Jerome Williams


Jerome Williams of Rutgers Business School passed away on 29 Jan 2021

POSTING TYPE: Obituaries

Author: Sengun Yeniyurt

It is with great sadness that we in the Marketing Department at the Rutgers Business School announce that Jerome D. Williams, Distinguished Professor and Prudential Chair in Business, has passed away unexpectedly. Professor Williams was formerly the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the Rutgers University–Newark. He had previously held chaired positions at the University of Texas at Austin and at Howard University, where he was also Director of the Center for Marketplace Diversity, and he was also a member of the Penn State University faculty for fourteen years.

Professor Williams served in many leadership positions at the American Marketing Association. He was serving as an associate editor of The Journal of Public Policy and Marketing at the time of his death. He was also instrumental in the success of the Ph.D. Project, which he helped to start in 1993. In 2014, he was named to the Ph.D. Project Hall of Fame. Professor Williams often pointed to his upbringing in a segregated Pennsylvania community as having inspired him to dedicate his career to the championship of equity and inclusion, and many lives were touched by both his academic work and his activism. In addition to his years of service, the impact of his research on multicultural marketing and marketplace discrimination led to his recent selection as an AMA fellow, into which Professor Williams was meant to be inducted formally during the AMA Winter Academic Conference on Feb. 19. We offer our deepest condolences to Professor Williams’s family as well as to his many friends and colleagues.

Rest in Peace Jerome.

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Author: Pam Scholder Ellen

As we seek to find solace in our memory of Jerome Williams, his family will be holding a virtual service in his honor this Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 11am ET. Please visit this website for more details on the service and other events honoring Dr. Jerome D. Williams.

The link for the service webinar will be up on the site this Friday.

Author: Herbert Jack Rotfeld

I was stunned and heartbroken to learn over the weekend about the unexpected passing of Jerome Williams.

He was an important mentor and influence for many people. Despite us being contemporaries in age, that is what he always was to me. I treasured every minute I was able to be with him. It wasn’t that long ago that I said I wanted to be like him when I grow up and I’m having difficulty processing that he’s no longer with us.

His accomplishments are many, both academic and on business practices. American Academy of Advertising members last saw him at the New York conference in 2018 when he was the honoree of the Kim Rotzoll award for Advertising Ethics and Social Responsibility. In the past few weeks he spoke to Auburn University’s Presidential Graduate Opportunity Program fellows, and we had several phone calls about our planned special topics presentation at the upcoming AAA conference.

It took me an extremely long time to write these short paragraphs.

Author: Monica Gerhardt

Jerome D. Williams passed away on January 29, 2021.

Jerome Williams was a marketing scholar, educator, and mentor of color. He was a trailblazer who came along before the marketing academic community was receptive to marketing professors from underrepresented groups. His legacy represents the pioneers who laid the foundations for people of color in academia today, and he will be greatly missed by the AMA and the marketing community as a whole.

Jerome was also formerly the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the Rutgers-Newark Campus. He held chaired positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Howard University, where he was also Director of the Center for Marketplace Diversity.

Jerome served in various leadership roles connected to the AMA.  He served on the AMA Board of Directors from 2011 to 2015 as well as chaired the AMA Foundation. Under his leadership, the AMA increased its partnership with the PhD Project and expanded financial resources for underrepresented doctoral students. He was a pillar of the Marketing and Public Policy community, attending the Marketing and Public Policy Conference every year, often with his wife Lillian, and co-chairing the event in 2017. He received the Thomas C. Kinnear/Journal of Public Policy & Marketing Award in 2011 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA Marketing and Society SIG in 2018. He was active in AMA up until his passing, serving as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing. Due to his lifetime of service and impactful research focused on multicultural marketing and marketplace discrimination, Jerome Williams was inducted into the 2021 class of AMA Fellows.

Alongside Bill Qualls and Thaddeus H. Spratlen, Jerome founded The Williams-Qualls-Spratlen Multicultural Mentoring Award of Excellence (WQS) in 2009. The AMA Foundation WQS Award carries on their legacy and recognizes outstanding mentors in the marketing community in the mold of Williams, Qualls, and Spratlen. Jerome served as a mentor to so many; the WQS award encourages and rewards outstanding mentors of people of color in the academic marketing community.

On behalf of the AMA Board, the PhD Project, and Jerome’s friends and family, Kevin Bradford, University of California, Irvine has organized a memorial session in conjunction with Winter AMA.  All are welcome to attend.

This event will take place Thursday, February 18 at 6 pm Central Time [UTC – 6].