UMSL community saddened by death of Board of Curators Student Representative Remington Williams

by | Jun 10, 2022

Williams, who died in a car crash early Wednesday morning, had been pursuing his MBA as a member the UMSL Online MBA Program's inaugural cohort.
Remington Williams

University of Missouri Board of Curators Student Representative Remington Williams, who died in a car crash early Wednesday morning, had been pursuing his MBA as a member of UMSL Online MBA Program’s inaugural cohort. (University of Missouri System photo)

The tragic death of University of Missouri Board of Curators Student Representative Remington Williams in a car crash early Wednesday morning in Kansas City, Missouri, has been felt deeply across the state at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Williams, 25, who graduated from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law last month, also had been pursuing his MBA as a member of the inaugural cohort of UMSL’s Online MBA Program.

“He was a phenomenal student and young man,” said Chancellor Kristin Sobolik, who got to know Williams through UM System activities. “He was the UMKC student rep, but he just thought so positively about the other universities, and he engaged directly with the chancellors of those universities to talk about the students. He was exceedingly ethical, very forthright, very engaging, and he truly listened to people. It wasn’t about Remington. It was about the universities. It was about the students.”

Senior public policy major Joe Methner, who recently completed his term as Student Government Association president, and his recently elected successor Sydney Stark, a junior majoring in criminology and criminal justice, both echoed those sentiments.

“Remington was a great person to work with,” Methner said. “He cared a ton about the students at every school and was dedicated to helping all students. He was one of the kindest people I’ve met and any time we talked on the phone or in person he would always make sure to take time to check in and ask how I was doing and congratulate me on things happening in my life. It was always a pleasure to work with Remington.”

“I was only able to know Remington briefly, but from our little interactions he was a fearless advocate for all University of Missouri students, was kind and respectful to everyone he interacted with and was a role model for all students and student leaders,” Stark said.

Ekin Pellegrini, the associate dean for graduate business programs in the College of Business Administration, taught Williams last fall in a Managing People in Organizations course during his first semester in the Online MBA Program.

“Remington was not just any MBA student,” Pellegrini said. “He was uniquely remarkable. He was one of the most focused students I have seen at the MBA level, and he wrote the most professional and detailed five-year personal and career development plan as his final class project. Upon graduation, he was interested in staying close to his home and was hoping to work for a real estate development company in their Government Affairs division. He knew where he wanted to go and mindfully created the right connections to get there.”

Williams was taking Pellegrini’s course while simultaneously working toward his law degree. She remember his telling her that he needed to get better at remembering people’s names.

“As if MBA and law school did not keep him sufficiently busy, he purchased a Dale Carnegie book and developed an amazing list of tangible steps he would take in building this skill,” Pellegrini said. “He proudly shared his list with me. Remington was a joy to interact with. He was sweet, personable, very focused, respectful, kind, mature, incredibly smart, curious and passionate about giving back to his community.

“The purposeful way he lived his life was truly inspirational. Remington was a shining star in the UMSL MBA community, University of Missouri System, and the broader region. His passing is a loss to the entire state of Missouri.”

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and Spanish from Georgetown College in Kentucky in 2019. During his time at Georgetown, he served as student body president during the 2017-18 academic year and was president of his fraternity and vice president of the Georgetown Activities Council in (2018-19). He also served in various capacities for the men’s basketball team and was an active member of both the Accountability Board and Honor Council.

After graduation, Williams enrolled in the UMKC School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and Honor Court.

Gov. Mike Parson appointed Williams the student representative to the University of Missouri Board of Curators on July 14, 2020.

Read a tribute to Williams’ life from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

A funeral service for Williams will be held Wednesday, June 15, at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City (6401 Wornall Terrace, KC, MO 64113). A reception will follow services at UMKC, Room 401 at the Student Union.

Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik