The William Jennings Dyess Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund was established with an initial gift of $775 in February, 1996.
Ambassador William "Bill" Dyess was born in 1929 in Troy, Alabama. He began his distinguished academic career at the Univeristy of Missouri where he earned Phi Eta Sigma honors before he transferred to the University of Alabama. As a Phi Beta Kappa scholar he received his B.A. in 1950 and M.A. in 1951. He became a Rotary International Scholar and did his post-graduate work at Saint Catherine's College at Oxford University.
Bill then launched an equally distinguished diplomatic career, serving twenty five years as a European specialist in the Foreign Service office of the U.S. State Department.
He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in Public Affairs and later Assistant Secretary of State for President Jimmy Carter. During the administration of President Ronald Reagan, Bill was the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.
After retiring from the State Department, Bill began devoting large amounts of his time to alumni activities for both Oxford Univerisity and the University of Alabama. Here in Washington, Bill served as honorary scholarship chairman for the National Capital Chapter and assisted with numerous fund raising endeavors. Shortly before he passed away in 1996 after a long illness, Bill's service to the Chapter was recognized by the creation of this scholarship fund.