Date: May 20, 2022
(By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON, SC – Tri-County Technical College (TCTC) honored longtime foundation board member and Seneca attorney James L. (Jim) Williams with the highest award given by the College’s nine-member Commission.
TCTC President Galen DeHay presented Williams with the Order of Merit on May 11.
The Order of Merit is an honorary society that recognizes community and state leaders who have contributed to the development of Tri-County Technical College and the S.C. Technical College System. The resolution of appreciation outlines Williams’ service to the Foundation Board and his loyalty to Tri-County Technical College and its students.
Williams joined the Tri-County Technical College Foundation Board on January 1, 1990, and was a faithful member of the Board until his departure June 30, 2020, making him the longest-serving member to date. He served as treasurer of the Board from May 19, 1994, until June 30, 2020. During his tenure as Finance Committee Chair, the Foundation assets grew from approximately $2.5 million to more than $25.5 million. He also cultivated numerous major gifts totaling more than $1.3 million, primarily in support of scholarships.
“Jim has a servant’s heart and we are forever grateful for his decades-long service to advance our mission and vision to improve the quality of life of our residents through education,” said President DeHay. “Jim served with distinction representing Oconee County on the Tri-County Technical College Foundation Board for 30 years. During his years of service to the Foundation Board, Jim demonstrated his commitment to Tri-County Technical College, both personally and professionally, in a multitude of ways.”
As the attorney and close friend of the late Mrs. Ruby Sharp Hicks, Williams represented her estate in 1992 when she bequeathed to TCTC nearly three quarters of a million dollars to support scholarships in perpetuity - at that time, the College’s largest gift to date.
He named the Tri-County Technical College Foundation as the primary beneficiary in his personal charitable remainder unitrust to endow scholarships for students from Oconee County pursuing a degree in veterinary technology. As a former Marine, he is active with the Honoring their Service organization in Oconee County and was instrumental in the group’s establishment of a scholarship endowment at TCTC to further their support of veterans and to show support of their dependents.
Williams has practiced law in the Upstate of South Carolina since he was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1973, and he became a partner at Derrick, Ritter, Williams & Morris, P.A., in 1975 at the age of 30. He also serves as municipal judge for the towns of Salem and Walhalla.
“His record of leadership and achievements have been recognized across the state and he is viewed as an inspiration to his colleagues, his community and this College as a loyal and passionate champion of Tri-County Technical College and its students,” said President DeHay.
About Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study, including computer technology, industrial electronics, mechatronics, nursing, and university transfer programs. Tri-County boasts the highest student success rate among two-year colleges in the state and ranks in the top one percent nationally for successful student transfers to four-year colleges and universities. To learn more, visit tctc.edu.