Each year, EOAA pays tribute to its founding director Lillian H. Williams by honoring University members who have demonstrated a deep commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, equity and diversity.  

Ms. Williams served as EOAA director from 1972 until her death in 1984. She developed a national presence as one of the founding organizers of the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA).  She has been described as a “natural negotiator, creative strategist, and idealistic, yet pragmatic agent for change.”  

The Lillian H. Williams Award was established in 1986 to recognize individuals and units within the University community who exemplify Ms. William’s spirit and commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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Past Winners

2017 Diversity Committee Department of Sociology
2016 Laura Negrini; Diversity Committee Office of Human Resources; College of Design
2015 Student Services Unit College of Education and Human Development
2014 Jon Gottesman, Ph.D; TRIO Programs College of Biological Sciences & Medical School; College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences
2013 Karl Lorenz Office for Diversity and Inclusion; College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences
2012 Naty Lopez, Ph.D; Dr. JB Mayo Jr. Assistant Dean, School of Dentistry; Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction
2009 Juan Moreno; CUHCC Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, University of Minnesota Extension; Community-University Health Care Center
2007 John A. Felipe Assistant Director, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action
2005 Marilyn D. Trettel Administrative Director, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action
2004 Nancy C. Arneson Director, Human Resources Academic Health Center
2002 OMA Staff Office of Multicultural Affairs
2001 Sharon Grimes Communications, University Relations
2000 Ella Fort (In memory of); Mary Tate; Denis Larson; Saundra A. Martell Office of Human Resources; Medical School; Purchasing, Facilities Management; Office of General Counsel
1999 Jane E. Thomas Small Business Coordinator, Purchasing Services
1998 Deborah Petersen-Perlman Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, University of Minnesota Duluth
1996 Cathleen Brannen Vice Chancellor for Finance, University of Minnesota Morris
1995 Patricia A. Mullen Director, Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action
1994 Kenneth White Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action
1993 Judith A. Gaston; Judith A. Karon Continuing Education and Extension; Equal Opportunity/ Human Resources, University of Minnesota Duluth
1992 Marjorie K. Cowmeadow; Barbara J. Doyle General College; University Libraries
1991 Charles E. Williams Minnesota Extension Service
1989 Keith N. McFarland Acting Dean, General College / Dean, College of Human Ecology
1988 Betty Wallace Robinett; William C. Thomas Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs; Personnel, Physical Plant
1986 Ruth Robinson; Gordon Beavers College of Education; Institute of Technology

2019 Award Winner


Dr. Noro Andriamanalina - The Graduate School

2018 Award Winners


Amy Barton, Career Services - College of Liberal Arts


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