Feb. 28, 2012—North Central College alumnus Rafeal “Ray” Williams, class of 1995, has been honored with the African-American Male Image Award from the Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary in Chicago.
“This is such an honor for me and our family, and I am humbled that the board of directors finds my contributions to society deserving of this honor,” Williams says. “This honor is a direct reflection of those around me in my development.”
Williams was presented with the award Feb. 26. The Knights of Peter Claver has supported the African-American community for more than 100 years. The goal of the organization this year is to provide an educational endowment of $10,000 to educate students at Hales Franciscan High School, an all-male Catholic high school in Chicago.
Williams is head coach of the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He previously served as assistant track and field coach at Grand Valley State University, a Division II school in Allendale, Mich., and at Marquette University, a Division I school in Milwaukee, Wis.
As a student at North Central, Williams was a national qualifier in hurdles for both indoor and outdoor track and field. He participated in numerous campus groups and activities—including Students In Free Enterprise and Black Student Association—and mentored students at high-need schools through the Junior/Senior Scholars program. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from North Central and a master’s degree in education from Grand Valley State University.