In May, the University of Maine System trustees voted to change the name of C.C. Little Hall to Beryl Warner Williams Hall. Beryl Warner Williams ’35, ’40G, ’72 Hon. was the first Black graduate to earn a degree in mathematics at UMaine.
“She serves as a model and exemplifies the kinds of accomplishments that we wish to honor in this new name,” said UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.
Williams was born in Bangor and graduated from Bangor High School. At UMaine, she participated in field hockey, volleyball, riflery, and the university orchestra, and was selected to become a member of the honor society All Maine Women. To cover the cost of the trolley that carried her between her Bangor home and Orono, the talented musician played the piano for women’s physical education classes on campus.
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she left Maine because she was not able to secure a teaching position in the state. She settled in Baltimore in 1948, where she taught English and mathematics at Morgan State University. In 1963 she was tapped to direct the college’s evening, summer, and extension programs, and in 1971 she became dean of the school’s Center for Continuing Education. She retired in 1981.
Besides her distinguished academic career, Williams was active in the NAACP, American Red Cross, and the American Association of University Women. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Maine in 1972, and in 1995 received the Alumni Association’s Alumni Career Award. Williams died in 1999 at age 85.