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August 26, 2011

2011 Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship Recipient Announced

Stephen Eades and Peggy Fuesting (selection committee member)

The 27th recipient of the Arland D. Williams, Jr. Scholarship was honored recently at a luncheon hosted by the Mattoon Area Community Foundation. Stephen Eades accepted the 2011 award that honors the memory of Arland Williams, the Mattoon native who gave his life for others after Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River in January 1982.

Eades is a 2007 graduate of Mattoon High School where he played four years of Varsity soccer and continues to volunteer his time by helping with high school soccer camps and summer workouts. He attends the Tabor School of Business at Millikin University where he is pursuing a double major in finance and marketing. Eades is a senior this year and has maintained Dean’s List status each semester of college. After graduating from Millikin University, he hopes to attend the University of Illinois to obtain a Masters of Business Administration.

In his essay as part of the application process for the scholarship, Eades wrote of how those who knew Arland D. Williams, Jr. growing up in Mattoon, had fondly nicknamed him “Chub” and described him as an easy-going individual who was fun to be around, but never called attention to himself. He was the “take-it-as-it-comes” type and went about quietly accomplishing the tasks at hand. Eades stated, “Had Mr. Williams survived this tragic event, I believe he would not have considered himself a hero. No one will ever know for certain what prompted his actions after the aircraft crashed on that January day. Perhaps it was something from his training at The Citadel or in the military which gave him the strength and courage to risk his life for the sake of others. Or, perhaps it was just ‘Chub,’ the ‘take-it-as-it-comes’ individual, doing what he felt needed to be done.”

The Arland D. Williams, Jr. scholarship was established by Arland’s mother, Virginia Williams, some time after the 1982 air disaster. Through the years, Arland’s MHS classmates from 1952 & 1953 have funded the scholarship. Fundraisers, held by the Williams Scholarship Committee, have also helped with raising funds. The Mattoon Area Community Foundation is the umbrella organization that manages and supports this fund. If you are interested in making a contribution to this fund in honor or Arland D. Williams, Jr. please contact Joedy Hightower, of the Mattoon Area Community Foundation at or at 217-235-2500.

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