Professor Ed Williams

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ed Williams, formerly the Henry Gardiner Symonds Professor of Management and professor emeritus of entrepreneurship.

Ed launched Rice Business' graduate entrepreneurship program in 1978, many years before the academic discipline of entrepreneurship had been established and before most universities were teaching the subject. After 36 years of teaching entrepreneurship at Rice, Ed retired on July 1, 2014. He estimated that during his career, he taught more than 3,000 students in 100+ courses, including the first graduating class at the business school. His efforts laid the foundation for what is now a globally recognized entrepreneurship program.

In 2016, Ed was recognized ‚Äď along with Al Napier, his co-founder of Rice‚Äôs entrepreneurship program ‚Äď with the¬†Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award, one of three lifetime awards presented by the United States Association for Small Business Entrepreneurship. He was also recognized as one of the top two¬†entrepreneurship educators in the country by Businessweek in 1996.

Many of you reading this message knew and respected Ed. The indelible impact he had on the Rice community, and on furthering entrepreneurship education, is truly unmatched. He was a beloved presence here at the business school and leaves behind an incredible legacy. Our condolences are with Ed’s family and loved ones at this time.

Funeral Arrangements:

Sunday October 7
10:00 am - 11:30 am
George H. Lewis & Sons
1010 Bering  Drive
Houston, TX 77057

11:30 am - 1:30 pm 
Memorial Service with Reception to Follow
George H. Lewis & Sons
1010 Bering  Drive
Houston, TX 77057

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Procession and Burial 
Forest Park - The Woodlands Cemetery
18000 Interstate 46 S
The Woodlands, TX 77384


To read a profile of Ed from a few years ago, please visit Rice Business Wisdom