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Baylor Alumni Gift Creates Soccer and Olympic Sports Center

Baylor Alumni Gift Creates Soccer and Olympic Sports Center

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(KCEN) -- WACO -- Baylor University announced a gift of $1.5 million from Billy and Elaine Williams of Naples, Fla. on Monday.

The donation will go toward the Williams Family Soccer and Olympic Sports Center, an on-campus, $3.3 million athletic facility. The facility will be located within the Julie and Jim Turner Riverfront Athletic Complex.

At 14,500-square-foot, the center will offer the women's soccer program and other student-athletes with a range of amenities. The center will cater to coaches as well, featuring coaches' suite and lockers, and training rooms dedicated to the soccer program.

The facility will also feature a 5,000-square-foot weight room and visiting team locker rooms, as well as public restrooms and areas for concessions and laundry.

"Elaine and I are excited to provide the soccer team and other Olympic sports at Baylor with access to facilities dedicated to their use and designed to match their needs," said Billy Williams, BBA '63. "We support Marci and Paul Jobson and the fine record they have established since coming to coach Baylor's soccer team, and we believe it's important to position the program for even greater success with improved facilities."

During his days at Baylor, Billy Williams lettered in football in 1962. His time on the team was shared with Coach John Bridgers and quarterback Don Trull, who was also Williams's roommate. After graduating with a degree in finance, Williams joined the First National Bank of Fort Worth's executive training program and earned an MBA from TCU in 1965. He went on to a 26-year career at Owens Corning, working his way up from field salesman to executive vice president for the building materials division at the company's headquarters in Toledo, Ohio. In 1991, Williams and two associates purchased Liquid Container, a packaging company in Chicago. As its president for 19 years, he oversaw the company's expansion into a 14-plant, $400-million venture before he and his partners sold the company in 2011. He currently is an independent private investor.

 Billy and Elaine Williams previously created two endowed scholarships at Baylor, the A.J. and Marie Williams Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund in Football and the Bill and Elaine Williams Family Endowed Athletic Scholarship Fund. In 2012, Williams was named by the Baylor "B" Association to its Wall of Honor, which recognizes Baylor letterwinners and graduates whose meritorious accomplishments in public or private life following graduation have brought positive public recognition, credit and honor to Baylor and its athletic department.

 "Baylor enabled me to get a first-rate education by providing me with an athletic scholarship, and I've never forgotten that," Williams said. "This gift from our family is simply an effort to show gratitude to Baylor University in recognition that the school gave me the start to any success that I've had."

Construction is slated to begin this summer, with an anticipated 2015 completion.

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