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Resolution RS2019-47

A resolution honoring and commending David Williams, II, upon his outstanding leadership and many accomplishments as Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director of Vanderbilt University.

WHEREAS, the members of this Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County are pleased to honor a gentleman who advanced Vanderbilt University's reputation as one of America's best research universities. David Williams, II, was a champion for students and was committed to their success; and

WHEREAS, the members of this Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County and many other Nashvillians and beyond were saddened to learn of the death of David Williams, II, on February 8, 2019 and mourn his passing; and

WHEREAS, David Williams, II, was a fearless, strong and respected man who possessed authenticity, vision, kindness and an acute awareness of the needs of others; and

WHEREAS, David Williams, II, was a longtime professor and administrator in Higher Education. A lifelong learner, teacher and mentor, he was a Tenured Professor of Law and was well known and respected in his profession. Notably, he earned an LLM in Taxation from the New York University Law School; and

WHEREAS, David Williams, II, served Vanderbilt University beginning in 2000 as the school’s first African American Vice Chancellor and General Counsel. Over his 18-year tenure, David also served as the first African American Athletic Director in the Southeastern Conference (SEC); and
WHEREAS, Williams oversaw a period of unprecedented success in the Vanderbilt Athletics, including five national championships in bowling, baseball and women’s tennis; and

WHEREAS, under David Williams’ leadership, the Commodores won more than nineteen league titles and tournaments, and the football team played in five bowl games, breaking a twenty-six-year drought in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Williams’ demonstrated a deep commitment towards building a successful program where students can thrive on and off the field and flourish academically; and

WHEREAS, David Williams’ visionary leadership has helped lead a transformation at Vanderbilt University, both within athletics and across the entire university; and

WHEREAS, David Williams, II, was an example for all to follow in supporting Nashville – beyond his exemplary work at Vanderbilt University. He was recognized nationally for his commitment to education equity, sports law and society, and tax law; and

WHEREAS, His commitment to Nashville also included service on many boards and commissions, including The Nashville Symphony, the National Museum of African American Music, Leadership Nashville, the United Way, 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Rotary Club, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Middle Tennessee Community Foundation, Nashville Sports Foundation, Nashville Public Education Foundation, various NCAA Committees and many more locally and nationally; and

WHEREAS, in honor of David Williams’ legacy and distinguished career, Vanderbilt University’s Recreation and Wellness Center will be renamed the David Williams II Recreation Wellness Center on October 18, 2019; and
WHEREAS, we honor the selection of David Williams, II, as a Vanderbilt University 2019 Trailblazer. The Vanderbilt University Trailblazers project recognizes the many brave and selfless pioneers who dedicated themselves to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion for all members of the Vanderbilt Community. 2019 Trailblazers will be honored with a portrait that will live at Vanderbilt University for years to come. The other 2019 Vanderbilt Trailblazers include Kate Lupton, Dorothy Wingfield Phillips, K.C. Potter, and Muhammad Yunus; and

WHEREAS, David Williams, II, was deeply devoted to his family. He is survived by his wife Gail Carr Williams and his four children, Erika, David III, Samantha and Nicholas; six grandchildren, David IV, Jazmin, Tiffany, Dayon, Daiaha, and Zoe; and one great grandchild, Desmond; and
WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognize David Williams, II, for his many years of dedicated service to Vanderbilt University and the entire Nashville community.


Section 1. The Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as honoring the community and academic service of David Williams, II.

Section 2. The Metropolitan Council Office is directed to prepare a copy of this Resolution to be presented to the family of David Williams, II.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Burkley Allen, Kathleen Murphy, Thomas Cash, Sharon Hurt, Zulfat Suara, Tanaka Vercher, Steve Glover, Freddie O'Connell

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, & Public Elections Committee

IntroducedOctober 15, 2019

AdoptedOctober 15, 2019

ApprovedOctober 16, 2019

By:Mayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 10/25/2019 12:53 PM