Arland D. Williams Jr. Scholarship awarded to Derek Pierce

Pictured (L-R) Paul Saegesser, Jason Hortenstine, Derek Pierce, Phyllis Roytek, Peggy Fuesting and Gayla McDaniel

Mattoon Area Community Foundation and members of the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship committee are pleased to announce that Derek Pierce was awarded the $2,500 Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship at the 32nd annual scholarship presentation luncheon on Wednesday, July 20.

Derek Pierce, a 2014 graduate of Mattoon High School, is currently enrolled at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois as a dual major in finance and accounting with the goal to earn his Master of Business Administration. Pierce was also a recipient of the Citizenship Award as a fifth grade student at Arland Williams Elementary School, an award also inspired by the character of Arland D. Williams, Jr.

The Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship honors the memory of the late Arland D. Williams, Jr. who graduated from Mattoon High School. Mr. Williams became a well-known example of extraordinary heroism when his actions saved five people after a 1982 airplane crash in Washington D.C. His selfless actions cost him his life but his heroism lives on. The scholarship fund was established in May 1983 by Mrs. Virginia Williams, mother of Arland D. Williams, Jr. Since 1985, 32 scholarships have been awarded, totaling more than $70,000.

Friends and classmates of Arland D. Williams, Jr. serve on the scholarship committee and present the award each year. The 2016 scholarship committee is comprised of Mayor Tim Gover, Peggy Fuesting, Phyllis Roytek, Barb Love, Paul Saegesser, Jason Hortenstine and Gayla McDaniel.

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