Betty Akins recently established the Edna Shutts Williams Endowed Chair through her estate with the Fort Hays State University Endowment Association in honor of her late mother, Edna Shutts Williams.
After attending a one-room school through the eighth grade, Williams continued her education at Hays High School, graduating in 1918. She continued her education at Kansas State Teachers College, presently known as FHSU, in 1926 where she received her bachelor's degree in education. Williams went on to teach in Clemenceau, AZ, until she married Elmer Williams in 1929. Despite hearing and health problems, Williams was always interested in current events, changes in education, politics and the stock market. She died in 2001 at the age of 102.
Established in honor of Williams's life, the endowed chair is the highest honor FHSU can bestow upon a faculty member. It is used to attract, retain or reward individuals who are recognized nationally or internationally for accomplishments in teaching, scholarly publication, research and creative endeavors. It will be awarded to a deserving faculty member within the College of Education.
Earnings from the Williams Chair fund will provide funding for the endowed chair position, and additional funding for the honor will be provided through the Faculty Distinction Program, with matching money from the State of Kansas.
Williams also established an endowed scholarship fund with the FHSU Endowment Association. The Edna Shutts Williams Education Scholarship is awarded to education majors who are interested in classroom planning and student interaction.
Williams's contributions to FHSU will allow for high-quality FHSU faculty and students for many years.