The Lamar University Foundation has established a new endowed scholarship in the names of Becky and Joe Williams. The Becky and Joe Williams Scholarship in Audiology will benefit students in the Doctor of Audiology program, part of the speech and hearing sciences department in the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

“The Doctor of Audiology is a four-year, full-time course of study, and funds to offset the cost of tuition are of great benefit,” said Monica Harn, audiology program director and chair of the speech and hearing sciences department. “People like Becky and Joe Williams recognize the strength of our program in audiology, and their support allows students to pursue clinical, research, and service endeavors.”

Joe Williams grew up in Beaumont, graduating from Lamar with a Bachelor of Science in government in 1968. In 1969, he became one of the youngest people to receive the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter insurance designation. He later attended the University of Houston, where he received his Master of Business Administration in 1973. He was a principal shareholder in Wisenberg Insurance + Risk Management serving as chairman and CEO when the company was sold. In 2007, he became a partner in PozmantierWilliams Insurance Consultants, LLC.  He is a trustee of the Lamar University Foundation and serves as chair of the audit committee.

Becky Williams grew up in Houston and worked at Beaumont State Bank in the 1960s. She later retired from banking to raise their three children. She is an active community volunteer, having served on the board and as an officer of Congregation Emanu El synagogue. She is also a former president of the West University Softball Association. Joe is a past president of Congregation Emanu El and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.  Becky and Joe are past recipients of the Congregants of the Year Award from Emanu El and both have been honored by Israel Bonds.  Joe has received the Max H. Nation Award from the American Jewish Committee and the Young Leadership Award from the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.

The Doctor of Audiology program is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. According to Harn, there is a significant shortage of certified, licensed audiologists, and the Lamar doctoral program in audiology will help address this. The program opened in 2005, replacing the Master of Audiology program. The Lamar audiology program is one of only five in the state of Texas.

“The Doctor of Audiology program is committed to the advancement of knowledge and services in hearing processes and disorders through integrated programs of professional training, research and community service,” Harn said.

For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, contact the Lamar University Foundation at (409) 880-2117.