Former Deputy Minister, Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism; Founder and First Dean, UL Department of Mass Communication; Former President, PUL
The death is announced of Mr. T. Nelson Williams, former Deputy Minister, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and founder and first dean, Department of Mass Communication, University of Liberia.
He was in his 85th year.
This sad event occurred on Monday, May 28, 2018 in Alpharetta (outside Atlanta), Georgia.
A product of the University of Liberia (Bachelor of Arts degree, 1958) and Indiana University, where he obtained the Master’s degree in Journalism (1963), Mr. Williams joined the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs in Monrovia. There he served as Chief of Press and Publications, Chief of Research and Reference, Deputy Director General and Under Secretary and Deputy Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism.
While at Information, Mr. Williams, Sr. participated in the authorship of several publications, most notable of which was the 72-page book, Tubman on African Unity, that catalogued in detail the contributions of President William V.S. Tubman to the achievement of African Unity. The book covered President Tubman’s Independence Day Message in 1957 and his Address at the Accra Conference convened by Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah in 1958. In these two speeches the Liberian leader first broached his thoughts on African Unity, that culminated in the Sanniquellie Conference (1959), the Monrovia Conference (1961), the Lagos Conference (1962) and the formation, on May 25, 1963, of the Organization of African (OAU, now African Union).
This book can be found in the Stanton B. Peabody Memorial Library at the Daily Observer newspaper at ELWA Junction in Paynesville.
After leaving government service in 1973, T. Nelson, as he was popularly called, joined the LAMCO Joint Venture where he became director of Information and Public Relations. He was later called to serve his alma mater, the UL, where he became the founding dean and professor of Journalism of the Department of Mass Communication.
On January 19, 1964, in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, he married Ms. Ethel Ledlow, a Biology graduate of UL, and this union was blessed with five children. The eldest of them is T. Nelson Williams, Jr., former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC).
T. Nelson, Sr. also served as president of the Press Union of Liberia and president of the University of Liberia Alumni Association.
Thomas Nelson Williams was born on July 11, 1933 in Grand Bassa County. He received his early education at St. Peter Claver’s Catholic School in Buchanan and later attended the Grand Bassa High School, where he obtained his high school diploma in 1954. The following year he entered the University of Liberia, where he graduated in 1958 with the BA degree.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.