WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The late Jim “Butch” Williams (’62, JD ’66) was honored as the 2018 recipient of the Pete Moffitt Courage Award.
Established in 2012, the Pete Moffitt Courage Award is given in recognition of Wake Forest alumnus, Pete Moffitt (’84), and the tremendous courage he displayed while battling ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The award is given annually to a Wake Forest student-athlete, coach, or alumnus who has demonstrated Pete’s great courage in his or her own endeavors. Past recipients of the award include: Wake Forest baseball coach, Tom Walter; Demon Deacon basketball legend, Rodney Rogers; former volleyball coach, Heather Kahl Holmes; previous Deacon football player, the late Homer Brookshire; former track & field student-athlete, Allan Head; and Double Deacon, Dr. Wiley Doby.
Susan Moffitt (’86, P ’19), wife of the late Pete Moffitt, was joined by daughters Mary Layton (’19) and Hastings to help present this year’s award. “This award has not only come to honor Pete’s life and legacy, but more importantly, it serves as a constant and living reminder of what made his life so meaningful,” she remarked. “Pete was courageous, and he passed that courage on to all who met him. That was Pete Moffitt, and that was also Jim Williams.”
A first-generation college student, Williams earned both his bachelor’s and law degrees from Wake Forest, where he was also a member of the football team and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. While he went on to become one of North Carolina’s best corporate trial lawyers, he never lost touch with Wake Forest. Always generous with his time, Williams began serving on the University’s Board of Trustees in 2002, became chair in 2009, and was ultimately named a Life Trustee in 2013. Williams received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014 as well as the Medallion of Merit—Wake Forest’s highest award for service—in 2016. In addition, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather, and served as a friend and mentor to so many.
Accepting the Pete Moffitt Courage Award on behalf of the family and in Williams’ honor was his eldest grandchild, Liza Trent, who shared, “My entire family would like to thank the Moffitts and Wake Forest Athletics for honoring my grandfather in such a special way.”
Providing further insight on the wonderful, compassionate and humorous man her grandfather was, Trent remarked on the many ways he positively impacted the lives of so many people. She closed out the presentation, stating, “Today we celebrate the legacies of two great men. Pete Moffitt and Butch Williams lived their lives courageously, and I know they will both live on in our hearts forever.”
Many members of Williams’ family were in attendance for the presentation of the award, including: wife, Barbara; daughters, Anne (’89) and Tricia (’92, JD ’96); son-in-law, Scott; and several of his grandchildren, among others.