Fund Name: The Julianne Williams Fund
Fund Established: September 4, 2003
Community Foundation(s): Central Minnesota
The Julianne Williams Fund was established to honor the life of Julianne Marie Williams who died in 1996 at the age of 24. Julie, the second daughter of Tom and Patsy's four children, grew up in St. Cloud and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1990. She excelled in academics, played basketball and tennis (Minnesota state doubles champion 1989) and began her activities in issues of social justice. She graduated cum laude in 1994 with a degree in geology from Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) where she continued as an active campus and community volunteer, and was described as a "one-person peace corps." Carleton College geology professor Mary Savina described Julie as a "catalyst for change ... Whenever Julie had choices, she chose the path that valued people."
Julie loved the outdoors and was in the process of typing together her love of nature/geology and her concern for people's lives as she was establishing her career. As part of her studies at Carleton, she had conducted research in multiple sites, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. She also interned for the Keck Foundation in northern Wisconsin and for the Lake Champlain Basin Project in Burlington, Vermont, and conducted field research on the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington. In 1995, she planned education programming for the Park Service at Big Bend National Park in Texas, and she received a grant to conduct hydrology research on Lake Champlain in 1996, which was to begin just days after her death.
The purpose of the Julianne Williams Fund is to reflect the essence of Julie, who she was and what she valued. It is to promote, through outdoor activities, the building of self-esteem, safety, confidence and overall empowerment of girls and young women. The fund is also committed to supporting youth activities that enhance mutual respect between all people and promote the enjoyment of active lives.