BETHLEHEM, PA – The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District is pleased to announce its establishment the Jon Williams Memorial Fund. On November 20, 2020, the Williams family partnered with The Foundation to memorialize the accomplishments of Bethlehem Area School District alumnus, Jon Williams while giving back to the community. The Jon Williams Memorial Fund will provide scholarships and fund mental health related projects and programs supporting students’ academic success with funds beyond the school district’s general operating budget.
During Jon’s high school years at Liberty, he was at the top of his class academically, active on the tennis team, involved as class treasurer, and respected by his teachers and classmates.
After graduating from Liberty High School in 1990, Jon earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Duke University and continued his education at the UNC School of Medicine where he later returned for his combined residency program in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics. Dr. Williams made a tremendous impact on his community through his career as a physician.
In partnership with The Foundation, Jon’s family and friends determined that his memorial fund should be dedicated towards mental health initiatives to support Bethlehem Area School District students, in addition to scholarships. Over the years, Jon sought help for depression and was beyond grateful for the support of his family, friends, colleagues, and doctors. Jon’s painful struggle with his illness led him to take his own life in September 2020. “His suicide was not a rational, intentional act, but a complication and fatal outcome of a very complex and difficult disease” (Halper, 2019). The enemy was mental illness, not Jon. Jon’s family feels deeply connected to the perspective of Dr. Jill Halper in this NY Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/26/well/mind/suicide-depression-cancer.html They hope you will read the article for a better understanding of depression as a disease.
For more information on the Jon Williams Memorial Fund or if interested in contributing to this memorial fund, please contact The Foundation for the BASD or visit this webpage link: https://basdwpweb.beth.k12.pa.us/thefoundation/3063-2/
About The Foundation for the BASD
Created to strengthen, enhance and enrich the educational experiences of the students of the Bethlehem Area School District, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District was established in 1999. It is governed by a volunteer board of trustees, composed of business and community leaders who lend expertise to the operations of the organization. The Foundation’s focus has been helping educators deliver innovative teaching to students inside and outside the classroom. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The Foundation raises funds through tax- deductible contributions to enhance learning opportunities for all students of the Bethlehem Area School District, promote family and community partnerships, and support academic innovation.
Information provided to TVL on the behalf of Julie Bailey Executive Director, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District by:
Assistant to the Superintendent for Communications
Bethlehem Area School District
1516 Sycamore Street
Bethlehem, PA 18017