Dr. Clanton W. Williams Papers, 1954-1966
Dr. Clanton Ware Williams (1904-1975) served as the fourth president of the University of Houston from 1956-1960. He received a BA in philosophy from Davidson College in 1927. He received both an MA in history from the University of Alabama in 1938 and a Ph.D. in history from Vanderbilt University in 1938. He joined the faculty of the University of Alabama in 1929 and was associated with that institution for twenty-five years. During World War II, Williams obtained the rank of colonel and served as Chief Army Air Forces historian. He was awarded the Commendation Ribbon and Legion of Merit for distinguished service. During the Korean War he served as a staff officer of the Air War College.
Williams joined the University of Houston as vice-president for academic affairs in January of 1955. He was named president of the University at the December 10, 1956 meeting of the Board of Regents. At this same meeting, A.D. Bruce was named chancellor and chief executive officer of the University. With this new reporting structure, the president was entrusted with the internal affairs of the University while the chancellor was charged with both external relationships and overall responsibility.
From August 11, 1960 to September 1, 1961, Williams retained the title of President, but was on a leave of absence. He took a position in a joint venture of the U.S. State Department and the Union of Burma to establish the War College of Burma. From 1963-1967 Williams was the chief educational advisor for the Agency for International Development in New Delhi. He later accepted a similar assignment at the Institute of International Education in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) from 1967-1970. He returned to the US to complete his career as the first executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, from which he retired as executive director emeritus in 1974.
Clanton Ware Williams died on November 10, 1975, at Montgomery Air Force Base Hospital, Montgomery, Alabama. A pallbearer at his funeral was his longtime friend, Philip G. Hoffman, who succeeded him as president of the University of Houston.
The Dr. Clanton W. Williams Papers consists of photocopies of correspondence and newspaper articles relating to Williams' years of service at the University of Houston (1955 to 1960). The University of Alabama holds the originals to the photocopies along with the rest of Williams' papers. Most of the papers consists of letters to a variety of people, speeches, and newspaper clippings. Materials in the papers date from 1954 to 1966.
Although a small collection, it has been divided into two series Correspondence and the University of Houston. The papers have been re-foldered, and new folder titles conform, as much as possible, to the original titles, except when the title was obviously incomplete, incorrect, or confusing. Original folder and item order has been preserved whenever possible.
Open for research.
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Dr. Clanton W. Williams Papers, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.
Bobby Marlin, February 2002