UMaine honors first black alumna to graduate with mathematics degree

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:09 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - Beryl Warner Williams was born in Bangor, Maine in 1935.

She attended the University of Maine and received her bachelors and masters in mathematics being the first Black alumna to do so.

If you’re walking past Williams Hall on UMaine’s campus, you may notice a colorful pop when you look through the window.

That’s because the university has decided to dedicate William’s Hall to her educational work and her dedication to being a Black Bear.

The mural in the front of the building wants to not only highlight her work as an educator but her life growing up in Bangor as she faced many adversities just for being herself.

A ceremony will be held Friday, April 28, at 2 p.m. in Williams Hall with options to attend in person or watch virtually.

UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy said she’s elated to have this ceremony because it aligns with the mission of the university.

“She has been committed from the earliest days as far as I can tell from reading her history and learning about her to making a difference in the world,” said Ferrini-Mundy. “To honor an African American woman in this way at the university of Maine, is critical and important to send the message that inclusion is what we are about at the university. We look at all of our alums and find places where we can celebrate their great success and this is one of those.”

Descendants of Williams will be present, as well as Black artists, poets, and musicians to honor the work Williams has done.

Ferrini-Mundy will also be a part of the program.

If you’re looking for more information on the program, looking to RSVP or attend virtually, click here.