May 20, 2013
It is with great sadness that I inform you that Sterling B. Williams, MS, MD, PhD, Vice President, Education at The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), passed away on Sunday, May 19, after a brief illness. He led The College’s Education Division and directed the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2001. Dr. Williams, 72, was scheduled to retire on June 1.
Dr. Williams was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, a master’s degree in physiology from Northern Illinois University, and his medical doctorate and PhD from the University of Arkansas. He served his ob-gyn residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
He was a professor at Columbia University, and residency program director at the Harlem Hospital Center in New York City, from 1987 to 1997. From 1997 to 2001, he was the Kermit E. Krantz Professor and chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Kansas until accepting the position of Vice President of Education at The College.
Dr. Williams published an extensive list of articles and book chapters and received many honors including Alpha Omega Alpha Scholastic Honorary Society membership, induction into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame (2008), the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award (2012), and the Castle-Connelly Lifetime Achievement Award (2013).
His many educational leadership positions led to national initiatives. He served on the board of directors of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). He also served as secretary of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, president of the Kermit E. Krantz Obstetrical & Gynecological Society, and vice president of the New York Gynecological Society.
Besides his many educational contributions, Dr. Williams sang baritone for The Washington Chorus.
Dr. Williams is survived by his beloved wife, Joice, and three children, Sterling, Spencer, and Angela.
In lieu of flowers, Dr. Williams' family requests that donations be made to the establishment of The Sterling B. Williams, MS, MD, PhD Lecture in obstetrics and gynecology. The Williams Lecture will be a fitting memorial to a man who was so committed to life-long learning and his specialty.
Donations supporting The Sterling B. Williams, MS, MD, PhD Lecture should be made to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists/The Williams Lecture and sent to ACOG, Development Department, 409 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC, 20024. For additional information regarding donations, contact Katie O’Connell at 202-863-2546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hal C. Lawrence III, MD, FACOG
Executive Vice President
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists