Donor Profile: James F. Williams

James F. Williams has lived a life in service of the Boulder County community. Having served as the Dean of University Libraries at the University of Colorado Boulder from 1988 to 2017, James joined the CFBC Board Trustees soon after. Around the same time, James — whose voice was made for community radio — agreed to serve as the host for Community Foundation Boulder County’s Monthly Radio show, “A Public Affair” on KGNU. While his time on the community foundation’s Board of Trustees has ended, we’re still lucky to have him as a friend, donor, and host of “A Public Affair.” Learn more about James, his community foundation story, and his vision for Boulder County.

How did you become involved with the community foundation?

I was honored and surprised to be contacted by the Nominations Committee of the foundation with the information that I had been nominated to become a member of the board. I could only assume that this was happening due to my previous associations with the University, with Boulder Community Hospital, Hospice (TRU Community Care), with the Chamber of Commerce and with the Boulder Rotary Club.

What are some of your favorite memories from serving on the board?

While quite sad, my favorite memories are related to the year following the Marshall Fire and the weekly meetings I had with the Foundation’s leadership and recovery committee to plan the most effective near-and-long term support in the best interest of the community. In the end, these plans generated millions of donated dollars that were distributed broadly throughout the community based on agreed-upon social needs.

Can you tell us how you came to host CFBC's radio show, "A Public Affair," on KGNU? 

Very early after my first board meeting the foundation’s CEO approached me with a request to consider hosting the foundation’s radio show on KGNU’s monthly show entitled "A Public Affair." Reminded of Rotary’s motto of ‘Service Above Self’ I immediately agreed to do so, unaware of what was involved. So, now I host monthly interviews on KGNU with individuals involved in varied community topics.

What would you want others to know about the community foundation?

The one thing that I would want others to ponder is my appreciation for the fact that every city does not have a community foundation.  We are so fortunate in Boulder County that we have a foundation with a focus on community sustainability; a foundation in which the community has a history of local investment. For example, the people of our community (and beyond) came together after the Marshall Fire and donated more than $40 million to support the needs of the community.

What is your vision for the future of Boulder County?

Boulder County can be described as a beautiful place that lives by a mutual code of ‘live and let live.’ This is the code that sustains us and assures a strong future for the County.  We should always honor it, do our part to protect it, and never take it for granted.