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Distinguished Service Medallion 2022


Board Meeting
March 17, 2022


The Trustees’ Distinguished Service Medallion was created to recognize individuals whose contributions to the growth and development of the University of Illinois, through extraordinary service or benefaction, have been of unusual significance.

It is now recommended that the Distinguished Service Medallion be awarded to Dedra Mooday Williams, Secretary of the Board of Trustees and of the University and her name be added to our esteemed roster of medallion recipients.

Ms. Williams has been associated with the University of Illinois for more than 30 years, as a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; and continuing as an administrator who worked closely with faculty, staff, and students from all three universities. 

She began her career at the University of Illinois in 1989, working in the regional site of the College of Medicine at Urbana in various roles, ultimately as the Associate Dean for Administration overseeing budget/resource planning and human resources for the regional site.  In 2012, she joined the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs as Assistant Vice President, where she worked with academic programs and priorities, budgetary issues, and student programs. 

On July 1, 2016, Ms. Williams was appointed as Secretary of the Board of Trustees and of the University, having been appointed designate in January 2016.  In her role as Secretary, she spent a great deal of time supporting Board members through many challenging issues and gave honest, forthright, and respectful advice to Board members, including three chairs; President Killeen; and University officers.  During her tenure, Secretary Williams spearheaded efforts to improve the accessibility of the Board Office, ensuring equitable access to the digital materials of the Board. She also quickly pivoted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, developing new policies and procedures that allowed the Board of Trustees to continue to safely conduct the business of the Board without interruption.  She served in this important role until her retirement on May 31, 2020.  At her final meeting as Secretary, trustees and University administrators alike expressed gratitude for Ms. Williams’s compassionate guidance, tenacity, and vision.

In gratitude for her innumerable contributions, the Board of Trustees takes great pride in presenting the Trustees’ Distinguished Service Medallion to Dedra Mooday Williams, a dedicated, admired alumna and esteemed colleague of the University of Illinois.