Sidney Williams
Sidney Williams
Being number one is nothing new for Sidney Williams, who graduated as valedictorian of Philadelphia High School Class of 2009.

Now a graduate of the University of Mississippi, Williams was number one academically in his class from the Meek School of Journalism. What's more, he was named a Taylor Medalist, the University's highest academic honor.

"I didn't even know they had rankings in college," said Williams, the son of Mickie and Sid Williams of Philadelphia. "Here I was sitting in a room of some of the University's brightest students, only to hear my name called out as the undergraduate with the highest student ranking."

Just a few weeks earlier he had been named as a Taylor Medalist. Recipients of the award must have at least a 3.90 grade-point average. Fifty-four were selected this year.

"Ole Miss has over 20,000 students," Williams said. "To be one of 54 undergrads to receive a Taylor Medal is just crazy."

Williams earned a bachelor of arts in journalism at Ole Miss, with a broadcast emphasis and a specialization in public relations.

During his time on campus, Williams called the Student Media Center his home.

A broadcast journalism major, he worked as a news anchor on NewsWatch, North Mississippi's local television station.

His very first year, Williams received the "Best-All-Around Anchor" award for the station. He also appeared on the Rebel Radio Report and wrote light hearted columns in The Daily Mississippian.

Williams also received a statewide award by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi for an anti-suicide campaign he did for the University.

"It was called CHOOSE Life; a Campaign Helping Oxford and Ole-Miss Students Embrace Life. I didn't even know my professor had entered it in a competition. It was a topic I felt very strongly about and wanted to spread to Ole Miss," said Williams.

Despite all of that, Williams favorite memory was the invaluable relationships he formed at Ole Miss.

"Transferring into Ole Miss as a sophomore, I didn't really care to rush," he said. "When I got in the top 10 male campus favorites personality election my senior year, it really reminded me of how many wonderful friends I made along the way."