W&A CEO Awarded UGA CED Dean’s Award of Honor

Jon Williams (left) and Jennifer Messer (right)

Jon Williams (BLA ’96), a University of Georgia College of Environment + Design alumnus, was recently awarded the 2023 Dean’s Award of Honor for his continued dedication to the college, community, and the future of landscape architecture.

Each year, the UGA College of Environment + Design hosts an Honors Day during which they recognize students, faculty, and alumni who personify academic excellence, industry achievement, outstanding dedication to the department. Williams was honored among faculty members, such as CED Director of Development Jennifer Messer (MPH ’97), Tom Jones (BLA ’00 MHP ’13), and others.

Since his graduation in 1996, Williams has been committed to giving back to the Athens-Clarke County community, the College of Environment + Design, and the next generations of industry professionals.

At the UGA College of Environment + Design, Williams is a long-time member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and judge for annual BLA Shark Tank Competition. He also sits on the Strengthening Partnerships with Communities subcommittee for the College of Environment + Design’s 2025 Strategic Plan.

Two years ago, Williams and his family saw the opportunity to give back to CED with a donation in his family’s name as well as a learning opportunity for current landscape architecture students. Professor Doug Pardue led a hybrid design charrette to re-image the space as a “working yard” which would support student learning, create a welcoming event space, showcase landscape architecture and best design practices, and provide a smooth thoroughfare for those passing through. In April 2021, this space was named the Williams Family Plaza and continues to provide a gathering and learning space for university students.

“W&A Engineering wouldn’t be what it is today without the incredible education so much of our staff has received from the University of Georgia and the College of Environment + Design,” Jon Williams said. “This plaza gives us the opportunity to work with students to transform the space into a beautiful, functional, and memorable area for them to learn and grow.”

A 2021 and 2022 Bulldog 100 honoree, as well as a 2022 Georgia Titan 100 CEO, Wiliams also serves on the Georgia Board of Landscape Architects, setting standards and regulations for landscape architects across the state.

UGA CED Dean Sonia Hirt, who values Jon’s participation as a member of the CED Dean’s Advisory Council very highly, says, “Jon’s extensive experience in design, permitting, and management of large-scale construction and development makes him a perfect choice for this position.”