Dr. Billy

Adults with Down Syndrome, Advocate, Community Participation, Disability, Down Syndrome, Education, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Honorary Doctorate, Inspiration, Mainstreaming, Mother of an Adult with a Disability, People with Disabilities, Posthumous Award, Special Education, Western Carolina University Add comments
WCU Honorary Doctorate William Robert Schulz

Western Carolina University has conferred on William Robert Schulz the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

William Robert Schulz and Dr. Jane Bolton Schulz received honorary degrees as Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the Fall 2012 Commencement Ceremony at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, on Saturday, December 15, 2012. Billy’s Doctorate was awarded posthumously.

Following are the Honoris Causa, read by Chancellor David O. Belcher, and the speech given by Dr. Schulz:

Honoris Causa

Dr. Jane Bolton Schulz and the late Mr. William Robert “Billy” Schulz blazed a trail for what could be – and what should be – the educational, vocational, and social opportunities afforded to people who have Down syndrome and special needs.
Dr. Schulz, you were a wife and mother of three with a fourth on the way when a doctor diagnosed your son Billy, who was born in 1956, with Down syndrome. He advised you to take Billy home and love him. Love him you did, so deeply and so fiercely that you became a champion for him and for the quality of life he could have. Together you became pioneers in special education and champions for all who have intellectual disabilities.
Your journey involved risk. Refusing to accept that Billy could not start school until age eight, you secured a job at a school that allowed you, without a college degree, to teach kindergarten and to bring Billy with you. Billy thrived, and you were inspired to expand those integrated classroom experiences in a landmark textbook you co-authored, Mainstreaming Exceptional Students: A Guide for Classroom Teachers.
As Billy became a man, you both found vocations. After discovering your exceptional gift for teaching, you enrolled at Auburn University and earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Inspired by your son, you became a powerful force in the field of special education. You helped to bridge the gap between the theoretical and the “real world” by drawing upon what you learned in your own life and from Billy’s. As a faculty member at Western Carolina University for more than 20 years, you shared your experiences, ideas, and insights with thousands of students.
Along the way, Billy continued to show you that he and others with Down syndrome were capable of far more than many realized. He became a beloved staff member at WCU’s Hunter Library for 21 years. He also worked at a nursing home where he helped care for his father, and at a grocery store that earlier this year awarded him a pin for ten years of service. As you delivered hundreds of presentations and workshops on improving special education, Billy overcame stage fright to join you at some of those talks. In his own words, he helped you share the story of his life and dispel negative stereotypes of people who have disabilities, and encouraged all to seek their full promise. Together, you motivated and inspired countless others.
You also developed a statewide program to train teachers to better work with special-needs students. Your ground-breaking work challenged educators in traditional classroom settings to embrace a bold new perspective when teaching children with disabilities and to see the potential that exists beyond a disability. You were instrumental in organizing the Special Olympics program in Jackson County, an effort that spilled over to surrounding counties across Western North Carolina, culminating in a large district meet held on the WCU campus. Your love for your own child and your dogged determination to help build a better life for Billy have made it possible for many other special-needs children to reach far beyond what once was expected.
As you wrote in Grown Man Now, a poignant memoir chronicling the challenges and victories that you and your son took together: “Billy and I are like beans and corn planted together in an open field; one supplying the nutrient, the other providing the support. We believe that if you want to bring about change you have to be that change.”
Dr. Schulz, you and Billy have indeed brought about change by being that change. The rights and educational, vocational, and social opportunities for people with Down syndrome have only just begun to catch up with what you, Billy and your family envisioned. In Billy’s role as son and brother, boy and man, and your role as mother and educator, you both blazed through uncharted territory and helped others realize what was possible and what should be normal for persons who have Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities. The field of education is far better today because of the contributions you both have made.
In recognition of these many accomplishments, in appreciation for enriching our communities, and in gratitude for raising the bar of our humanity, the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University is pleased to award, and the Chancellor to confer, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, upon Jane Bolton Schulz and posthumously upon William Robert “Billy” Schulz at this commencement ceremony, December 15, 2012, with all the rights and privileges thereto appertaining.

Chancellor David O. Belcher awards the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Dr. Jane B. Schulz and to William R. Schulz (posthumously)

Chancellor David O. Belcher awards the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Dr. Jane B. Schulz and to William R. Schulz (posthumously) at the Fall 2012 Commencement at Western Carolina University.

Dr. Jane B. Schulz
Acceptance Speech

Greetings: Chancellor Belcher, Distinguished members of the Platform Party, and Members of the Graduating Class:
I never dreamed of receiving such an honor, and wish Billy could be here. He really deserved this more than I do.

I developed Bell’s palsy soon after Billy died, so please bear with me if my speech is difficult to understand.

My family and I came to Cullowhee in 1971, looking for a fresh start. Like others here today, I found the career of my life at Western, in an environment that was stimulating and rewarding.

For those who are graduating, my wish for you is that you find an equally
fulfilling fresh start.

Billy was the motivation for my career, and he was the one who made our presentations remarkable.

Here was this man, whose IQ measured below 60, relaying a message that inspired others.
Billy’s message, told in his unique language, repeated:
• that every day was a good day,
• that we all have work to do,
• that we have friends everywhere,
• that it’s nice to laugh and to relax,
• that you love your family,
and that you go to church on Sunday because people are counting on you.

Each of us can accomplish surprising things.

In his presentations, and in his life, Billy exemplified that friendship has no
boundaries, that each of us is important, and that all of us have contributions
to make in our community.

Billy made friends with everyone. “Hi, I’m Billy; you got a dog?” made it difficult for anyone to ignore him. We have heard from people we don’t even know who, frequently, would go in the store where Billy worked and be uplifted by his greeting and cheerfulness. We all miss him.

Even though he dealt with anxiety, frustration, and health issues, just like the rest of us, Billy ended each presentation with “an’ I got a good life.”

Looking out at all of you gathered here today, and thinking of the sense of purpose all of us represent, I think Billy would say, “Well, time to get to work!”

Last August, Chancellor Belcher called to tell us about the honor Western Carolina University intended to bestow upon us.

During that time, Billy was sick with the beginning of the illness that led to his death.
I sat on his bed and explained the honor to him.

He asked, “Then who I be, Mom? Dr. Billy?”

And so, speaking for my amazing family, our devoted friends, for myself, and especially for Dr. Billy, thank you.


Related Link:

50 Responses to “Dr. Billy”

  1. DeAnna Says:

    Amen. Congratulations. Bravo. Thank you. Words come to mind but no word is the right one. Maybe I’ll just say, LOVE, because that’s what I feel.

  2. My Heroes, Jane and Billy Schulz « Johntheplantman's stories, musings, and gardening. Says:

    […]  You will find more about Jane and Billy at http://grownmannow.com/2012/12/16/dr-billy/ […]

  3. Shari Evans Says:

    Congratulations…so well deserved!

  4. Steve Sigmon Says:

    When you are in the presence of someone you deeply love, God is there in the midst helping to convey through the Spirit what words may be found inadequate.

    Today, Dr Schulz was surrounded by loving colleagues, friends, family, and community, and so there was also God speaking to and through her. Many lovely words and thoughts and hugs were exchanged, and we found her unchanged by these temporary physical conditions that interrupt her stride. She is the same wonderful, generous, graceful, thoughtful, loving, caring person that we so dearly remember, only more so, graced by time and tempered by the fires of the daily and yearly challenges she has faced.

    Around every table, people were discussing how knowing Billy changed their lives, their outlook on life, and how the Jane-Billy connection exceeded all known boundaries for life in abundance. Personal stories were shared as examples, and everyone had both a common story and something unique to them. To a person, love flowed out to Dr. Schulz and to Billy’s spirit. We were blessed to be there, to be included, to be invited, to be loved, in this generous way.

    Dr. Billy was present there, too

    After overnite reflection, thinking about the blog, the posts, the comments, Willa Cather’s comment though written in an earlier age would fit here:

    What was any art but a mould in which to imprison for a moment the shining elusive element which is life itself – life hurrying past us and running away, too strong to stop, too sweet to lose.

    — Willa Cather

    Too sweet to lose, indeed.

  5. Danell Says:

    Dr Billy’s love of life was infectious. As I was a hurried, stressed, distracted college student (and later grad student), his sweet kindness reminded me to slow down and enjoy the moment. I will always hold those memories of him dear to my heart.

  6. Jane Schulz Says:

    Thank you, dear friends. You are right, Steve. Love and friendship: too sweet to lose.

  7. Susan Dodd Says:

    It is easy to read about Dr. Jane & Dr. Billy and just assume they were and are extraordinary, with capabilities far beyond the rest of us. But when you look at the whole story, evolving over decades, you can see two people who, through love, were able to grow into themselves fully. What I am thinking this morning (and I thank both Jane and Billy for the hope I find in this) is that they’ve shown all of us something we need to know: YOU DO WHAT YOU CAN…and sometimes you find out that what you can do is amazing & beyond anything you could have imagined.

  8. Jane Schulz Says:

    Susan, I especially like DO WHAT YOU CAN here in Resolution month. You’re a wise woman!

  9. pat stewart Says:

    Jane, I am sure Dr. Billy was talking through you……I am prayinng for you….I know how much you miss your precious Billy……..love you so much

  10. pat stewart Says:

    Jane, I am sure Dr. Billy was talking through you…..I am praying for you…..I know how much you must miss your precious Billy……..Love you…..stay strong in the Lord

  11. Erin Starnes Says:

    Billy was such a special person, I am so grateful to have met and worked with him. I’m sure he had the biggest smile (his smile was infectious) on this day and he was there by your side.

    I was so sad to hear of his passing. I will remember him always!

  12. Planning a Memorial Garden | Johntheplantman's stories, musings, and gardening. Says:

    […] September 2, 2012. If you don’t know about Billy and how amazing he was, you may read about him HERE. Billy received his honorary doctorate posthumously from Western Carolina University in December of […]

  13. Dario Says:

    Pour les:-Supplément de perte de poids le Garcinia Cambogia est absolument sûr de consommer level n’importe qui.

  14. Tamera Says:

    Astonishingly, an evaluation by showed that these products comprised only miniscule amounts of HCA, the
    active ingredient that is supposed to help
    with weight loss.

  15. fun and entertainment forum Says:

    Unquestionably imagine that which you said. Your favorite
    reason appeared to be at the web the simplest thing to take into accout of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed at the same time as people think about
    worries that they plainly do not understand about.

    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , folks can take
    a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  16. 引越し 比較 Says:




  17. job agency Says:


  18. 即日借り入れ Says:




  19. Christel Says:

    While Dr. Oz didn’t approve any one product specifically, you want to make sure the product that
    you pick falls within the proper standards.

  20. https://delicious.com/bramblewoodgolf Says:

    The customs is not very busy at time of the morning, so we didn’t lose much time while we were there.
    Use the Internet in order to look into different golfing vacation packages that are currently
    available. They offer comfortable and cosy rooms in which the players can relax and if that is not enough, there are luxurious spas that help soothe their minds after
    a hard day’s play.

  21. 髪 スカスカ Says:


  22. test Says:

    I get pleasure from, lead to I found exactly what I used
    to be taking a look for. You have ended my four day lengthy hunt!

    God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  23. Huaraches Says:

    If some one desires expert view about blogging and site-building
    afterward i advise him/her to pay a visit this web site, Keep up the pleasant job.

  24. www.memecenter.com Says:

    Hello, this weekend is nice in support of me, as this time i am
    reading this wonderful educational post here at my residence.

  25. foreign exchange Says:

    I think that everything said was actually very reasonable.

    However, what about this? suppose you wrote a catchier title?
    I ain’t suggesting your content is not good, but suppose you added a post title that makes people want more?

    I mean Grown Man Now » Blog Archive » Dr. Billy is a little boring.
    You ought to peek at Yahoo’s front page and
    watch how they write post titles to grab viewers to click.
    You might add a related video or a related picture or two
    to grab people interested about everything’ve written.
    In my opinion, it might make your posts a little livelier.

  26. travel advisor Says:

    Tremendous things here. I am very glad to look your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m looking ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  27. Courtney Says:

    I see many interesting articles here. Your content
    can go viral easily, you need some initial traffic only.
    How to get initial traffic??? Search google for: Jemensso’s tricks

  28. 脇汗 黄ばみ Says:


  29. 急ぎでお金を借りる キャッシング Says:


  30. hvem tilhører dette gratis nummer Says:

    Hey there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends.
    I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  31. jasminecreek.beepworld.de Says:

    All you have to be committed to doing is lifting some items that may
    be a tad heavy and putting some elbow into it.
    Today they are either leftover laws from these time
    periods or have been reintroduced by a state according to need.
    Make sure you are aware of parking spaces, pools, clubhouses and
    laundry services.

  32. Posicionamiento en Buscadores Says:

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It will always be interesting to read through content from other writers and use something from other sites.

  33. Elise Says:

    Hi there to all, the contents present at this site are in fact awesome for people knowledge,
    well, keep up the good work fellows.

  34. Brenda Says:

    In addition, teenager who lack antibodies versus HSV-1 may be most likely to develop symptoms
    from an infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), another kind of herpes simplex virus that is almost always sent sexually, and tends to cause more serious illness than HSV-1.

  35. Riverside Garden Says:

    My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at web, but I
    know I am getting experience daily by reading thes
    nice content.

  36. オリックス銀行カードローン日曜日借りれる? Says:


  37. Mario Says:

    Great beat ! I wish to apprentice whilst you amend your website, how could i subscribe for
    a weblog site? The account aided me a applicable deal.
    I were tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided bright transparent concept

  38. educational wii games Says:

    magnificent post, very informative. I’m wondering why the other experts of this sector do not realize this.
    You should continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  39. 濃い青ひげ対策 Says:


  40. Peliculas409 Says:

    Bajarpeliculas torrent en mediafire 1 enlace graciosamente y expresión Español latino .Descargar peliculas de 2016 gratuito en
    mega un
    enlace hispánico latino en todas las calidades torrent online
    1080p 720p blueray dvd rip peliculas de cartelera peliculas
    de cartelera Peliculas gratis
    cinematógrafo gratis cine aqui facil suicide squad

  41. click here Says:

    Hey, looks like you don’t update the website for a long time.

  42. foot along Says:

    What’s up, always i used to check web site
    posts here early in the dawn, as i love to find out more and

  43. new artist 2016, best Rappers 2016 Says:

    It’s imprеssive that you аre gettіng ideas from this paragraph
    as well as from our discussion made at this place.

  44. japanese akita Says:

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was
    doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast due
    to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol.
    So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this topic here on your blog.

  45. Alejandra Says:

    That is a very goopd tip especially to those fresh
    to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate
    info… Manyy thanks forr sharing this one. A must read article!

  46. 育毛剤女性 人気通販ランキング Says:








  47. twat Says:

    People who are specifically searching for information or products that you may provide
    through your website. If you are looking for SEO content writing
    services which will help your website get higher rankings
    and hits, what you are really looking for is high quality and well
    to do SEO based content writing companies and firms and not to do it all by yourself.

    Search engine optimization and pay-per-click is still by far the best
    way to get targeted traffic to your site and the cheapest way is via finding similar niche blogs, forums,
    article directories, and business directories to place
    your site on.

  48. hair salons hiring near me Says:

    I am actuallү pleased to glance at thiѕ website posts
    whіch consists of plenty of valuable infοrmation, tɦanks fօr providing thee kinds օf data.

  49. webiste Says:

    Unquestionably believe that that you said. Your favorite
    justification appeared to be at the internet the easiest factor to keep in mind of.

    I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as other
    folks think about concerns that they plainly don’t recognise about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and outlined
    out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  50. find sex online Says:

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I
    stumbleupon everyday. It’s always exciting to read content from other authors and use a little
    something from other websites.

Leave a Reply


WP Theme & Icons by N.Design Studio
Entries RSS Comments RSS Log in