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Former Creighton Registrar Jack Williams Pioneered Electronic Student Data

Jack Williams, who introduced the first electronic data-processing system for academic records in Nebraska at Creighton University, has died. He was 97.

Born September 28, 1916 in Omaha, Williams graduated from Omaha South High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Creighton University in 1940. His grandfather served in the Northern army in the Civil War and later sold beef in the Omaha stockyards where Williams grew up.

Immediately after graduating from Creighton, Williams went to work for the FBI. He spent five years breaking codes during WWII and met Harry Truman during his time there.

Williams returned to Creighton in 1946, accepting the registrar position where he would remain for 41 years. Williams was instrumental in introducing the first electronic data-processing system for academic records in Nebraska. He also worked with two other area colleges to help implement their own automated student records programs. He enjoyed developing new systems to make tasks more efficient.

Williams was also instrumental in the establishment of the American College Testing Program (ACT), and served as the Nebraska coordinator from 1959 until his retirement in 1987.

Bringing his experience from the FBI to Creighton led him to develop the University's first memorandum form. "Before I came, people wrote memos on the back of envelopes," Williams said in a 1987 interview. "I loved trying to find the best ways of accomplishing something within our means."

Williams' attention to detail and the excellence with which he executed his duties made Creighton's Registrar's Office the epitome of efficiency and led to many commendations from the University. He was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society, in 1976 he received the Creighton Distinguished Staff Service Award, and in 1983 he received the Alumni Merit Award.

He was also a talented photographer who saw things differently.

In 1987, Williams, was the first president of the University's retiree organization, Graybackers. He chaired the bylaws drafting committee of the Graybackers and even suggested the name.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Jane, and his son, John and brother James. He is survived by seven grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.

Visitation with family is May 2, 10-11 a.m. at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church followed by a funeral service.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.