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UWF Athletics Hall of Fame Profile: Dr. Ben Williamson

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida Athletic Department will induct its Hall of Fame Class of 2009-10 on Friday, January 22 at Scenic Hills Country Club, and as a preview of that event each of the five inductees will be profiled throughout the week online at GoArgos.com, the home of UWF Athletics on the Web.  Wednesday’s profile is former chair of the UWF Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science Department and Argonaut Athletics supporter Dr. Ben Williamson.

Dr. C. Ben Williamson served in HLES at UWF for 34 years before his retirement in 2005. He ended his career as a highly respected colleague and mentor to the many students whom he helped guide into the career fields they desired.

Dr. Williamson attended college at Wake Forest University, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in both Math and Physical Education before receiving his Master’s Degree in Education emphasizing in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina. Afterward he spent a few years coaching football at New Bern High School and Elon University before a head coaching position at Newark State University. After his time as a coach, Williamson then returned to UNC to complete his Doctorate in Exercise Physiology.

In the fall of 1971, Dr. Williamson joined the staff at West Florida as a professor in HLES and Head Coach of the men’s golf team. His educational influence over his students was evident immediately, and within a few years he was named the Department Director. Eventually, Dr. Williamson became chair of HLES, allowing him to implement many new and successful curriculums and take the department to new heights in education.

Dr. Williamson was involved in many ways across the campus aiding fellow colleagues with a variety of projects, and he became President of the Faculty Senate where he chaired many search committees in different departments of the university. HLES and Escambia County also formed partnerships in which he was instrumental, and he was widely known throughout the community for his work in those partnerships.

The wide range of knowledge in the educational realm he encompassed and the clear admiration his students felt for him earned him Professor Emeritus status in 2005, the year he decided to retire as chair of HLES. Even in retirement, Dr. Williamson stayed involved with the University as a board member of the UWF Retired Educators Club, and he was essential in the establishment of the West Florida Camellia Gardens which was created in partnership with Pensacola Camellia Club, where he also served as a board member.

Dr. Williamson passed away on June 24, 2008, and the Dr. C. Ben Williamson scholarship endowment was created in his honor.  He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Janice Williamson; his three sons, Joe and Kurt of Pensacola, and Ross of Bradenton; his grandchildren include Sarah, Laura, and Tera of Bradenton, Matthew of Denver, and Janice of Pensacola.

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The Hall of Fame festivities are scheduled for Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23 and will include a golf tournament and induction ceremony on Friday and a reception at the home basketball games on Saturday.  For more information, view the Hall of Fame home page online at GoArgos.com or send an email to argoathleticclub@uwf.edu.

For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.

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