With the recent bittersweet announcement of Dr. Yonan’s departure from the Templeton Honors College and decision to become the headmaster at The St. David’s School in Raleigh, NC, many friends of the Honors College may be wondering what comes next. While Dr. Walter Huddell has been serving the College wonderfully in the interim, as of July, we will have a new full-time Dean.
The Templeton Honors College is pleased to welcome Dr. Brian Williams, who will become the new Dean and our newest faculty member. Dr. Williams has an impressive curriculum vitae, having received his MPhil in Christian Ethics from the University of Oxford (with distinction) and his DPhil in Theology & Christian Ethics from Oxford as well. He has worked most recently as a University of Oxford tutor. He was a tutor to both undergraduate and graduate students in Jesus College, specifically in the Final Honours Schools of Theology and Religion, Theology and Oriental Studies, and Philosophy and Theology. While at Oxford, he directed a video project entitled “Oxford Conversations,” which is a series of interviews with prestigious Christian educators at the University. This project typifies Dr. Williams’ commitment to asking good questions and exploring the role of Christian faith in the academy—both important commitments of Templeton, and some of the many reasons that we are excited to have Dr. Williams as our new Dean.
Dr. Williams has also been a part of a research group called “Education and the Common Good,” which investigates the history and current state of education in the United States. In his research for this project, Dr. Williams’ work has focused on threats and challenges faced by educators, theological insights surrounding educational issues, and suggestions for a hopeful future of education in the United States.
All of Dr. Williams’ academic experience and recent employment reflects a dedication to the same sorts of educational and theological questions being pursued by the Templeton Honors College, and this was apparent to the Templeton community even when they first met Dr. Williams. In the words of the Chair of the search committee and Professor of Biblical Studies, Dr. Frederic Putnam, “We were all extremely impressed with both his background and our initial online interview. When we met him in person and saw him teach, we were even more convinced that [his] background… enables him to both understand the Honors College and bring to it the insight that will strengthen our ability to fulfill our mission.”
In addition to having a remarkably impressive academic background and work experience, Dr. Brian Williams has been married to his wife, Kim, who is an artist and art teacher, for almost 23 years. They have three kids: Ilia (14), Brecon (9), Maeve (1), each born in a different country. Dr. Williams used to run his own coffee bar/café that doubled as an art gallery and concert venue, and he enjoys cycling and running marathons (he’s run 5 full marathons and over 30 half-marathons). From his eclectic hobbies to his impressive background, we in the Templeton community know that Dr. Williams will be a great fit here, and we look forward to welcoming him and getting to know him more as he takes on the position of our new Dean.
Article by Emmalee Moffitt (’18): Emmalee is a student of philosophy, history, and Orthodox thought and culture in the Templeton Honors College. Her other interests include theology and literature, particularly poetry. She is a lover of good writing and conversation, and hopes to pursue a career in academia.