In Memoriam: Raisa Williams, 1947-2017

Raisa WilliamsRaisa Williams, who in 2003 was named the inaugural dean of first-year students at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, died on July 13. She was 69 years old and had suffered from cancer.

Williams joined the staff at Haverford in 2001 as coordinator of first-year academic support. After being named dean of first-year students, she remained in that role for a decade, retiring in 2013. She returned to Haverford for the 2015-16 academic year to serve as interim coordinator of the college’s student community service office.

A native of Cuba, Williams came to the United State at the age of 14. After living in a Cuban refugee camp in Florida, Williams and her younger sister were sent to an orphanage near Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The sisters were adopted and eventually reunited with their birth parents.

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she majored in sociology. She earned a master’s degree in education from LaSalle University in Philadelphia.

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