Peggy Ryan Williams Award for Academic and Community Leadership

The Peggy R. Williams Award for Academic and Community Leadership recognizes students who excel academically, perform service to the College community and nation, and represent an exemplary level of accomplishment.

To the 2020 Peggy Ryan William Award for Academic and Community Leadership Recipients: I so wish we were together on campus, to celebrate your achievements and to convey my congratulations, to you all, in person. Instead I do so from my home in Vermont—reaching out far and wide to wherever you find yourselves. In my view, academic achievement and service and engagement go hand in hand. From an early age, at home and in school, I learned that anything I achieved was not just for my own benefit. Rather, I learned that with achievement—and the privilege of such achievement—comes the responsibility to share our knowledge and talents for the benefits of others. I also learned that knowledge grows when we share it and put it to work. With this award, we recognize and honor each of you because you have already demonstrated this responsibility and commitment. You are off to a good, early start. There is no one way to share our knowledge and talents through service and engagement—no cookie cutter approach. The most important thing is to do it--in the ways that best suit each of you. The words of Shirley Chisholm—the first African American Woman elected to the US Congress, who served from 1969-1983—capture this sentiment well: “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” I want you to promise me that you will get your certificate framed as soon as possible.  Then I want you to place it somewhere where it can serve as a reminder of the honor you received, as well as a lifelong incentive to keep learning, achieving, sharing and serving. Congratulations.

Peggy Ryan Williams, President Emerita

Ithaca College is a deeply student-centered institution with a talented, energetic, and passionate student community. It is of paramount importance that we recognize and celebrate the significant investment that our student leaders pour into cultivating a thriving campus environment, particularly those leaders who are ending their time at IC. The award recipients and the nominees represent the heart and soul of Ithaca College, and I am so proud to offer my deepest congratulations to all, and my best wishes for a very bright future.

Shirley M. Collado, President


When we return to campus, we will make it a priority to ensure any 2020 PRWAAC winners who would like a hard copy of the certificate will be able to get one. We are unable to send them at this time.

Office of Student Engagement

For more information about the Peggy Ryan Williams Award for Academic and Community Leadership reach out to our office!