University community to celebrate founders


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (March 28, 2014) —Tuskegee University will celebrate its 97th Founders’ Day with a weekend of activities April 4-7. Events begin with a Welcome Chat & Chew with the university’s deans on April 4 at 11 a.m., followed by the President’s State of the University Address at 1:30 p.m. Both events will be held in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University. 

Maj. General (RET) Charles E. Williams

Dr. Tonea Stewart
Later, star of “In the Heat of the Night” Tonea Stewart will be the celebrity host for the Founders’ Day Gala with entertainment by The "Souled Out" Band. The gala will start at 7 p.m. in the grand ballroom of the Kellogg Hotel. 

On April 5, there will be a TNAA National Alumni Association’s National Day of Service 2:30 p.m. at the Booker T. Washington gravesite. On April 6 at the University Chapel, the 97th Annual Founders’ Day Convocation will be held at 9:30 a.m. The speaker will be retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, chairman of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees. 

Williams has had an exemplary engineering and construction management career, first in service to his country in the military and as a civilian. His outstanding leadership, innovative abilities and vision have contributed dramatically to the engineering and construction management profession.

Born and raised in Sawyerville, Alabama, Williams learned construction from his father. He went on to graduate from Tuskegee Institute with a BS Degree and then received a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Atlanta University. He also attended the Senior Manager in Government Program at Harvard University.

General Williams joined the Army Corps of Engineers in 1960. He spent twenty-nine years with the Corps, beginning his career as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam ferrying engineers under enemy fire to repair roads or install wells. As a colonel stationed in Germany, he was responsible for managing the massive modernization of the tank ranges to accommodate the new family of fighting vehicles. This was the Army’s largest troop construction project since World War II. As a Brigadier General, the Corps honored him with the assignment as Division Engineer, North Atlantic Division, with a design and construction budget of $2 billion. He was Program Manager for the replanning and rebuilding of Ft. Drum, New York, a $1.3 billion construction effort and was Appropriations Director for the Army’s $21 billion Operations and Maintenance budget.

After retiring from the Army in 1989, Williams served as President and CEO of the New York City School Construction Authority, a $4.3 billion public school building program that was the largest in the nation. Throughout this project, Williams' hands-on approach and "level playing field style” completely won over the subcontractors making for a better working relationship for both them and the Authority. The sense of service and commitment to getting the job done was the foundation of his success.

Following the Authority, Williams served as Chief Operating Officer of the Toll Road Investors Partnership II, responsible for managing the construction of the first private toll road in the USA in over 150 years. He received national attention and recognition for successfully completing this project six months ahead of schedule.

General Williams served as Director and Chief Operating Officer in the Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. He was responsible for managing day-to-day activities of Construction Management, Real Estate, Operations and Maintenance, Design and Engineering, Planning and Programming, and Budget Management of over 15,000 facilities in multiple locations abroad. In celebration of 50 completed compounds/facilities, Williams received recognition of his achievement and for his dedication in leadership and management, given by his staff with their thanks and appreciation.

He serves his community by serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. His most notable recognitions include his profile as ''Captain of Industry, in the Construction Business Review Magazine, induction into the Alabama Engineering Hall Of Fame and selection as one of Engineering News Record's (ENR) Marksmen.'' A few of his many accolades in a long, distinguished career include the Defense Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster; 24 Air Medals and three Army Commendation Medals.

For more information about Founders’ Day events, go to:

© 2014 Tuskegee University

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