UMaine dedicates Beryl Warner Williams Hall to groundbreaking graduate

Published: Apr. 28, 2023 at 6:32 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The University of Maine is honoring one of its most groundbreaking graduates.

Friday was the dedication of Beryl Warner Williams Hall, named after the Bangor native who was the first Black student to earn a degree in mathematics from the university.

However, she was unable to teach in Maine due to her race, leading her across several other states as a professor, dean and civic leader.

Members of the Williams family were in attendance, including a poetry reading from Beryl Warner Williams’ granddaughter.

”It’s a great opportunity for us to express our values that diversity, equity, justice - they all matter,” Student Life Vice President Robert Dana said. “As times change, the University changes. We’re excited to bring our students to the front of the discussion.”

“She faced challenges here in Maine in her time here and overcame them and became an incredible leader and activist for equality and justice,” University President Joan Ferrini-Mundy said. “We’re very proud she is an alumna.”

In addition to the two murals, there is a kiosk with family photos and newspaper clippings that document Maine’s Black heritage.