Close friends and family of the late Dick Williamson gathered at the President's house on the College of William & Mary campus on April 7 for an unveiling of a portrait of Williamson by artist Louis Briel. The portrait now hangs outside the Faculty Room in the Law School's North Wing.
Williamson died in June 2007. During his 37-year-career at William & Mary, he attained the rank of Chancellor Professor of Law and also served for a decade as the College's Coordinator of Legal Affairs. In 2004, he received the College's Thomas Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of the faculty for significant service, influence, and leadership.
President Reveley offered an affectionate toast at the gathering that spoke about Williamson's invaluable service. He also reminisced about the toy parrot that ornamented Williamson's office and the teasing Williamson endured about his full head of hair.
Before Williamson's wife Suzi and daughters Nancy and Amy unveiled the portrait, interim Dean Lynda Butler offered her reflections on Williamson, "a man who was invaluable to the Law School, to the College, and to all of us."
He was a loving husband, proud father, best friend, wise counselor, astute colleague and teacher extraordinaire. He had the keenest intellect and quickest mind that we have ever known, and a clarity of vision that could pierce through all of the high drama, personal agendas and doubting minds that exist in academia right to the heart of a matter. Even those who opposed him sought his approval, his attention, his acknowledgement. They didn't always get it. His sense of humor could stop a conversation, causing everyone to wonder how he could make even sad truths so funny. His snappy dress and avant-garde style drew admiring glances and comments on his student evaluations. His inner strength could calm you or wake you up, depending on what you needed; ultimately that strength served him well, allowing him to transition to the next life with dignity and always true to himself.