The Gilliam Family
Humble Beginnings to ongoing success
Culer Audrell Williams was born in Athens, Georgia and raised in Bell City, Missouri. She demonstrated her passion for education at an early age, leading her class in studies and graduating the 8th grade - the farthest Black students were allowed to attend school at the time. Undeterred, Culer continued her education on her own and would read letters for the family and help her minister father prepare for Sunday school by reading him the Bible. Eventually, she would pursue this natural leadership and become a school teacher.
Later on she would meet and marry Mayo Gilliam and have six children: Thelma, Arlessie, Oliver, Marvin, Dorothy and Walter. The family moved from their humble beginnings in the south to Cairo, IL. There the family would survive losing their house to a fire and the Second World War. They moved again to Gary, IN where they settled and all surviving members continue to live there to this day.
The vision of the Culer A. Gilliam Scholarship foundation is to continue the legacy of educational achievement instilled in us by our matriarch, the late Culer A. Gilliam.
The purpose of the foundation is to provide monetary awards to deserving high school graduates whose desire is to further their educational endeavors in institutions of higher learning.
The foundation has been established as a viable 501(c)(3) not-for-profit tax-exempt organization which will support high school graduates through donations and fundraising events.