HomepageNewsAlumnus Pledges $2 Million to Support Students in Business

Alumnus Pledges $2 Million to Support Students in Business

The Mason Williams ’71 Endowed Scholarship in Business comes as Ursinus launches its Future50 scholarship initiative, which seeks to increase scholarship funding.

An Ursinus College alumnus has made a $2 million estate intention to support scholarships for business students—a pledge that will have an enduring impact at a time when the college is doubling-down on its commitment to access and affordability.

The Mason Williams ’71 Endowed Scholarship in Business marks one of the largest individual gifts in the history of the college. It will be awarded annually to students who demonstrate financial need with preference to those majoring in business or related academic disciplines.

“We are profoundly grateful for Mason’s extraordinary gift, which ignites a beacon of hope and opportunity for countless students to come,” President Robyn Hannigan said. “This act of generosity underscores a shared vision and belief in the transformative power of higher education. Mason’s commitment inspires us all to dream bigger and reach further, ensuring that financial barriers do not hinder the bright futures of aspiring students. Scholarship funding creates a legacy of opportunity, empowerment, and excellence for generations of Ursinus scholars.”

The pledge comes at an important point in time for the college. This week, Hannigan launched Future50, an ambitious initiative to raise new funding for 50 scholarships before the start of the 2024-25 academic year. Scholarships, Hannigan said, help reduce the financial investment required to obtain a college education and can eliminate at least one barrier keeping them from a more promising future.

Williams, who enjoyed a long and fulfilling career as an insurance executive, said he is proud of the impact that Ursinus made on his life and hopes others will join him by investing in Ursinus.

“It is my hope that this endowment will allow future students to enjoy the experience I had at Ursinus, which allowed me to have an enriching, fulfilling, and successful career in business,” Williams said.

Williams and his wife, Trudy, reside on the Hawaiian island of Maui, about 30 miles northeast of Lahaina, which saw devastation in the wildfires of 2023. The couple is involved philanthropically in Maui, supporting several different charities, including those supporting health and wellness initiatives for victims of the wildfires, as well as other humanitarian causes.

Williams has served on the boards of Aloha House, Malama Family Recovery Center, and Maui Youth & Family Services since 2014. He previously served on the board of Easter Seals Hawaii and served as volunteer CEO for one year. Nominated by Aloha House, he was named Humanitarian Award winner of the year in 2021 by the Maui Non-Profit Directors Association for his countless hours ensuring that nonprofits have the resources and governance needed for their sustained success.

“I am deeply grateful to Mason Williams for trusting Ursinus with his legacy and ensuring generations of students will benefit from scholarship support in the years ahead,” Ursinus Vice President for Advancement and External Relations Michelle Yurko said.

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