Mission | Founder

The John G. Williams Scholarship Foundation was created in 1985 to provide financial assistance to deserving Pennsylvania residents for their pursuit of college and/or post-graduate educational opportunities. No particular course of study/major or higher education institution are required, but both must be acceptable to the Board of Trustees. The Foundationís primary mission is to help students of modest means to finance the unmet need between their chosen collegeís costs and other federal, state, institutional, or private assistance previously awarded. In providing financial assistance, the Foundation shall give preference in consideration and selection to those worthy persons who, or whose families, have insufficient finances or resources to pay the costs of higher education, particularly at the college level. It is the hope of the Foundation to establish lasting relationships with its scholars by supporting them throughout their academic years.

At this time, financial assistance is provided by the Foundation on the basis of low-interest scholarship loans. Loans are preferred to grants because they instill financial responsibility in the recipient while at the same time recycling the funds for other worthy students.

Recipients of financial assistance from the Foundation shall be encouraged to recognize their responsibility as citizens and encouraged to perform services of a civic and humanitarian nature.

The Foundation and its financial assistance shall be administered and provided without regard to race, religion, age, creed, or ancestry. Neither the Foundation nor any member of the Board of Trustees, nor their respective spouses, lineal descendants, or spouses of lineal descendants, shall be eligible to receive any financial assistance.

The Foundation shall continue in perpetuity.

John G. Williams (1932-2010) was an attorney, real estate developer and businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He created the Foundation in recognition of the value that higher education played in his life and the great opportunities made possible by education. As a self-made entrepreneur, he believed in giving back to his community and to helping those of limited means.

Mr. Williams was raised in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was a graduate of Muhlenberg Township High School (posthumously, he was named to the distinguished alumnus Hall of Fame), and attended Wyomissing Polytechnic Institute while working various jobs to raise money for college. While attending Dickinson College (from which he graduated in 1955) and the Dickinson School of Law (1957 graduate), he worked full-time at various positions, including teaching economics at the college, running a laundry service for students, and working as assistant to the comptroller at Carlisle Tire & Rubber Co.

After graduating law school, Mr. Williams was on the staff at Price Waterhouse in New York City for a year, before returning to Pennsylvania and practicing law with McNees, Wallace & Nurick.  In 1961, he co-founded the law firm of Shumaker Williams, P.C. with the late State Senator John Shumaker, from which he later retired, although the prominent firm continues today.  Messrs. Williams and Shumaker were among the co-founders of Penn National Race Track.  He was an organizer of several de novo banks in Pennsylvania.  For more than 30 years, Mr. Williams was the Chairman of the American Group Companies, a multi-entity group of companies engaged in the design, development, engineering, and construction of commercial and industrial buildings and multi-family housing projects throughout the east coast.  He was active in worldwide investing.  In his later years, his vision sparked the development of Liberty Forge Golf Course in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. 


John G. Williams receiving Doctor of Laws degree from the Dickinson School of Law, 1997
By the efforts of hard work and dedication, Mr. Williams was able to pursue many interests.  He was an accomplished horseman, breeder of  Charolais beef cattle, bicyclist, skier, boater, scuba diver, and an FAA instrument rated multi-engine pilot.   He received honorable discharges from the U.S. Navy Reserve (1957) and Pennsylvania Air National Guard (1960).

John G. Williams was a philanthropist. He appreciated the blessings in his life which he attributed to God and his education. He was active in the Tri-County United Way, and served as Chairman of the 1989 Distinguished Gifts Drive for the Boy Scouts of America. Among his many charitable causes, he donated generously to his alma maters, and in recognition thereof, he was given a Distinguished Alumnus award (1995) and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (1997) by the Dickinson School of Law. He was an active and contributing member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Camp Hill. This scholarship foundation, which has granted educational assistance in excess of $1,000,000, is just one of the many legacies that Mr. Williams leaves behind.

Copyright 2012.
The John G. Williams Scholarship Foundation
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