Founders’ Award Recipient: PGS John Williams

Past Grand Sage John Williams (Widener ‘85) is set to receive the Founders’ Award, the highest honor within Sigma Pi, at the 54th Biennial Convocation held in Niagara Falls, NY.

The Founders’ Award is strictly reserved for the most exemplary members of our organization for their contributions within their profession, their community, the Fraternity, or other field of endeavor, including “service to God and Man.”

PGS Williams received a Bachelor of Arts from Rider University and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Widener University School of Law and has since become a prominent lawyer with a successful private practice in Delaware. His practice regularly employs undergraduate Sigma Pi brothers as law clerks and many go on to become lawyers; he even has the privilege of practicing law with several Sigma Pi attorneys.

During his time in college. PGS Williams joined a Fraternity, Phi Sigma Epsilon which merged with Phi Sigma Kappa in 1982. Upon finding this out, PGS E. Andrew Morris (Murray State ’70) informed PGS Williams that he could either pay $50 to become a member of Phi Sigma Kappa or be initiated into Sigma Pi. PGS Williams began his quest for excellence with Sigma Pi when he was initiated as an alumnus in 1985 and since being initiated, PGS Williams has dedicated his life to the Fraternity.

He has been an active volunteer as Chapter Director of Widener University in 1983-2002, Ursinus College in 2005-2010, St. Joseph’s University in 2005-2012, University of Delaware in 2006-2017, and Salisbury University since 2017. He has served as the Mid-Atlantic Province Archon since 1983.

PGS Williams was elected to the office of Grand First Counselor in 1988, 1994, and 1996. He was elected Grand Third Counselor in 1998, Grand Second Counselor in 2000, Grand Sage in 2002, and Past Grand Sage in 2004. He also served as Trustee for Educational Foundation from 2002-2006.

“When I think of the person John is, that is someone that I hope to be some day,” said Christopher Pucchio (Saint Joseph’s ’14), who worked very closely with PGS Williams as an undergraduate. “I think very highly of him and look up to him as one of my biggest role models. The way he carries himself is in a way that is so rare and genuine it simply cannot be recreated or duplicated.”

He has spent his life devoting himself to the betterment of the undergraduate and alumni brothers by visiting over 110 undergraduate chapters and alumni clubs. Additionally, he has often presented across the country on essential matters such as risk management, officer training, finance, social media, and housing corporations. He has participated in hundreds of Sigma Pi rituals, charterings, initiations of new brothers, installation of new officers, funerals and memorial services. He has also been an avid attendee of Convocation, Mid-Year Leadership Conference, and Summer Leadership Schools since 1984.

Conner Stacy (Stockton ‘06) testified to the powerful impact PGS Williams makes, “About three years ago I was lucky enough to have met John Williams, better known as ‘Dubbs’ to some. I think very highly of Dubbs and look up to him as one of my biggest role models. While Dubbs may be down in Delaware, he has made multiple trips up to Stockton University during the Iota-Upsilon Chapter’s process of becoming a full Chapter as well as put time aside to talk on the phone to give other brothers and myself advice or just to chat and catch up. From making the three-hour trip during a nasty rain storm on a week night for a meeting that lasted past midnight before we were even affiliated with Sigma Pi, to colonization and chartering, Dubbs has provided the Iota-Upsilon with chapter countless stories, wisdom, advice, and has shown us what brotherhood really is.”

Sigma Pi has not only given PGS Williams the opportunity to become a mentor but also a friend. He has participated in 17 Sigma Pi wedding parties, 11 of them as the best man.

PGS Williams also created a scholarship in memory of his brother, David Bruce Williams (TCNJ ‘04), who initiated as an alumnus in 2004. His family has provided funds for the Foundation which provides scholarship money to Sigma Pi undergraduate brothers who have good personal qualities which make them, overall, fine brothers and men. Scholarships have been awarded at the University of Delaware, St. Joseph’s University, and Salisbury University.

According to Grand Sage Steve Lawler (Iowa ’82), “John Williams exemplifies everything you could ask for in a Founders’ Award winner. He has a successful law practice, is a faculty member at the University of Delaware, past SPEF trustee, Past Grand Sage, and is currently a Chapter Director and Province Archon. John’s number one qualification for this award is his mentoring, advising and caring for hundreds of undergraduate brothers over his long career of volunteer service to Sigma Pi.”