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The Morris W. H. (Bill) Collins Speaker Series

Photo of Frank Williams

January 13, 2013     Photos

"Two Heroes Then & Now: Abraham Lincoln & Ulysses S. Grant"

Justice Williams is a native of Rhode Island, a graduate of Boston University Law School and a long-time jurist in the Rhode Island court system. He is a veteran of the United States Army, having served three years in Germany and one year in Vietnam, and he is the founding chair of the Lincoln Forum and long-time president of the Ulysses S. Grant Association. He is a scholar whose books include, with Edna Greene Medford and Harold Holzer, The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Louisiana State University Press, 2006). His latest book, Lincoln Lessons: Reflections on America's Greatest Leaders, with William D. Pederson, was published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2009 and includes a chapter by John F. Marszalek, Grant Association Executive Director.

Justice Williams is a member of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and chair of the Rhode Island Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. In 2007, the Pre-law Society of Mississippi State University awarded Justice Williams its prestigious Jurist of the Year Award.

February 1, 2013 (Starkville Public Library)

"Outback, or Is This Trip Necessary?"

Virginia Williams was born and raised in Texas, graduating from North Texas State University. She served as a teacher overseas for the Department of Defense and then as a kindergarten teacher in the Cranston, RI, public schools for 29 years. In so doing she acquired an interest in outhouses, about which she lectures all over the country. She serves as Chair of the Museum of Primitive Art in Peacedale, RI, and as Deacon of Dunns Corner Presbyterian Church in Westerly, RI.