A Tribute to Dr. Anna Marie Williams
Dr. Anna Marie Williams came to the University of Wisconsin – Parkside right at the point where they were transitioning from their local campus to the new campus where it exists today, on their beautiful grounds in Kenosha County. Dr. Williams worked tirelessly to pursue excellence from the students and faculty in developing an exceptional Pre-Med Program, which, under the careful hands of her successors, continues even today with Dr. Brian Lewis guiding the program. I had the good fortune of meeting up with her almost immediately upon entering the university as I had declared the pre-med track as my plan.
A Relentless Pursuit of Excellence
As with so many other students thorough the years, she took the initiative to seek me out and provided intense guidance from day one. She was no-nonsense. She never minced words. She was tireless in her efforts to push us toward excellence and ultimately toward our goals. To say that she was dedicated is such an understatement. There was rarely a time day or night that you would not find her at the university and she would always encourage us and behind the scenes be advocating for us. To have her as a guidance counselor in this process was absolutely valuable and I feel that I can say without a doubt hat she is one of the people along side of my parents and my wife without whom I would have never made it through.
Trail of Legacy
Once I was finished with professional school and residency, we came back to this area and I had the pleasure of working with her on a number of different projects including her scholarship fund and the DOC’s program. Over the years I would speak to her regularly and she always wanted updates on my family and my practice life. She continued to be deeply involved in many activities including the Anna Marie Williams Nature Trail at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside. In fact, her obituary mentions her endowed scholarship as a place for donations. When I met with her shortly before her death, the nature trail was something that was strong on her mind. Her desire to keep that going and developing was a wish that she had. The trail is still a developing project and if you are a lover of nature, this would be a great legacy to support.
It has been a distinct honor and privilege to know Anna Marie. I have always held her in high regard and respect as a mentor, teacher, and adviser. I also considered her my friend. I will truly miss her.
Dr. Richard M. Wagner
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