The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah recently launched the Cameron Russell Williams Legacy Scholarship to honor Cameron Russell Williams, the beloved late Utah technology innovator, community leader and entrepreneur.
Continuing Williams’ quest for economic empowerment for all, the scholarship seeks to create a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of aspiring, talented leaders in Utah. This endowed scholarship will be gifted annually to an underrepresented student at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute who is interested in technology and business.
The scholarship was established in partnership with Williams’ family who along with friends donated $35,000 to initiate the fund. Both the family and the Eccles School are actively raising additional money for to increase impact and help more students. They welcome everyone to contribute by donating here.
“We are very grateful to be working with Williams’ family and community members to honor Cameron’s legacy and inspire many future students and business leaders like him,” said Anne Bastien, program director at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. “This scholarship will make it possible to reach more promising students who have the potential to follow in his footsteps.”
Williams died at 33, and he has been deeply missed by many friends, family, and community members who he inspired through his kindness and work ethic. He lived by the personal motto “dream big then dream bigger than that.” His obituary said, “Like a mad scientist, he could become enthralled with something of interest for two to three days straight with no distractions to break his concentration, then emerge with all kinds of plans, ideas and dialogue.”
He moved to Utah to take a position with Goldman Sachs then later continued his career with Domo, a software company focused on business intelligence tools. He worked there the last six years and held four positions. “Multifaceted, multi-talented and dynamic, he made history at every turn, quickly earning a spot on the organization’s leadership team,” his obituary said. As evidence of his unstoppable creativity and entrepreneurial spirit he launched EverWoke, a transportation logistics company, which was recognized in 2019 as the Startup of the Year by Logistics Tech.
His many recognitions include being named one of Utah Business magazine’s “Forty Under Forty.” He was profiled in Impact Magazine in an article titled “Who’s Who of Black Utah.” KSL featured him in an article titled “Black Voices: Improving diversity in Utah’s tech culture.” His was also sought by many organizations for his voice and expertise.
Beyond his work, Williams was a civic leader and advocate for underrepresented people and the Black Community. “Cameron was known for giving voice to create a space for others who had no voice, all while educating his colleagues, leaders, and the communities of Utah about why a difference in voice – especially in business – is paramount,” his obituary said.
His civic involvements include being the chair of the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce, helping lead Living Color Utah, serving as an advisory board member of the Young Professionals of Salt Lake City and Utah Chapters of the National Association of Black Accountants and National Society of Black Engineers, and supporting the Silicon Slopes organization.
Through all of these achievements and involvements, Williams became an advocate for Utah and everything it offers. “I call it the Utah trap,” Williams said to KSL. “If you give Utah a real chance, you’ll find two things: One, you’re in the modern-day gold rush because there’s nothing but opportunity in Utah. And two, you’re gonna fall in love with this place because you live inside of a postcard.”
University of Utah student Daisy Hall is the first recipient of a Cameron Russell Williams Legacy Scholarship. She is studying communications and is from North Ogden. She is also participating in Lassonde Founders, a residential entrepreneur program for students to live and create together at Lassonde Studios.
“Being in the Lassonde Founders program, I am able to start my own business with the help of our advisors as well as all the resources provided for us,” she said. “It has also been amazing to meet people who are also undergraduate entrepreneurs and are experiencing the same things I am.”
All students at the University of Utah are welcome to apply for a Cameron Russell Williams Legacy Scholarship. To apply, students must submit an application on the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute website.
Learn more about scholarships and student leadership opportunities at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at lassonde.utah.edu/leadership.