Staff Spotlight: Ann Williams


Photo by: Lesley Willard

Registrar Ann Williams found her purpose through helping students.

After first being introduced to FMU as a student in 1988, Ann Williams walked a path that led her to becoming the university’s registrar 30 years later in 2018.   

As a student from 1988-1990, Williams did not work for FMU, but after taking a break from the school and returning in 1995, she began working in Offices Services as a mail services clerk. She held this position while taking night courses until 1998, when she received a promotion to mail center supervisor.    

“My favorite thing about FMU is the community,” Williams said. “When I started working at FMU, my oldest daughter was only two years old, and in that time, I’ve grown a family. For every milestone, I’ve always been surrounded by a community who poured their love out.”  

Although Williams began at FMU to gain a computer science degree, she quickly realized it was not the best major for her, and transferred to management information systems (MIS) instead. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2003 and began working as a student services counselor in the Registrar’s Office shortly after in 2004, where she realized how important software was.  

“I initially thought I would work on the hardware side of MIS, but after working in the registrar’s office, I realized that data is very important,” Williams said. “I enjoy working with data and helping people solve issues with data. Every so often, I think about hardware, but I don’t think I want to do that anymore.”  

After working as a student services clerk for several years, Williams decided to go back to school for her master’s degree. She began attending FMU again and working toward her Master of Business Administration while remaining employed with the Registrar’s Office. She graduated in 2017, and in 2018, she was appointed interim registrar. Later, in July of the same year, she was promoted to registrar. She said earning her master’s degree was one of the moments in her life that defined who she is today.   

“Of course, my kids were in school, and I was in school and working,” Williams said. “I started when it was online, thinking it would be easy, but it was not. I spent many nights on the computer writing papers and making spreadsheets, but it defined me because it gave me a stepping stone to my everyday career.”  

Williams said the master’s program taught her critical and analytical skills in thinking and communication. It also taught her how to prioritize tasks and make quick judgements. She credits FMU with teaching her how to be a leader. In the past, she was a member of the staff advisory committee, and she currently serves as a member of the African American Faculty and Staff Coalition.   

Williams loves her job as the registrar because it gives her the opportunity to help people and assist others in working through problems, especially those concerning students. She said she is very happy where she is now.   

“Looking back, I just wish I had completed my undergrad when I first started and gotten my degrees earlier,” Williams said. “Education is very important, and I stress that with all students.”