Despite an already established career and no shortage of experience, Robert “Bob” Williams ’76 found himself passed over for promotion again and again while working in Delaware’s state government in the 1970s. Describing himself as “highly qualified except in the area of education,” Williams’ frustration eventually turned to motivation and his sights were set on earning his degree once and for all.
Having completed two years of college at Wesley Junior College in Delaware, Williams knew he needed just two more years to earn the bachelor’s degree that had eluded him. While he doesn’t recall exactly how he first learned about Upper Iowa, Bob knew early on the UIU Coordinated Off-Campus Degree Program aligned with his needs. He appreciated that UIU was a smaller university and that he could expect personal attention. He fondly recalls coming to Fayette for classes. “The faculty was outstanding,” said Williams,” and it turned out to be a really good fit and allowed me to reach new levels of professional success.”
Bob went on to enjoy a 30-year career in state government in the areas of finance, management and “trouble-shooting” for state agencies needing help. Leadership stints made possible because of his degree included serving as the Director of Administration for the Delaware Department of Transportation and as the Director of Business Management and Business Services for the Delaware Department of Human Services. Williams later went on to serve as the Business Manager for the Caesar Rodney School District, unique for its serving area K-12 students and the children of families located at Dover Air Force Base.
A lifelong learner, Bob went on to earn a master’s degree from Central Michigan University, which had a location on Dover Air Force Base. Following retirement, Bob has pursued his love of history, completing several books on his family lineage and history.
Bob lives with his wife, Margaret, in Dover, Delaware. He has continued to show his gratitude toward Upper Iowa University for making accessible an education that led him to professional success, donating regularly to the UIU Fund, scholarships, and the Student Emergency Fund.