Houston, Texas, Dec. 9, 2021 – Houston Baptist University (HBU) has named Dr. Diane ‘93 and Stanley Williams as the “2021 Family of the Year” for their long-standing support and commitment to the University.
“Diane and Stanley Williams are pillars and heroes of HBU. The family has a long history of involvement with the University, having supported us in multiple projects over many years. They’ve been part of every building project and every fundraising campaign the University has ever undertaken, but more than that, they provided leadership and guidance in many other ways. They have served the University in volunteer capacities, have been part of campus beautification, the mascot program, and the long-range planning of HBU. Diane is a proud alumna and has been a trustee for my entire time as University president and was the chair of the committee that brought Sue and me to HBU. Sue and I are proud to claim them as close friends. They are incredibly deserving of this designation of the 2021 Family of the Year,” said HBU President Dr. Robert Sloan.
Diane and Stanley Williams have left a lasting imprint on the University. The couple played key roles in fundraising and construction of the Morris Cultural Arts Center and Belin Chapel and funded the adjacent, Williams Fountain, which serves as a place of rest and spiritual reflection. As members of the HBU Football Founders Touchdown Club, they are among the benefactors whose generosity helped establish intercollegiate football at HBU. The couple also helped the University adopt its current mascot, Kiza, and continue to support the live mascot program. They also established an endowed academic scholarship at HBU to honor their children and extended family and donated two rare Chinese bibles to HBU’s Dunham Bible Museum.
In a 2007 issue of HBU News, Diane Williams said, “The most enjoyable aspect of my service to Houston Baptist University has been to see my whole family get involved … from my husband co-chairing the building campaign of the Morris Cultural Arts Cent to our grandchildren who have enjoyed Husky basketball games.”
The entrance of the Belin Chapel was named the Williams Chapel Foyer in the couple’s honor in 2007 in recognition of their generous support of the University, and in 2012, they were recognized as Spirit of Excellence Award recipients.
“Stanley and I are so thrilled and honored to be named HBU’s 2021 Family of the Year. Thank you so much for the privilege of representing HBU in this special way,” said Dr. Diane Williams.
Dr. Williams served as chair of the Presidential Search Committee which brought Dr. Robert Sloan Jr. to HBU as the University’s third president. A member of The Guild, Williams also has served as an HBU Board of Trustee since 1997 and was appointed Board Chair in 2005, the first woman to hold the post. In 2007, she received an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Humane Letters, from HBU.
Dr. Williams is an HBU alumna who has shared her Husky pride with her family, including her great-nephew, Ryan Sherrod, and her son-in-law Clay Trozzo, who earned an MBA from the University in 1996. Her daughter-in-law, Dena Williams, is also a member of The Guild.
“The Williams family represents the truest definition of “family” through their love and care for each other just as they have loved and cared for HBU,” said Dr. Sloan.
HBU Families of the Year exemplify Christian values and support HBU’s mission. The selected family is recognized at various events, and a tile is placed in the University’s Walk of Honor to commemorate them. Annually, a tree is planted on campus in each family’s honor.