For Immediate Release
November 9, 2009
Contacts: Lee Tune, 301 405 4679 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alum's Gift Launches UM Center for Global Health Initiatives
NFL Player & Former Terp Madieu Williams Endows Center in School of Public Health
The endowment will provide annual support for the Center, which will focus on local, state-wide and global health initiatives, with particular attention to public health needs in Prince George's County, Md., where Williams grew up and in Freetown, Sierra Leone where he was born.
"I've been very blessed to be in this position to do something, to look beyond the playing field and make a difference in my community," said Williams during a Nov. 4 event on campus to announce the new Center and his founding gift.
He said the vision for the new Center links well with his goals and with the mission of the School of Public Health. "The School [as the former College of Health and Human Performance] was my academic home, and also connects well with my degree in Family Science and with a focus on making families healthier and stronger, helping them stay together and build toward a better future," Williams said. "And this new Center honors my mother's wish to make a lasting change in Prince George's County and Sierra Leone."
"There are a lot of things that a 28 year old can do with his money," said University of Maryland President C.D. Mote, Jr. "But Madieu Williams is not your average 28 year old. He is a young man with a passion for his profession -- which happens to be at the highest level of competitive sports -- but also with an inspiring vision for how his success can actually transform the lives of others. This is a magnificent contribution by a very impressive alum and an historic benchmark in the growth of our school of public health."
Journalism Major Shauna Stuart's story about the event.
"This group included national experts in public health and health policy including academicians, representatives from several governmental agencies, as well as others from both the public and private sector," Gold said. "And it is only through this type of multi-sectored collaboration that we can begin to address the complex health issues facing the citizens of Prince Georges County, Maryland and Freetown, Sierra Leone."
According to Mote, the goals of The Madieu Williams Center for Global Health Initiatives and the priorities of the University are very much in line. As part of its Strategic Plan, the university is working to enhance relationships with communities surrounding the College Park campus. "We have a responsibility as county residents to use our research, knowledge, and resources to address the issues affecting our neighbors," he said. "This new Center will help us to do that.
"A major research institution today must have global reach and produce graduates who are responsible global citizens. The research and service work of The Madieu Williams Center for Global Health Initiatives will serve that goal and provide outstanding opportunities for our scholars and students."
About Madieu Williams
While at Maryland, Madieu was a full-time starter for the Terps, opening 27 games and helping with Maryland's rise in the polls. His teams went 21-6 and outscored West Virginia (41-7) and Tennessee (30-3) by a combined 71-10 in the Gator Bowl and Peach Bowl, respectively. In 2003, Madieu received his B.S. degree in Family Science. Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round of the 2004 NFL Draft, Madieu is currently a safety for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. His foundation, The Madieu Williams Foundation, focuses on health, wellness, nutrition, fitness and education for underprivileged youth.
About the School of Public Health
The School of Public Health leverages the resources of the University of Maryland and other state institutions to play a key role in addressing Maryland's chronic and pervasive health problems, including the reduction of health disparities among ethnic minority populations in the state through research that translates into a wide range of quality community outreach programs.
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
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