STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — At its 2011 commencement program, Wagner College bestowed upon Fred C. Williamson Jr. of Atlantic Highlands the degree of doctor of humane letters, honoris causis.

Fred Williamson was born in Red Bank, New Jersey in 1943. He graduated from Wagner College in 1964 with a bachelor of science degree in economics and business administration. After serving as a U.S. Marine Corps captain in Vietnam, he earned a graduate degree from Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science in 1968.

Williamson has spent more than 40 years in the commercial flooring business, working in almost every aspect of the trade: sales, sales management, commercial contracting, installation and, finally, top management. Since 2005, he has been vice president of operations for Starnet Commercial Flooring Inc., a 170-member commercial flooring cooperative with over 325 service locations worldwide.

Williamson has found a way to connect his career with his passion for protecting the environment by serving as a member of the board of the Carpet America Recovery Effort, whose mission is to divert used carpet, both residential and commercial, from our nation’s landfills. Since 2002, CARE has been instrumental in recovering 800 megatons of old carpet for new uses. He also volunteers on the NSF-140 Sustainable Carpet Committee, which sets standards for recycled content in new flooring material.

Williamson is a member of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. Since its founding in 1995, the organization has raised more than $50 million to educate the children of active-duty military and federal law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty. Ninety-seven percent of all donations and net proceeds from special MC-LEF events go toward scholarships.

Williamson has served on Wagner College’s Board of Trustees for 22 years, at various times serving as secretary, treasurer, and a member of the Executive Committee. He has chaired the board’s Athletic Committee and has served on the Audit, Business & Finance, and Investment committees. He is also a past president of the Wagner College National Alumni Association.

Fred Williamson currently lives in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, with his wife Dee, to whom he has been married for 46 years. The Williamsons have two adult sons, Jeffrey and Scott.

To see a short video clip of the doctoral citation honoring Williamson, followed by his May 20 commencement address, visit the Wagner College website. []

Wagner College is a U.S. News & World Report Top 25 regional university located on Staten Island in New York City.

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...