Striving for excellence

Susan Williams establishes award in hopes of enhancing opportunities at K-State.

Driven by passion, motivation and dedication, K-State alumna Dr. Susan Williams aspired to make the most of her education and fulfill her dreams. Williams pursued a degree in music education and played the piccolo for the K-State Marching Band. Prior to attending K-State, Williams studied at Ottawa University for a year but soon strived for a major change of atmosphere.

“After attending a small private college for a year, I knew I needed to attend a larger university which offered more opportunities to pursue instrumental music education,” Williams said. “I wrote a number of letters to various schools, but I received a hand-written letter from the director of the music department at Kansas State University telling me I would really like K-State. He told me about all the great things that awaited me.”

Williams graduated from K-State in 1979, then earned a master’s degree in nutrition in 1986. Later, she became a First Lieutenant in the Air Force while working as a dietitian. Eventually, she pursued a career as a medical doctor. While attending K-State, Williams earned more than an education — she encountered important life lessons.

“I found my inner strength, learned how to problem-solve, deepened my faith and found kindred spirits in new friends,” Williams said. “I learned leadership skills and how to teach with both passion and compassion — lessons that I have carried with me and still use on a daily basis in my medical practice.”

Williams made numerous connections at K-State. The marching band provided a significant impact for Williams, while other friends and faculty served an influential role. Williams stated K-State shaped her as an adult. She learned how to study efficiently and discovered the value of investing in her dreams. The Susan E. Williams, M.D., KSU Marching Band Faculty Leadership Award was created in order to give recognition to outstanding performances in teaching and service to faculty within the K-State Marching Band in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Nothing is more important than education, and there is no better place to learn, study and grow than at Kansas State University,” Williams said. “What I have given is a very small part indeed, but together we can help ensure every student who comes to K-State will have the financial assistance to complete their degree, and that every faculty member will have a competitive salary and top-notch resources to continue doing what they do best.”

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