how to manage money, and buy houses; and I have taken students to buy groceries and we have delivered them to impoverished families.” He has also taken students to the YMWCA to visit with battered women. Reverend Williams’ philanthropy and giving spirit has not stopped there. “With the same thought in mind” of how “I convinced my mother before she passed to establish a scholarship at Morris College in my father’s name,” “I gave $10,000 to establish the Magnolia Robinson Williams Scholarship fund so as long as Morris College is in existence, there will be students receiving money from that scholarship in memorial to my mother and father,” said Rev. Williams.  

Reverend James E. Williams is also one of the three recipients and only Morris College alumnus to receive an honorary degree from Morris College during the commencement convocation on May 1, 2021.