Thelma Williams received an honorary doctorate degree as a early present shy of her 91st birthday from Bethesda Biblical Institute earlier this year.
Many youngsters dream of going to college one day and becoming a great leader, but for the Grambling, Louisiana, resident, retired teacher, community leader and honorary historian, Dr. Thelma Alice Smith Washington Williams, her new title of Dr. was indeed a honor.
According to Attorney E. Faye Williams, Ph.D, D.D., president of the National Congress of Black Women and Suzanne Mayo, Ph.D., president, Mynette Management Company and goddaughter of Williams who recommended her to receive the doctor of Divinity – Education and Community Service degree that they thought was long overdue.
“We simply could not be honored ourselves with the honorary degrees without recognizing one of Grambling’s most prize possessions – Thelma Williams, who for more than 60 years has given to others similar to how Jesus served others,” said Dr. Mayo. Her daughters Alicia, Carla and Alyson were asked for permission to recommend Williams and they agreed.
Joining Dr. Williams in receiving honorary degrees were 69 individuals from across the southern United States including, Grambling State University alums, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Dr. Suzanne Mynette Mayo, John Williams, and Esther Johnson, 93 year-old mother of E. Faye Williams, a community activist from Alexandria, Louisiana.
Williams is said to be honored and humbled by this recognition, but says she has many other things that are keeping her busy these days as she gets ready this week to celebrate her 91st birthday on January 14, 2016. We salute her today as Dr. Williams, Grambling and Lincoln Parish’s Honorary Historian indeed!
As an early Christmas present, Williams received her honorary doctorate on December 21, 2015 in a formal ceremony in Metairie, Louisiana ordained by Rev. Dr. Mahan Lai, bishop and president of the Bethesda Biblical Institute, World Ecumenical Accreditation Network, UP, India and Rev. Dr. Art Rocker, Bishop, Salt Lake Biblical Institute, U.S.A., Tampa, Florida.