A sense of Bear pride and reverence fills the spirits of many University of Central Arkansas alumni. Marvin Williams ’95 is no exception.
“There’s a sense of community, a sense of family, a sense of belonging,” Williams said. “I’m known all over this campus because I get out and I just try to network with people all over. It feels like a family.”
Williams, an academic adviser and director of the Unlocking College Academics Now (UCAN) Program, encourages students to be equally involved, if not more.
“Students, don’t stay in your own little world. Get out and get involved. See what’s going on and utilize all your resources here on campus.”
Williams has devoted his time to advancing students’ success because giving back to the UCA community by helping students, faculty and staff has always been his desire.
As UCAN director, he works with students facing their first academic suspension. Under his leadership, the program has helped 347 students obtain their degrees.
With the help of UCA colleagues Reesa Ramsahai and Brian James, Williams helped establish the Bear Necessities Food Bank, which serves students, faculty and staff.
“It became a passion of mine to see something on this campus, to see Bears taking care of Bears. The UCA community taking care of their own,” Williams said.
He is also known for his singing ability and is often called upon at UCA events to sing songs such as the National Anthem and the UCA Alma Mater. “Just whenever the opportunity presents itself I like to use what little bit of talent I have to share with others,” Williams said.
For all these efforts and many more, U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton named Williams the “Arkansan of the Week” during the month of September 2016.
“On a regular basis he experiences the difficulties of life as students bring him their circumstances, and he walks with them when they have no one else to turn to,” Cotton said when making the announcement of Williams’ selection. “The impact Marvin has on student’s lives cannot be overstated.”
For Williams, it’s just the right thing to do.
“I do what I do, not to be recognized, but to make an impact. However, it’s encouraging when what you do is recognized by others,” said Williams.