Rodney Williams ’13 Returns to StC

To recognize Black History Month, an StC alumnus encourages our boys to think about their power to change the world.
“If I am being honest, I came to St. Christopher’s for basketball, to get a scholarship and then go home,” said StC alumnus Rodney Williams ’13. “But there is always a time in history where things change over time,” he said.

Speaking to Upper School boys and faculty this morning in Memorial Chapel, Williams explained how he came to feel the school’s embrace. “There was a day when I was sitting in the lunchroom alone and two of my friends came over to have lunch with me.” Skeptical at first, Williams was pleasantly surprised to find that the boys seemed eager to get to know him. They asked questions about him–where he was from, what brought him here, and his interests. “That was a moment for me where those two people decided that they wanted to change history by his story–my story.”

Williams is the Executive Director of The Capital Region Small Business Development Center, and within the context of Black History Month, Willams outlined the challenges of building culture and community at the grassroots level. He challenged StC’s young men to think about the impact that they can have on the world. “You guys are high schoolers, you are not world leaders, so you cannot solve everything. But what I do want you to know is that you have the power to change more things than you think.” 

Williams shared the lesson he learned from that important lunchroom interaction as a young man and how it changed his perspective. Williams has done everything from building basketball teams in Spain, France and Sweden to building diverse communities in Richmond. “My experience came from learning people’s stories,” said Williams. “I want to encourage all of you to learn about the person next to you. You never know how many similarities you have. You never know how that person’s experiences can help you learn and to better understand what is going on around you.”