Alumni Spotlight features alumni of both Bishop McNamara and La Reine High Schools making a difference throughout the world
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Mr. M. ChrisTopher Williams on Friday, May 10 celebrated his last day of class with his seniors in Global Studies along with many members of the Bishop McNamara administration and faculty as he is retiring after forty years of teaching, thirty-six of them here at Bishop McNamara High School.
Mr. Williams first came to BMHS in 1979 after having served for nearly three years as a volunteer teacher of English and African History in the Sudan. For the next nine years, he was teacher of World History to sophomores and Anthropology as a senior elective.
In 1994, the newly co-ed BMHS instituted a new Global Studies course for all senior students. Over the years of his educational service, Mr. Williams has been awarded opportunities to work and study abroad, the better to incorporate his foreign travels and international studies into this new course. He traveled as a volunteer for Operation Crossroads Africa to Kenya (86) and Botswana (88) and for International Development Exchange to Ghana (94). Moreover, he was awarded fellowships and grants to travel with the Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs to Japan (84), with Saudi Aramco to Saudi Arabia (06) and with Global Exploration for Educators Organization to Costa Rica (11) with the assistance of the BMHS Capital Partners program.
The Administration of BMHS graciously granted Mr. Williams a leave-of-absence sabbatical during which he served as a Volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps as a teacher in Guyana, South America from 2007-2009.
During his tenure at BMHS, Mr. Williams has served as the Chairman of the Social Studies Department, was selected by Presidents Heather Gossart in 1995 and Marco Clark in 2012 to sit on the committees reviewing candidates for the new Principal, was greatly honored with the Caritas Award for Distinguished Faculty Service in 2004, and was awarded a BMHS diploma as an honorary member of the Class of 2010. Mr Williams holds Masters degrees in World History and Applied Anthropology, earned at Georgetown University and the American University, respectively and he received an honorary Ph.D. from Mount St. Mary's University in 2001.
Mr. Williams is eminently grateful that Bishop McNamara has given him the long term opportunity to align his passion for travel - now having been to more than 100 countries - with his vocation as an educator - initiating and sustaining the course of Global Studies for more than twenty years. In an increasingly globally interdependent world and more greatly diversified American population, Mr. William's noted that BMHS has made "the commitment to inform and empower its students with an informed appreciation for global diversity, affirming that what we share in common is far more greatly important than the differences among us."
An outstanding Holy Cross educator, Mr. Williams has furthered Bishop McNamara's vision to form empowered leaders, inspired by the Gospel, who transform the world for almost four decades and he will be greatly missed by his students and colleagues. He has informed and formed countless Mustangs over his thirty-six years at our School, thus leading to tremendous transformation through the impact his students have had on the world in which they live. Alumnus and New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds '00 credits Mr. Williams with expanding his worldview and encouraging him to look at the world from a variety of cultural perspectives. Upon the announcement of his retirement, and the video that was posted on social media on Friday, May 10 that showed Mr. Williams being publicly thanked by former student and President/CEO Marco J. Clark '85 along with faculty, staff, and his current students during his last class, thousands upon thousands of Mustang alumni posted on social media crediting Mr. Williams with having taught them similar life lessons. Dr. Clark passionately noted about his former teacher, "The Prophet Daniel said those who teach justice will shine like the stars in the heavens. After 40 years at Bishop McNamara, you are an educator for justice and we say farewell Mr Williams. You are a star for all eternity. You have truly made made a difference in the world. Thank you! We love you!"
From all of us here at Bishop McNamara High School - students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration - we wish Mr. ChrisTopher Williams much happiness and joy in his retirement. We thank him for helping us to advance our mission to educate hearts and minds in a dynamic, inclusive Catholic school setting rooted in the Holy Cross tradition. As Fr. Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, used to note and give praise to his greatest educators, he would tell them, "You are for Holy Cross!" Indeed, Mr. Williams, "You are for Holy Cross." May God bless you always and we thank you for your many years of dedicated service to your beloved Bishop McNamara High School.
Enjoy videos of his last day!
(Direct video links at https://bishopmcnamara.redesign.finalsite.com/cf_media/index.cfm?obj=4908 and https://bishopmcnamara.redesign.finalsite.com/cf_media/index.cfm?obj=4907)